Winners of Largest-Ever Contest For Young Social Entrepreneurs Will Compete On Main Stage at Forbes’ Second Annual “Under 30 Summit”
Finalists Include Amara Humphry of Gooru, Kiah Williams of SIRUM, Daniel Yu of Reliefwatch, Govinda Upadhyay of LEDsafari, Paul Duan of Bayes Impact, and Heather Concannon and Elizabeth Nguyen of Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives
NEW YORK (September 21, 2015) – Forbes today announced six finalists for its $1 million global social impact competition for entrepreneurs under the age of 30 to advance solutions that address global challenges. More than 2,500 young social entrepreneurs from around the world entered the Change the World competition and of those, 915 quarter-finalists completed an extensive long-form application. Of these social enterprises, for-profit business models were most represented, (42 percent), followed by hybrid business models with donated and earned revenue, (28 percent), and nonprofit business models (30 percent). Six finalists were selected and include:
- Amara Humphry, Gooru: Humphry, age 27, co-founded Gooru, which helps students in underserved communities where there is a lack of support and limited resources both at home and in the classroom. The Redwood City, Calif.-based organization provides students with access to crowd-sourced courses, as well as actionable data, enabling immediate insight into their strengths and weaknesses related to learning. Gooru is free and open to anyone, and is currently focused on serving California public schools and planning on expanding to the rest of the US and to the world
- Kiah Williams, SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine): Williams, age 29, co-founded SIRUM, an online platform that provides life-saving medications to low-income people. Based in Stanford, Calif., SIRUM taps into a new source of medications: unopened, unexpired surplus that would have been destroyed. The company leverages technology to identify surplus medications at institutions like nursing homes and pharmacies, find a matching need, and then ship the medications directly to safety-net clinics that serve low-income populations.
- Daniel Yu, Reliefwatch: Yu, age 22, founded Reliefwatch, which provides stock level data for organizations in the developing world. The Chicago-based company uses basic mobile phones for inventory management, overcoming the need for computers or Internet access. Medical stock outs and expirations are a pervasive problem across the developing world, impacting more than $4 billion dollars of medical aid each year. The Reliefwatch platform creates transparency, allowing organizations to prevent stock outs and track expiration dates. Reliefwatch’s platform reduced wasted medication by 90 percent while working with Global Brigades in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
- Govinda Upadhyay, LEDsafari: Upadhyay, age 27, founded LEDsafari, a Switzerland-based organization which provides low cost solar LED lamp kits for secondary school students in un-electrified areas of developing countries, enabling children to make and use their own lamps. LEDsafari’s instructions allow for the complete understanding of the physics behind the circuit and the design process. As the penetration of smartphones is increasing, LEDsafari is developing an app that students can use to measure their own impact.
- Paul Duan, Bayes Impact: Duan, age 23, founded Bayes Impact, which provides technology solutions for improving critical social services around the world. Incubated at Y Combinator, San Francisco-based Bayes Impact brings data science solutions to governments that have never had access to them before.
- Heather Concannon and Elizabeth Nguyen, Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives: These two 27-year-old clergy members co-founded the Roxbury, Mass.-based Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives. The organization offers cooperatively-owned affordable housing communities and opportunities for individual investors or organizations who value cooperation, and justice, but who struggle to find places to invest their money in ways that reflect their values.
“These young superstars were chosen as finalists in this historic competition because they have the ability to solve problems, scale solutions and change the world,” said Randall Lane, Editor of Forbes magazine, who oversees the Forbes Under 30 Summit and The Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy.
The six finalists will compete on the main stage at Forbes’ second Under 30 Summit, from Oct 4-7, 2015 in Philadelphia, which is expected to bring together nearly 2,000 of America’s most transformational young entrepreneurs and game changers. Five of the finalists will each win $100,000, and the overall winner will receive a $500,000 award. The competition focuses on disruptive and scalable ideas with the potential to change the world. McKinsey & Company will facilitate the Impact Lab for the finalists.
The partners for the Forbes Under 30 Change the World competition, each of whom helped select and fund the finalists, are: the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Case Foundation, the Pratt Foundation, the Keywell Foundation, Echoing Green through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, and entrepreneur Bob Duggan. The competition was managed using the HeroX incentive prize platform and then screened by a team from the Wharton Social Impact Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Forbes Under 30 Summit will take place October 4-7, 2015 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other venues throughout Philadelphia and will feature a full agenda of panels, TED-style presentations, keynotes, as well as mentorship from successful business leaders. For more details on the Forbes Under 30 Summit, please visit www.forbesunder30.com. On Twitter, follow #Under30Summit.
The Forbes Under 30 Summit is an extension of Forbes magazine’s annual 30 Under 30 list – which features 30 game-changing entrepreneurs under 30, 600 millennials, in 20 fields, as judged by some of the greatest minds in each category. Attendees of the summit will be selected from the past four years of this list, which has become one of the magazine’s most popular franchises. The fourth annual 30 Under 30 list has generated 17.9 million online page views since it launched in January 2015. To access Forbes magazine’s 2015 30 Under 30 list, please visit: http://www.forbes.com/30under30/#/
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About Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation:
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (Schusterman) is a global organization that seeks to ignite the passion and unleash the power in young people to create positive change. Schusterman pursues its mission by working collaboratively with others to support and operate high-quality education, identity development, leadership training and service programs designed to help young people cultivate their growth as individuals and as leaders. Schusterman’s work emphasizes efforts to improve public education in the United States and strengthen the global Jewish community and Israel. For more information, visit www.schusterman.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About the Case Foundation:
Established by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case, the Case Foundation invests in people and ideas that can change the world. For nearly two decades we have focused on creating programs and investing in people and organizations that harness the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to address urgent social challenges. Our work is focused on three key pillars: revolutionizing the philanthropic sector, unleashing the power of entrepreneurship to create social change and igniting civic engagement through citizen-driven solutions. For more information, visit www.casefoundation.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Pratt Foundation:
The Pratt Foundation, an Australian-based philanthropic trust with an international mission, supports a wide range of innovative social justice partnerships in Australia, Asia, the United States, Israel and Europe. Its priorities include sustainability, food and water security, mental health, family welfare and education as empowerment.
About Keywell Foundation:
Established by Brad and Kim Keywell, the Keywell Foundation is a private foundation that has a primary focus to support and advance the work of social entrepreneurs and innovators globally who are committed to tackling our world’s greatest challenges. Since its inception, the Foundation has not only worked to support great leaders who are currently working on existing issues, but it has also started new ventures focused on the advancement of learning through new mediums and the development of new approaches in education to help cultivate student entrepreneurs. For more information on the Keywell Foundation, please visit keywellfoundation.org.
About Robert Duggan:
Robert Duggan attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. He has made a successful career from investing and leading companies. His most recent success came as Chairman and CEO of Pharmacyclics, taking the company from the brink of bankruptcy to a $21 billion merger with AbbVie.
About John Templeton Foundation:
The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality and supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. Founded in 1987 by the late Sir John Templeton, the Foundation’s motto, “How little we know, how eager to learn,” exemplifies its support for open-minded inquiry and its hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries. For more information, visit www.templeton.org.
About Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII):
The Wharton Social Impact Initiative leverages Wharton’s strengths to develop and promote business strategies for a better world. We use core business competencies to spur strategic and systems-level positive social impact in Philadelphia and around the world. Through research, consulting, hands-on training, and outreach, WSII is advancing the science and practice of business social impact and developing business leaders who are equipped to lead in an increasingly interconnected and complex world. Established in 2010, our work focuses on impact finance, entrepreneurship, impact analytics and strategic corporate social impact, and incorporates research that leverages Wharton’s analytic horsepower. For more information, visit www.socialimpact.wharton.upenn.edu and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Founded in 2013, HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration, using each to drive positive change. A suite of tools and services to help spark and build awareness for new solutions to social and economic challenges, the HeroX incentive prize platform connects funding companies and individuals with problem solvers. For more information, visit http://herox.com.
About McKinsey & Company:
McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public and social sectors achieve lasting success. For over eight decades, our primary objective has been to serve as our clients’ most trusted external advisor. With consultants in more than 100 offices in 60 countries, across industries and functions, we bring unparalleled expertise to clients anywhere in the world. We work closely with teams at all levels of an organization to shape winning strategies, mobilize for change, build capabilities and drive successful execution.
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