Forbes Announces Six Finalists for Its $1 Million Under 30 Change the World Social Entrepreneurs Competition

Winners of Largest-Ever Contest For Young Social Entrepreneurs Will Compete On Main Stage at Forbes’ Second Annual “Under 30 Summit”

September 21, 2015


Media Contact: 

Roben Smolar / Director of Communications / 404-745-9482 / [email protected]


Winners of Largest-Ever Contest For Young Social Entrepreneurs Will Compete On Main Stage at Forbes’ Second Annual “Under 30 Summit”

Gooru, an online platform seeking to advance educational equity through personalized, web-based learning, selected among semifinalists

New York, September 21, 2015 – Forbes today announced six finalists for its $1 million global social impact competition for entrepreneurs under the age of 30 to advance solutions that address global challenges. More than 2500 young social entrepreneurs from around the world entered the Change the World competition and of those, 915 quarter-finalists completed an extensive long-form application. Of these social enterprises, for-profit business models represented 42 percent of all submissions, followed by nonprofit business models (30 percent) and hybrid business models with donated and earned revenue (28 percent). The finalists include:

  • Gooru, an online platform that offers a diverse slate of crowd-sourced resources, collaboration tools and analytics that help teachers and students succeed at home and in the classroom;
  • SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine), an online service that identifies, collects and distributes surplus medications to low-income communities;
  • Reliefwatch, a company that harnesses the power of mobile phones to track medicine inventory in developing countries and prevent shortages;
  • LEDsafari, an organization committed to providing low-cost solar LED lamp kits to students in parts of developing nations without electricity;
  • Bayes Impact, a firm that provides innovative technology solutions to governments with limited access to data; and
  • Lucy Stone Cooperative, an initiative of the Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives that offers cooperatively-owned affordable housing opportunities for investors and organizations committed to social justice.

“These young superstars were chosen as finalists in this historic competition because they have the ability to solve problems, scale solutions and change the world,” said Randall Lane, Editor of Forbes magazine, who oversees the Forbes Under 30 Summit and The Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, one of the Competition funding partners, selected Gooru from an extensive pool of education-related submissions in support of the Foundation’s broader agenda of improving educational outcomes for students in communities nationwide.

Gooru is a web-based service that seeks to improve educational equity through personalized, technology-driven learning experiences. Its multi-faceted user experience includes a catalog of resources for educators and students, a forum for teachers to collaborate and share stories, and an in-depth suite of analytics to guide teachers’ decision-making in the classroom.

“Gooru represents a tremendous opportunity for students of all backgrounds to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and in their careers,” said Julie MikutaSchusterman’s Senior Director of Education. “We know Gooru has the potential to act as a springboard for the creation and dissemination of more innovative resources that support the needs of teachers and students, close education gaps and help our schools meet more rigorous learning standards.”

Schusterman’s selection is part of the Foundation’s broader commitment to resources and innovative programs that foster educator professional growth and create quality learning opportunities for young people that are aligned with college- and career-ready standards. Schusterman’s national education agenda is grounded in the firm belief that every student should have the chance to achieve in the classroom, particularly those living in communities with higher levels of poverty and limited access to the resources necessary to excel in today’s academic and professional climates.

In addition to Schusterman, the partners for the Forbes Under 30 Change the World competition, each of whom helped select and fund the finalists, are: Case Foundation, Pratt Foundation, Keywell Foundation, Templeton Foundation and entrepreneur Bob Duggan. The competition was managed using the HeroX incentive prize platform and then screened by a team from the Wharton Social Impact Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Competition will culminate on October 4-7 at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia, where the six semifinalists will present their initiatives onstage to a panel of judges tasked with selecting an overall winner. Five of the finalists will each win $100,000, and the overall winner will receive a $500,000 award. The competition focuses on disruptive and scalable ideas with the potential to change the world.

For more information, visit the Competition website.


About the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation:

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (Schusterman) is a global organization that seeks to ignite the passion and unleash the power in young people to create positive change for themselves, the Jewish community and the broader world. Schusterman pursues its mission by working collaboratively with others to support and operate high-quality education, identity development, leadership training and service programs designed to help young people cultivate their growth as individuals and as leaders.

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