With ideas addressing mass incarceration, end-of-life care, and more, 16 teams will move forward to Phase II of the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC).

Led by the Social Enterprise Initiative, the SNVC is the social impact track of the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, which was recently recognized as the #1 university accelerator program in the US. SNVC teams spend ten weeks receiving intensive coaching, honing their business plans, and pitching their ventures. At SNVC finals on May 24, teams will pitch to a panel of judges for the chance to win $50,000 in start-up capital.

Past SNVC winners include LuminAid, a maker of inflatable lighting devices for campers as well as people coping with loss of power after a natural disaster. The company later secured funding from billionaire Mark Cuban on the popular TV show Shark Tank. Other success stories include the likes Moneythink, Hello Tractor, and Reliefwatch.

Keep an eye out for these 16 teams as they aim to join the ranks of other SNVC alumni making an impact.

  • AccessArc provides a guided legal technology service that seeks to mitigate the effects of mass incarceration by increasing accessibility to legal advocacy, increasing knowledge of the legal system and criminal court processes, and reducing the public burden caused by mass incarceration.
  • Act 3 is a branded, interactive web-based platform of resources to empower seriously-ill people and their loved ones to understand and engage with palliative care.
  • ArtRental mobilizes art museum inventories by leasing artworks to offices and commercial spaces.
  • DiversifiED’s objective is to create a platform students and universities can use to objectively evaluate their college campus.
  • EASY Financial Planning is a service that takes care of the financial well-being of its customers by providing relevant financial education, tools, and advice to the Mexican market.
  • EMMA is a cell phone application that connects pregnant women on the South and West Sides of Chicago to health care and also captures data related to health risks.
  • EnerLet empowers individuals to make informed choices about their daily lives in order to improve their impact on the environment by understanding their carbon footprint.
  • i4Spy is a SaaS cybersecurity solution that identifies, neutralizes, and protects against cyber-stalking and espionage applications, allowing the user to regain control over her or his devices, ultimately enforcing privacy and security of data, communications, and personal safety.
  • JoinGiving helps businesses better engage potential customers to produce both marketing and social impact results with cause marketing campaigns.
  • KitcheNet connects people who have time to cook and want to make money with people who lack access to healthy food. By crowdsourcing ingredients and standardizing recipes, our model substantially lowers the cost of healthy meals.
  • Laotu is designed to promote ecological food and handicraft production by sharing stories of individuals advocating sustainable rural produce methods via an online platform. Laotu aims to create consumer demand for local, organic food and traditional handicraft by building an open network that connects producers and consumers.
  • The Math Institute in Chicago’s goal is to highlight the captivating culture of math. It will be composed of a museum, an art gallery, hands-on exhibits, conferences, classes, and research events.
  • Mind Matters will provide telemental health services to military veterans, as well as active and reserve service members. Individual and group counseling will be provided via video, voice, and web-based chat by licensed clinicians including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and substance abuse counselors.
  • Picomed is a crowd-sourced public health application that lets parents transmit information to each other, doctors and local authorities in their network, which helps prevent children from getting sick, improves the outcomes for those who do get sick, and reduces the costs that communicable disease imposes on families.
  • ReadAskChat is an evidence-based early literacy system comprising a tablet-based e-book library plus training to help caregivers and parents read interactively with children 6 months to 6 years.
  • Solar Bus 4 Schools Financial is an energy-focused financing business that will target school districts seeking to explore electric school buses for their transportation needs.