ImpactAlpha, September 24 – MIT launched the Solve Challenge in 2015 to crowd-source promising ideas for global impact. The idea was to leverage the university’s minds and network to support anyone, anywhere in the world, with a good idea.
The competition has selected 33 “Solvers” out of 1,150 applicants for its four 2018 themes (work of the future, teachers and educators, coastal communities, front lines of health). Each receive a $10,000 prize and will be eligible for additional funding from Solve’s partners. The winners include:
- Shimmy Upskill, a platform to help retrain workers vulnerable to job loss from automation, and seven other teams in the Work of the Future track.
- Eneza, an SMS- and app-based educational platform, and seven other teams in the Teachers & Educators track. (Eneza also just raised funding from FINCA’s new venture capital initiative, FINCA Ventures.)
- Neopenda, which makes a device to monitor newborns’ vitals, and seven other teams in the Frontlines of Health track. Neopenda was also awarded $30,000 from Citi and SAP Next-Gen through Solve for its “gender-responsive innovation.”
- Marauder Robotics, which makes autonomous underwater drones to support marine ecosystem balance, and eight other teams in the Coastal Communities track.
In all, Solve has facilitated more than $3.5 million this year in grants for its collective cohort of almost 100 winning teams. This includes a $2.6 million contribution from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Atlassian Foundation for last year’s Youth, Skills and the Workforce of the Future track scale.
Additionally, RISE is making $1 million available to this year’s Coastal Communities teams.