World Series of Innovation

Challenging young people to solve global issues with innovation and creativity

The NFTE World Series of Innovation is an online entrepreneurship experience open to young people ages 13 to 24. The annual ideation competition inspires youth to think big and win cash prizes by brainstorming innovative ideas to solve real-world problems and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Every year, thousands of young social entrepreneurs — from nearly every state across the U.S. and scores of countries around the world — participate in the World Series of Innovation challenges, competing solo or in small teams. Visit www.nfte.com/innovation to see the current set of innovation challenges and come back in September, when we’ll launch a whole new set of challenges.

World Series of Innovation Hall of Fame

Assurant Stronger Communities Challenge

Winner: Adaptive Reconnaissance, a concept for a drone system with 3D mapping software to help first responders evaluate conditions in disaster zones. Submitted by 11th graders Jessica Lucero and Calliott Scheuermann, NFTE students at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo, CA. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Comfort Housing, a mobile app that helps displaced families find temporary housing that suits their needs in the wake of a disaster. Submitted by 8th graders Evan Weng and Youssef Ayoubi, NFTE students at Grand Prairie School for the Highly Gifted in Grand Prairie, TX. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Real Time SOS, a mobile app offering news updates, advice and safety instructions to individuals and families in locations impacted by a disaster. Submitted by 12th grader Austin Chan and 11th grader Osmond Hui, students at Markville Secondary School in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Bank of the West Clean Energy Challenge

Winner: Biofood, a concept for a drone system with 3D mapping software to help first responders evaluate conditions in disaster zones. Submitted by 12th graders Matthew Kong, Michelle Xu and Mei Zhong, NFTE students at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, CA. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Spark Light Energy, an innovative, low-cost generator built using off-the-shelf parts and powered by a hand crank. Submitted by Samuel Moses Elba, Eben Johnson and Mohamed Astro of the Watson Institute in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: FANtastic, a residential hydropower solution that harnesses kinetic energy from mini water turbines in placed in plumbing pipes. Submitted by 12th graders Catalina Pezzuti and Austin Roeder, students at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Citi Foundation Gender Equality Challenge

Winner: Emerge, a program training young women in rural areas of Bangladesh to work in the garment industry or learn a trade as an alternative to forced domestic service. Submitted by 11th graders Jahin Rahman and Shamia Rahman, students at the Academy of American Studies in Queens, NY. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: UniCare, a university-based child care service making high quality, affordable day care available to low-income families and single moms. Submitted by 12th graders Matthew Kong, Michelle Xu and Mei Zhong, NFTE students at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, CA. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Mom’s Coding Academy, a remote training program for low-income moms who lack the skills to enter the tech industry. Submitted by 12th grader Jeongju (Lily) Lee of Coppel High School in Coppel, TX. Watch the video she made to explain her idea.

EY Belonging Challenge

Winner: Oikku, a community-building mobile app to help young people when they leave college and first enter the workforce. Submitted by 11th graders Brett Kim, Lena Luostarinen and Caeden Mujahed, students at Francis Parker School in San Diego, CA. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Equal Step, a program that helps connect women with each other and with certified inclusive employers. Submitted by 11th graders Mayisha Fariha and Sally Hegab, students at Young Women’s Leadership School of Asotria in Queens, NY. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Lynksoon, a mobile app and online community that helps homeschooled teens connect and build stronger, more diverse friendships. Submitted by 9th grader Sara San Miguel, a NFTE student at Coral Gables Senior High School in Coral Gables, FL. Watch the video she made to explain her idea.

Intuit Education Sustainable Careers Challenge

Winner: ResMed, a distance learning program that utilizes virtual reality to train health workers for Indian reservations. Submitted by 12th graders Isabelle Pollock and Amelia Schantz, students at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Career Opportunities in the Trades, an after school club focused on helping students explore career options different types of technical trades. Submitted by 11th grader Macie Williams, a NFTE student at Falls Church High School in Falls Church, VA. Watch the video she made to explain her idea.

Runner Up: AllGrownUp, a unique tutoring service that focuses on life skills such as money and time management or establishing a career. Submitted by 11th grader Jordan Ferguson, 11th grader Reese Stauffer and 10th grader Alyssa Wright, NFTE students at McArthur High School in Pembroke Pines, FL. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Mastercard Financial Access Challenge

Winner: ATD, an automated teller drone bringing access to financial services to those in remote rural areas. Submitted by 10th grader Paul Jia of Pacific Academy and 11th grader Allyson Seong of Woodbridge High School in Irvine, CA. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: EcoChain, a blockchain platform to help smallholder farmers make and receive payments, sell crops, and get direct access to financial services. Submitted by 11th grader Jesse Chang, a student at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School in Plainsboro, NJ. Watch the video he made to explain his idea.

Runner Up: IDea, a mobile app bringing financial services to 120 million small farmers in India, many of whom live with crushing debt and financial insecurity. Submitted by 11th grader Jyoti Rani, a NFTE student at Oak Grove High School in Oak Grove, CA. Watch the video she made to explain her idea.

Moody’s Foundation Climate Action Challenge

Winner: BondFlow, a solution promoting investment in sustainability by allowing investors to verify the impact of “green” bonds. Submitted by 19-year-old Anurag Koyyada, 21-year-old Oscar Hjelde and 19-year-old Anupam Sivaram, students at Kings College in London, England, United Kingdom. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Youth Climate Action Coalition, a student-led environmental advocacy group with 7,000 members at 16 schools in 4 states and 3 countries. Submitted by 11th graders Jack Galloway, Kevin Malaekeh and Jake McCullough, students at Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: BioStation, a solution reducing single-use plastics in hotels and providing convenient refills for consumers, reducing plastics in landfills. Submitted by 12th graders Michelle Xu and Mei Zhong, NFTE students at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, CA. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

PayPal Equality for All Challenge

Winner: UV Smiles, a solar-powered UV light water purification system promoting equality for people who lack access to drinkable water. Submitted by 12th graders Vithika Goyal and Edgar Lozano, students at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO. Watch the video they made to explain they idea.

Runner Up: DreamBig, a scholarship service that matches high potential students with sponsors who want to invest in their futures. Submitted by 11th grader Osmond Hui and 12th grader Austin Chan, students at Markville Secondary School in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Kalokagathia, a nonprofit that places sanitation stations in rural communities where women and girls lack access to menstruation care and birth control. Submitted by 12th grader Nikita Dutta, a student at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO. Watch the video she made to explain her idea.

Resonance Philanthropies Youth Wellbeing Challenge

Winner: ReThink, a patented cyberbullying solution that works across email, texting, and social media apps by detecting offensive messages before they’re posted. Now live at ReThinkWords.com. Submitted by 20-year-old Trisha Prahbu, a student at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Watch the video she made to explain her idea.

Runner Up: Cognality, a virtual reality app for autistic children that heads off meltdowns and offers calm and comfort. Submitted by Espen Garner, Ian Kim and Gianna Valencia, a team from Laguna Hills, CA. Watch the video they made to explain their idea.

Runner Up: Seeing for the Blind, a high tech wearable device that uses echolocation and machine learning to help the visually impaired navigate. Submitted by 12th grader Sidharth Anantha, a student at Lexington High School in Lexington, MA. Watch the video he made to explain his idea.

Citi Foundation Decent Work Challenge

Winner: Teknique, a three-tiered training program that specializes in helping companies reskill their workers and partnering with AI companies to improve their robots with a skilled human workforce to teach them. Submitted by a team from Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, CA.

Coca-Cola/VEB Responsible Consumption Challenge

Winner: Slap Straw, a reusable, flexible stainless steel straw that acts as a slap bracelet and comes with a fabric cover that protects the straw from outside elements. An alternative to plastic straws, it is a fun and accessible way to help reduce the amount of plastic put in the ocean. Submitted by a team from Yorba Linda High School in Yorba Linda, CA.

Con-Edison Sustainable Development Challenge

Winner: CO2morrow, an innovative, eco-friendly company that combines the technology of clean energy delivery with the placement of CO2 energy converting stations throughout a city and provides a recycling program to procure the precious metals needed to fuel the conversion process in providing clean energy. Submitted by a team from Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School in Pembroke Pines, FL.

NFTE Gender Equality Challenge

Winner: PowHer, a South African transportation business that trains and employs women drivers for women passengers, creating work for women and a safe and efficient transportation environment for women. Submitted by a team from Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO.

EY Future of Work Challenge

Winner: SIMS Job Security, an app that evaluates users using assessments of the skills they already have, generates relevant job listings, and provides personalized recommendations for online courses and educational services to help them qualify for jobs. Submitted by a team from the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria in Queens, NY.

Go Daddy Reliable Internet Challenge

Winner: Internet Consistency in Eritrea and Ethiopia (ICEE), a company with the goal of bringing the World Wide Web to less developed countries by routing a high speed submarine fiber optic cable from Saudi Arabia to Eritrea, building internet infrastructure in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Submitted by a team from Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO.

Moody’s Foundation Responsible Consumption Challenge

Winner: Solupal Bags, a water-soluble and eco-friendly alternative shopping bag that eliminates the need to use—and the waste caused by—plastic shopping bags. Submitted by a team from Mounds View High School in Shoreview, MN.

NFTE Climate Change Challenge

Winner: AlgaCulture, an innovation to help transform rice farms impacted by climate change into profitable algae farms, enabling villages to export algae for food and biofuel. Submitted by a team from Newton South High School’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) in Newton, MA.

SAP Natural Disaster Challenge

Winner: Foresight Fire, an innovation that revolutionizes safeguards against wildfires by using measurable data of vulnerable areas to target and treat to prevent fire before it happens. Submitted by a team from Pine Crest High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Citi Foundation Decent Work Challenge

Winner: TeenWork!, a community-based app that helps teens earn income or community serivce hours by completing small chores for adults. Submitted by a team from Mount Eden High School in CA.

Coca-Cola Company Healthy Living Challenge

Winner: The Condom Cap Energy Drink, a low-calorie energy drink that comes with a condom, as well as facts and statictics about STI’s. Submitted by a team from Peak to Peak Charter School in CO.

Mastercard Financial Access Challenge

Winner: Project Equality, a company that aims to create a sense of community through partnerships via The Civitas Bank, a website that acts as a middle man for a community in need of financial support. The website is a service that links people with “lenders”, who wish to lend their savings, to “borrowers” in need of a loan. Submitted by a team from Santa Clara University in CA.

Moody’s Foundation City Infrastructure Challenge

Winner: CropUp, an outdoor, aquaponics, and vertical farming system that is both space saving and sustainable. Submitted by a team from Oak Grove High School in San Leandro, CA.

Moody’s Foundation Energy Challenge

Winner: Enertree, a renewable source of energy disguised as a tree with leaf-shaped wind turbines and solar panels. Submitted by a team from Oak Grove High School in San Leandro, CA.

Resonance Philanthropies Plastic Waste Challenge

Winner: Trasher, a mobile app with a user id linked to plastic recycling bins that incentivise the user with transferable coins for use in their social enterprises, or donated to charity. Submitted by a team from ITE College East in Singapore.

Coca-Cola Company Life Below Water Challenge

Winner: Concilio Water, a water bottle connected to an online game that triggers a charitable donation for each water trivia question answered correctly. Submitted by a team from Westhill High School in Stamford, CT.

GoDaddy Internet Access Challenge

Winner: The Moose, a pair of sneakers with kinetically powered micro-modems inside. Submitted by a team from Delhi Public School, Sector 45 in India.

Mastercard Financial Access Challenge

Winner: Refugee Pay, a company that aims to create a sense of community through partnerships via The Civitas Bank, a mobile wallet with the option for refugees to redeem rebates for necessities. Submitted by a team from San Leandro High School in CA.

Moody’s Foundation Quality Education Challenge

Winner: Sunbrook, a solar-powered LCD touch-screen book that works offline, promoted through a “get one give one” campaign, similar to Tom’s shoes. Submitted by a team from San Leandro High School in CA.

Moody’s Foundation Quality of Work Challenge

Winner: Tie-In Project, an organization that works to diversify the tech industry in the United States by contracting students to lead social media projects for tech companies. Submitted by a team from San Leandro High School’s Academy for Business and Finance in CA.

Pittney Bowes Quality Education Challenge

Winner: ArchiPicture, an app leveraging augmented reality technology to display 3D images of objects at their actual size. Submitted by a team from Lansdale Catholic in PA.

Coca-Cola Company Clean Water Challenge

Winner: Her2o, a type of water for pregnant women, adding essential nutrients needed during pregnancy. Submitted by a team from Holy Trinity High School in Chicago, IL.

GoDaddy Technology for Small Business Challenge

Winner: NSHS FBLA 2, an app that connects small business owners and entrepreneurs, providing videos and articles, forums, and a calendar of events. Submitted by a team from Newton South High School in Newton, NJ.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Volunteerism Challenge

Winner: VolYOUteer, an app that allows users to find volunteer events based on desired organization/charity, add them to their schedule, and interact with fellow volunteers. Submitted by a team from San Leandro High School in CA.

Mastercard Financial Access Challenge

Winner: Scan Now, an app that allows customers to scan the bar-code of the items they wish to purchase in a store. Submitted by a team from San Leandro High School in CA.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone App Challenge

Winner: Streamline, an app that aids students in building a unique path to college, beginning in middle school, including high school scheduling help and test prep. Submitted by a team from Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, MD.

Pittney Bowes Foundation Mentor Locater Challenge

Winner: Talent Trade, a website and app that connects people through talents and hobbies with people who desire to learn them. Submitted by a team from San Leandro High School in CA.

Coca-Cola Company Baby Boomer Beverage Challenge

Winner: Samurai Soda, submitted by a team from Scarsdale, NY.

GoDaddy Technology for Small Business Challenge

Winner: Soirée, submitted by a team from Hartford, CT.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Volunteerism Challenge

Winner: Teen Connect, submitted by a team from Stamford, CT.

Mastercard Junoon Culinary Empire Challenge

Winner: Spice Experience, submitted by a team from Newton, MA.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone App Challenge

Winner: My Look Out, submitted by a team from San Leandro, CA.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone Game Challenge

Winner: Another Day in High School, submitted by a team from Miami, FL.

Pittney Bowes Foundation Location-Aware App Challenge

Winner: uHelp, submitted by a team from Hartford, CT.

40Chances Community Nutrition Challenge

Winner: Chiang Mai Connect, submitted by a team from Chiang Mai, Thailand.

40Chances Food Waste Challenge

Winner: Two Baskets, submitted by a team from Stamford, CT.

40Chances School Nutrition Challenge

Winner: Good Eats, submitted by a team from Philadelphia, PA.

Coca-Cola Company Innovative Sparkling Beverage Challenge

Winner: Elixir-Beaniology, submitted by a team from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Community Committed & Job Fit Challenge

Winner: Daylight, submitted by a team from Glasnevin, Ireland.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone App Challenge

Winner: Approxinary, submitted by a team from New York, NY.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone Game Challenge

Winner: Eruditious, submitted by a team from Silver Spring, MD.

NFTE / Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment Decent Work Challenge

Winner: Errand Runner, submitted by a team from Washington, D.C.

Pittney Bowes Foundation Literacy Challenge

Winner: Word Avenger, submitted by a team from Miami, FL.

SAP Sports Fan Engagement Challenge

Winner: SAP Sharks, submitted by a team from Lansdale, PA.

Coca-Cola Company Innovative Dairy-Based Beverage Challenge

Winner: WePlay, submitted by a team from Coral Gables, FL.

Franchise Source Franchise Business Idea Challenge

Winner: Seven Seasonings, submitted by a team from Stamford, CT.

Let’s Move! Physical Exercise Challenge

Winner: Tapi-Pops, submitted by a team from Oakland, CA.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone App Challenge

Winner: Envision, submitted by a team from Silver Spring, MD.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone Game Challenge

Winner: Fantasy Academia, submitted by a team from Silver Spring, MD.

Sean John Fashion Interaction Challenge

Winner: Virtual Closet, submitted by a team from Oakland, CA.

2011

Coca-Cola Company Innovative Beverage Challenge

Winner: Gin Tropic, submitted by a team from Windsor, CT.

Dept of Ed. Education Innovation Challenge

Winner: E-PRIDE, submitted by a team from Miami, FL.

Franchise Source Franchise Business Idea Challenge

Winner: 300 Calories or Less, submitted by a team from Miami, FL.

JCPenney Environmentally Conscious Fashion Challenge

Winner: Rose-Ay’s Transformers, submitted by a team from Stamford, CT.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone App Challenge

Winner: Pocket Locker, submitted by a team from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Microsoft School and Education Tablet or Smartphone Game Challenge

Winner: iWheelDrive, submitted by a team from Silver Spring, MD.

 

2010

NFTE Green Business Challenge

Winner: The Hydration Patch, submitted by a team from Fresno High School in CA.

NFTE New Health Food Product or Business Challenge

Winner: Vita-Man Icy Pops, submitted by a team from North Atlanta High School in GA.

NFTE New Sports Product or Business Challenge

Winner: First Down Sensor, submitted by a team from Parkdale High School in MD.