There are more than 2 billion people who live on less than $2 per day. The good news? Effective poverty solutions have already been developed. Today’s challenge is finding a better way to distribute health products like vaccines, energy products like solar lamps, and many other proven solutions to some of those 2+ billion people. Entrepreneurs from the Foster School of Business and the University of Washington are tackling this challenge. They are starting organizations that we believe can grow to be the biggest, more high impact ventures on the planet”. – NICHOLAS FUSSO, Program Director at D-Prize
D-Prize is an organization dedicated to expanding access to proven poverty solutions in the developing world. The Foster School’s Global Business Center is pleased to be part of the growing family of D-Prize academic partners. This winter, five UW teams competed in the inaugural Foster D-Prize by offering distribution innovations for proven poverty solutions. Each team (including at least one MBA student), was challenged to either 1) Improve vaccine supply chains, 2) Distribute solar lamps, or 3) Deliver Sexual Education to girls to reduce the risk of HIV
Five UW teams submitted 2 page concept notes that were judged by D-Prize. On Wednesday, January 14th, the five UW graduate student teams showcased their distribution solutions at the Foster D-Prize Trade Show. At the trade show, the UW Global Business Center announced which of the 5 teams D-Prize selected to advance to the next round of the competition. Tradeshow guests also voted for the winners of two $1,000 prizes (People’s Choice and MBA Choice).
In the next round of the competition, teams will write full proposals and compete to win $10,000 to implement their solution this summer in a developing country. D-Prize management told the UW Global Business Center they were extremely impressed with the quality of UW submissions in the first round of the competition. The average acceptance rate into the second round among university D-Prize programs is 20-40%, and is only 5% in the global competition. For the first time in the history of D-Prize competitions, they invited all UW first round teams to move on to the next round of the competition.
Meet the Foster D-Prize teams and stay tuned for updates in the next round of the Foster D-Prize Competition!
Foster D-Prize is open to currently enrolled UW graduate students in any discipline who submit a plan that uses business principles to create distributions solutions to existing social enterprise models. Applications for the 2nd annual competition are due in November 2015. Learn more about Foster D-Prize.