Intel Global Challenge: NextDrop Wins Social Innovation Award

Intel Global Challenge: NextDrop Wins Social Innovation Award

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Innovation and Silicon Valley go together like bits and bites. Another month another innovation competition. But Intel’s Global Challenge caught our attention for the breadth and quality of its innovators from around the world, who competed for $100,000 in prize money and the chance to pitch some of the valley’s top venture capitalists at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Fresh Dialogues was delighted to see a good number of environmentally conscious innovators made the cut, including PolySol, a recyclable alternative to plastic, made from coconut husks; Nitrate Production System, a low-cost earth-friendly fertilizer and ValleyFeed, a wireless wildfire detection system. These innovative teams came from India, Jordan and Saudi Arabia/Lebanon respectively. Closer to home, NextDrop, a Berkeley based team demonstrated a ground breaking system that uses crowd-sourcing technology to monitor and facilitate efficient water use in India.  The venture capital judges agreed and gave NextDrop the Social Innovation Award.

The award winning team includes National Science Foundation Fellow, Emily Kumpel (pictured) who is a PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. She brings her water management experience in Madagascar and Tanzania to NextDrop’s diverse team who include Ashish Jhina, Thejovardhana Kote, Anu Sridharan, Madhusadhan B, and Ari Almos.

We look forward to following their progress blog as they scale up NextDrop’s project in India.

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Read transcriptssee photos and check out other exclusive interviews on Fresh Dialogues with Tech Award winners, Jeff Skoll and Rolf Papsdorf.

Also celebrities and experts in the green economy, including Charlie RoseTom Friedman, Paul Krugman, Vinod Khosla and many others.

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