Congratulations to Verizon’s $1M Prize Winners

February 2015

VerizonVerizon’s Powerful Answers Award recognizes innovations in education, healthcare, sustainability and transportation. Now in its second year, the Award has already contributed solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges.

Endeavour Partners was proud to be invited to mentor the thirty finalists for the 2013 and the forty finalists for the 2014 Award. We were moved by their presentations and are thrilled for these ground-breaking innovators, who are developing answers to pressing problems on a global scale.

Verizon recently announced the $1M winner in each category. The remaining eight winners will receive $250,000 each, for a total of $6 million awarded by Verizon.

Education

Sesame EnableSesame Enable

Sesame Phone is a touch-free smartphone designed specifically for people with disabilities including those with spinal cord injuries, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and arthritis.

Sesame’s technology was made for people who have limited or no use of their hands and are able to make small head movements. It’s goal is to offer a phone that works for the widest range of users, that represent a broad range of physical abilities. Users regain their independence with the ability to make calls in private, send messages without asking for assistance, and take care of daily tasks like ordering groceries online.

Healthcare

OrganizeOrganize

120,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant and 18 people die every day waiting for a donation. Yet only 45 percent of Americans have signed up to donate and the registry system is disjointed. Organize simplifies organ donation with a system fit for the 21st century.

The company has created a searchable central registry, allowing states to easily locate donors around the country, and a mobile app that makes it simple to sign up as a donor. The founders hope a streamlined organ donation system combined with effective marketing will save lives, and eventually eliminate the organ shortage entirely.

Sustainability

Eco-Fuel AfricaEco-Fuel Africa

Today in Africa, remote communities are depleting forests for wood and income, while their girls have to miss school to gather fuel. Eco-Fuel is contributing to an environmentally and financially sustainable Africa where communities have access to clean and sustainable fuel made from locally sourced biomass.

Green charcoal is a carbon-neutral cooking fuel that is made from renewable biomass waste such as sugarcane, coffee husks, and rice husks.This energy source improves communities and creates jobs while empowering local people and lowering environmental impact.

Transportation

VaxessVaxess Technologies

Every year, vaccine-preventable diseases claim millions of lives. One important reason why so many go without vital immunizations is the need to keep vaccines cold at all times. Setting up and maintaining a proper cold chain remains a significant hindrance to global vaccine access, especially in places that lack the necessary infrastructure.

Vaxess seeks to eliminate this burden by enabling stable vaccines that can have truly global reach. Vaxess Technologies uses silk to stabilize vaccines so they can be stored and shipped without refrigeration – eliminating the need for the cold chain. This innovation brings critical medical care throughout the developed and developing world.

Congratulations to the winners! We can’t wait to see what the innovations of 2015 will be!

 

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