Tavis Smiley and UMD Announce Seven Finalists for $75K Social Innovation Challenge

Dec 19, 2013, 13:00 ET from University of Maryland

Finalists selected among 56 entries representing 23 states nationwide and District of Columbia

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Broadcaster Tavis Smiley and the University of Maryland have announced seven finalists for the $75,000 TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge.

Announced last summer, the TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge invited aspiring entrepreneurs to develop transformative solutions to affect positive change for individuals and communities across the nation. Entrants were asked to submit innovative ideas targeting the key impact areas of education, hunger, and sustainability. A total of 56 entries were submitted, representing 23 states across the nation, as well as the District of Columbia. The seven finalists were selected based on the executive summaries and videos the entrants created to describe their social innovations.

The TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge finalists are:

  • Kamilla Kovacs, BUILD Metro DC (Washington, DC)
  • Christopher Emdin, Urban Science Education Center (New York, NY)
  • Derrius Quarles, Million Dollar Scholar (Chicago, IL)
  • Alexander Moore, DC Central Kitchen (Washington, DC)
  • Arthur Morgan, Gather Baltimore (Baltimore, MD)
  • Imani Christian Henry, 100 Men Reading (Wilmington, DE)
  • Atin Mittra, MADE Microfinance (College Park, MD)

Each of the seven finalists will have the opportunity to interview with a panel of judges before final selections are made to identify the three winning teams. The winners will be announced on the Tavis Smiley Network in January 2014. Each of the three winners will be awarded a $25,000 prize. Additionally, each winning entrant will have an opportunity to be a guest on the Tavis Smiley Network, receive an entrepreneur mentorship at the Clark School's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), and showcase their innovation at Platform Summit 2014, an event aimed at exploring the role of diversity in the innovation economy. 

The TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge supports the Tavis Smiley Foundation's initiative to dramatically reduce poverty in America and the University of Maryland's commitment to increase the number and quality of new businesses inspired by competition to create a large and strong new generation of entrepreneurs who benefit society. For more information about the TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge, visit www.tavissmileysocialinnovator.com.

SOURCE University of Maryland