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Dell rewards young entrepreneurs with $60,000 for their solar innovation

16 May 2013
Dell rewards young entrepreneurs with $60,000 for their solar innovation

NEW YORK: A young team of social innovators walked away with a cash prize of US$60,000 in Texas this week, for winning Dell’s Social Innovation Challenge with their solar invention.

The Challenge organizers asked university students to create a social innovation project that would help communities around the world and boost their local economies.

The winning project was Solar Conduction Dryer, a solar-powered dehydrator that will save Indian farmers money by avoiding the 20-30% food spoilage rate in poor rural regions.

Shital Somani of Solar Conduction Dryer said of the invention: “Our solar conduction dryer will act as a boon for the farmers and fishermen with poor access to electricity. The platform provided by Dell Social Innovation Challenge will help us in scaling up our technology to reach the farmers and thus provide them with a revolutionary sustainable technology, to cope up with the agrarian crisis and prosper.”

Other finalist projects included solar power crowdsourcing, recycled shoes and a non-profit fundraising platform. All projects were pitched to a panel of judges made up of business leaders, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, at the Dell event in Austin, Texas.

Suzi Sosa, Dell Social Innovation Challenge executive director and associate director, RGK Center, said: “Two of the most powerful forces in the world are innovation and entrepreneurship. The Dell Social Innovation Challenge empowers students to become innovators and entrepreneurs. Through our competition, university students from any country are inspired to tackle the issues they are most passionate about and are equipped with the tools and training to bring their ideas to life. This year we will provide mentorship or seed funding to more than 250 teams whose projects span multiple issues, including health, energy, poverty, education and much more. Through our program students are able to create the jobs they want while building the world they want at the same time.”

Trisa Thompson, vice president of corporate responsibility, Dell, said: “Dell was founded in a dorm room, and the spirit of entrepreneurship runs deep in our company’s DNA. We know that students can change the world, and we’re excited to support them with technology, mentorship, networking and funding that can bring their ideas to life.”

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