USD Changemakers Compete to Solve Global Concerns

Social Innovation Challenge to Award $40,000 for Student Proposals

Apr 29, 2013, 18:43 ET from University of San Diego

SAN DIEGO, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Promising University of San Diego student innovators and entrepreneurs will pitch their plans for transformative ideas to solve social, environmental and other problems here in the U.S. and across the globe at the third annual Social Innovation Challenge, a program of the Center for Peace and Commerce, on Tuesday, April 30.

Ten finalists were selected from 114 innovative proposals including ones to conserve energy by giving consumers remote control over power usage in their homes and businesses;  promote awareness and leadership skills to end school bullying; revolutionize the search for volunteer opportunities around the world; create an online platform to improve urban farming and improve the life of hearing-impaired individuals in East Africa.

Judges for this year's competition comprise a panel of entrepreneurs, corporate and nonprofit leaders including Jenny Craig, founder of Jenny Craig, Inc.; Kapil Sharma, senior general manager in North  America of Tata Sons Ltd., and Peg Ross of PCI.

The 114 proposals were more than double the number of last year's 52 entries. "We've seen tremendous interest from our students in the competition," said Steve Conroy, Ph.D., faculty director of USD's Center for Peace and Commerce. "They are eager and excited to use the knowledge and skills from their USD education to come up with creative and cutting-edge solutions to the world's problems."

A total of $40,000 in prize money will be awarded to the winners to make their vision a reality at a ceremony on Friday, May 3 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the theatre of the peace institute. The prize money includes $10,000 for the Verizon "Green Award."  Finalists will receive further support from the Center of Peace and Commerce's partnership with crowdfunding site Indiegogo and San Diego's EvoNexus, Social Venture Partners and Connect Springboard.

The Social Innovation Challenge promotes, guides and supports student-driven ideas to launch or to contribute to existing social enterprises by for-profit, hybrid and nonprofit organizations, locally and abroad. The 10 finalists' proposals are described below. All 114 projects can be viewed at Entries to USD's challenge received by Jan. 28 of this year also were entered in Dell's Social Innovation Challenge.

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls some 8,300 undergraduate and graduate students.

SOURCE University of San Diego