Announcing the Six Semi-finalists of the Forbes Under 30 $1M Change-the-World Competition!

  • Team Schusterman

September 21, 2015

Exciting news: the Forbes team has announced the six semi-finalists in the Forbes Under 30 $1 Million Change-the-World Competition, a social impact challenge for entrepreneurs piloting programs to address global challenges!

These six groundbreaking initiatives and the young entrepreneurs behind them were selected from a pool of more than 2,500 applications. Each semi-finalist has secured $100,000 and the chance to compete onstage on October 6 at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. A panel of judges will select an overall winner, and the winning initiative’s award will be elevated to $500,000.

Each of the Competition partners—Schusterman as well as the Case, Pratt, Keywell and Templeton Foundations and philanthropist Bob Duggan—assisted in the selection of the finalists, which include:

  • Gooru, an online service with a diverse slate of 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.

Schusterman’s National Education team is especially excited to have helped select Gooru from amongst an impressive array of education-related submissions, as part of our broader commitment to support 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.

Gooru utilizes a web-based platform to improve educational equity through personalized, technology-driven learning experiences. Its holistic approach and innovative model are designed to foster the professional growth of teachers and provide students access to high-quality learning materials that prepare them for college and an increasingly demanding job market.

The platform’s multi-faceted online 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. Even at an early stage in Gooru’s development, the project has the potential to create high-quality learning opportunities for young people in the United States, particularly those living in communities with higher levels of poverty and limited access to the resources needed to excel in today’s academic and professional climates.

“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 Mikuta, Schusterman’s Senior Director of Education. “We know that 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.”

Our 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.

We wish the team at Gooru the best of luck and look forward to watching it develop and expand in the months to come!

The partners for the Forbes Under 30 Change the World competition, each of whom helped select and fund the finalists, are: the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, 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.

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