The MIT IDEAS Global Challenge, organizers say, was founded in 2001 to help student-led teams make their humanitarian ventures a reality — through annual competition. And at its 12th annual awards ceremony, held Thursday evening, IDEAS presented 13 social enterprises a total of $72,000 to help develop startups and innovations that aim to solve issues such as infant mortality, pollution and unfair wages.
“Tonight we see as a launching point not just for sustainable impact, but also many promising ventures,” Kate Mytty, program administrator for IDEAS, said in opening the ceremony.
Ten teams chosen by a panel of expert judges took home prizes of $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000. Three other teams, whose projects won the most online votes, received Community Choice Awards of $1,500 each. Each winning team delivered a brief presentation upon receiving its award.
The teams — 41 semifinalists in total — were comprised of MIT affiliates and others, represented seven different categories: water; emergency and disaster; health; energy and environment; education; finance and entrepreneurship; and agriculture.