Violence Tracking Apps, Biomimicry Designed Water Harvester - Social Innovation Challenge 2014, USD Awards Diverse Social Businesses with $73,500

Share Article

Rice Pollution Solution Takes Home Top Prize of $20,000 - Vena wins $11,000 in Three Categories

University of San Diego, Center for Peace and Commerce

W.E Do Good and Irwin Zahn, Moxie Foundation

All of the projects presented were compelling & inline with real social needs, it was difficult to pick only a few, “ stated Nadia Auch, who leads the Social Innovation Challenge at USD. We'll do this again next year, May 1, 2015"

Past News Releases


University of San Diego (USD) Center for Peace and Commerce (CPC) Social Innovation Challenge 2014 ( announced the social innovation projects that took home $73,500 in cash. This multi-university effort, led by USD, reviewed more that 115 projects with 8 cash prizes being awarded on Friday, May 2, 2014.

“The judges had a tough job - all of the projects presented were compelling and were inline with real social needs, it was difficult to pick only a few, “ stated Nadia Auch, who leads the Social Innovation Challenge at USD. “ We are please to announce that due to high demand and the quality of submissions, we will hold the Social Innovation Challenge again next year, May 1, 2015.”

Top Winners:

Rice Pollution Solution took the top prize of $20,000 for the USD portion of the Challenge.

W.E. Do Good from San Diego State University (SDSU) took the top prize in the Moxie Foundation Track open to University of California San Diego (UCSD), SDSU, Point Loma Nazarene College and San Diego City College students.

USD Prize Pool $50,000 total for 5 Winners:

1.) Rice Pollution Solution $20,000;
Clay Mosolino, Miluska Garcia, Chase McQuarrie and Abdalla Almulla presented the Rice Pollution Solution an agricultural system that reduces the heavy metals in rice thereby lowering the potential of cancer, while improving overall food quality. This project helps reduce the digestion of harmful metals put in the environment by fabrication plants. The area of focus is on rice crops in Guangzhou, China, where some villages are dubbed “cancer cities” due to the high rate of chemicals / metals found in the crops.

2.) Green Room $15,000
Eric Ross pitched the Green Room is an out-of-the-box learning environment that provides underprivileged students with the advanced resources needed to develop green technology projects in their neighborhood.

3.) Pacific Clean Tech $5,000
Pacific CleanTech is a veteran owned and operated sustainable solutions company with a mission is to create jobs for veterans through assisting businesses in becoming more environmentally sustainable.

4.) GROWING $5,000
G.R.O.W.I.N.G. is a dynamic job placement program, which offers culturally appropriate opportunities to refugee farmers and entrepreneurs from Burma living in San Diego who may otherwise be unemployable in the region.

5.) Memoria $5,000
Laura Mendez presented Memoria a secure web-application specially designed for collecting data on victims of violence and human abuses in Mexico to help victims document crime and hold authorities accountable.

San Diego Universities Track $17,500 Sponsored by Moxie Foundation

1.) W.E. Do Good $10,000 (San Diego State University)
W.E. Do Good is developing an extremely affordable, portable, and durable mechanical thresher to improve the difficult, time-consuming, unsanitary, and resource-inefficient harvesting of teff for farmers in Ethiopia.

2.) Vena $5,000 (San Diego State University) - Three Time Winner
VENA is a zero energy water harvester for developing regions lacking access to potable water. Being a biomimetic design, it uses differences between below and above ground temperatures to trigger a dew point.

3.) Art Without a Roof $2,500 (San Diego State University)
Art without a Roof provides socially-conscious people with apparel infused with creative designs from artists impacted by homelessness. Profits are cycled back to fund education and art therapy for the youth without a roof.

Outerwall/ecoATM Award - Mark Bowles, Founder and CMO of ecoATM provided a $5,000 award to Vena, the 2nd place winner in the San Diego Track.

Social Global Mobile LLC “Live Audience Choice Award” also went to the Vena for $1,000. The packed room voted via their mobile phone for the water harvester inspired by desert cati. Vena expects to have their bioinspired product in the marketplace in 2015.

Special thanks goes to Qualcomm Ventures who also supported the Social Innovation Challenge by providing 8 TOQ(TM) Smartwatches to the participants.

Keith Muhart, director of Qualcomm Ventures, served as a judge as well as facilitating the drawing of the 8 TOQ smartwatches to the Social Innovation Challenge participants.

For a full summary and videos of the finalists projects, visit

Sponsors: Moxie Foundation, Verizon Foundation, and Alberto Coppel, John and Nancy Jo Cappetta, the Price Foundation, the Purcell McNamara Foundation, the USD Alcala Alumni Fund, Outerwall/ecoATM, Pacific Western Bank, US Bank, Social Global Mobile, LLC, Qualcomm Ventures

Final-Round Judges: Jenny Craig, Jenny Craig Inc.; Siyamak Khorrami, Founder and President, SkyRiver IT; Ned McMahon, Founder and CEO, Primo Wind Inc.; Keith Muhart, Director of Marketing, Qualcomm Ventures; Peg Ross, Vice President, Project Concern International (PCI); Kapil Sharma, Senior Managing Director, Tata North America; Teresa Smith, 2012 and 2013 Social Innovation Challenge Awardee and Founder of Dreams for Change; Necla Tschirgi, Professor of Practice, Human Security and Peacebuilding, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, USD; Michelle Weinger, Executive Advisory Board, Center for Peace and Commerce; Peter Zahn, President, Moxie Foundation.

Community Support: CommNexus, Connect, San Diego Social Venture Partners, Indiegogo,
University Partners: Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego City College, San Diego State University, and University of California, San Diego.

About USD’s Center for Peace and Commerce (CPC) The Center for Peace and Commerce (CPC) is a collaborative effort between the School of Business Administration and the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies to prepare new generations to develop and exercise innovative approaches for achieving the 4 Ps– people, profit, planet and peace.

The CPC contributes to creating new enterprise paradigms and solutions, that foster peace-building and poverty alleviation, through courses, scholarship, enterprise development, active engagement with multiple stakeholders and the promotion of good governance.

About the Moxie Foundation: Vision: A society of economically independent, informed individuals who engage in their community and enhance the value of community.

Mission Statement:The Moxie Foundation is dedicated to enriching and empowering individuals and communities by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success, personal health, and the environment.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Cheryl Goodman

Nadia Auch
since: 05/2009
Follow >
Social Global Mobile, LLC
Like >
Social Global Mobile LLC

Visit website