The Georgia Tech community is invited to the Ideas to Serve (I2S) Finals Poster Showcase (also open to the general public) on Friday, April 8 from 6 - 8 p.m. in the Thornton Atrium of the Scheller College of Business located at 800 West Peachtree Street.
The Poster showcase is an inspiring display of Georgia Tech’s best social innovation efforts, or as the slogan goes, 'Students Who Dare to Care’. Guests are encouraged to support their favorite team by voting in the People's Choice Award and everyone is invited to compete for raffle prizes, enjoy a complimentary KIND bar and a King of Pops while browsing the showcase.
Creativity, engineering skills, business acumen, technology, and a lot of passion are applied to solving pressing social issues at home and abroad. Teams tackle issues like fast and safe transportation solutions for drug and blood supplies to rural clinics (Team Med Drone), distribution of proper nutrition and information for patients with diabetes in various cultural backgrounds (Team Eating Right), socio – cultural perceptions of autism in Bangladesh (Team Shocheton), and the safe use of medical instruments in rural clinics in the developing world (Team Air Cirque).
Competitors represent 12 schools on campus - the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Scheller College of Business are this year’s main contributors. A notable distinction of the competition is its high female participation; more than half of the teams have a female lead or group member. Through their projects, students not only solve problems, but also develop leadership skills, hone in teamwork skills, and learn about the struggles that entrepreneurs face.
Projects will be reviewed by local experts in the field, including social enterprise and nonprofit leaders, impact investors, and Tech influencers. Participating teams compete in two tracks: Ideas (early stage) and Advanced, depending on their level of progress. Of the 27 teams who started in the Ideas Track, 12 have advanced to the final round. There are five teams competing in the Advanced Track. Program information can be found here.
“We are lucky to have a strong startup ecosystem at Georgia Tech,” said Dori Pap, assistant director of Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship, the organizers of the competition. “I2S fills a growing niche that is directly in line with our institution’s focus on ensuring that entrepreneurship and public service are fundamental characteristics of our graduates. Tech students are bright, passionate, extremely skilled, and they can't wait to make their mark on the world. These competitors are already making an impact by pursuing solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. What a great way to put your education to work before you even graduate!”
Several projects that started as mere ideas matured into sustainable organizations due in great part to the mentoring, workshops, feedback, and seed funding that students received through the competition. Successful I2S alums include The Pentorship Program, which works to combat prisoner recidivism by offering career development training and mentor-match to inmates; Lightboards, a small scale skateboard deck manufacturer in the Old Fourth Ward that mentors and employs at-risk youth and uses wood from trees in the Atlanta area that are cut for the safety of the city; and Atlanta Harvest, which addresses the lack of fresh produce in underserved urban areas while creating much needed jobs at the same time.
This year final round prizes to be awarded include the Ideas Track Winner ($4,000), Ideas Track Runner-Up ($2,000), Advanced Track Winner ($2,500), the People’s Choice Award ($500), Best Video ($500), and Best Poster ($500).
Sponsors of I2S include: GrayGhost Ventures, Georgia Tech LEAD Program, Cecil B. Day Program for Business Ethics, Steven A. Denning Technology and Management Program, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, The Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, The Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain, Georgia Tech Innovation and Design Collaborative, Speechworks, Tedd Munchak Chair in Entrepreneurship, and VentureLab.