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This week 19 mission-driven UChicago teams advanced to the next round of the 2023 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC). The selected teams will work on a range of innovative solutions, including using machine learning to overcome language barriers to healthcare, minimizing food waste with reminders and recipes, and a community-driven approach to increasing employee ownership. 

With the announcement, the teams advance to Phase II of the competition, during which they will work throughout Spring Quarter to launch a nonprofit or for-profit enterprise with a social mission at the core.

Finalists will compete for at least $150,000 in cash prizes on Tuesday, May 23.

The Edwardson SNVC is the social impact track of New Venture Challenge (NVC), the University of Chicago’s nationally ranked accelerator program. The SNVC is run by Chicago Booth's Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, along with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

This year marks the 13th year of the Edwardson SNVC, which has helped to jump-start more than 150 startups that have gone on to raise more than $150 million. Notable alumni include solar-powered light company LuminAID, online voter guide BallotReady, autism therapy provider AIM Clinics (now Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers), Africa-based e-commerce platform Wasoko, Chicago-based nonprofit Debate it Forward, and the 2022 winner,

2023 Edwardson SNVC Teams Include:

A Good Village targets the 75 percent of US households who experience food waste, totaling $173 billion dollars a year. Forgetting to use groceries is a leading cause. Good Village uses smart grocery inventory reminders, personalized recipes, and community-based breaking bread to help users to utilize and enjoy food more. (Booth, Physical Sciences)

Aleye Health is a digital platform for women living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It offers lifestyle recommendations, a habit tracker, evidence-based content, and community support to manage symptoms and find relief. (Booth)

Bridge helps academic researchers navigate the commercialization valley of death. Through a comprehensive innovation data management platform and marketplace of complementary technology transfer services, Bridge fosters relationships between innovators, early-stage ventures, and investors. (Booth, Harris)

CaseArc empowers middle and high school teachers with grade-appropriate, affordable, and ready-to-use case studies. Our mission is to help teachers engage their students, spark curiosity, teach 21st century skills, and translate today’s classroom learning to real-world challenges. (Booth)

DinnerPal automates the core principles of Food Aversion Therapy, making it more affordable and easier for parents of picky eaters to integrate into their lives. DinnerPal provides personalized plans for parents to determine which new foods to introduce and at what pace to do so. (Booth, Law)

DocSUD aims to staff a centralized group of addiction medicine clinicians to support US doctors in treating opioid use disorder patients directly in hospitals. Our care is specialized, patient-focused, virtual-first, and technology-enabled, driving lower cost of care and better health outcomes. (Booth)

EchoLife is a medical imaging software solution that improves efficiency, accessibility, and precision of medical imaging for patients and physicians. EchoLife develops innovative software and AI for image acquisition and interpretation, beginning with echocardiogram imaging. (College)

Experto helps find the best professional match for home and business cleaning and maintenance solutions. We help clients receive reliable services while helping service providers achieve their career goals and improve their quality of life. (Harris)

Hibiscus Health is a gathering place for mothers with perinatal mood disorders that can cause panic, sadness, lack of connection, and, at the very extreme, suicide. An estimated 140 million babies are born globally each year. Depending on geographic region, as many as 60 percent of the mothers develop severe perinatal mood disorders. (Crown)

The Illinois Center for Employee Ownership is a nonprofit that uses community-powered, data-driven outreach to help owners sell their businesses to their employees, keeping jobs, ownership, and wealth growing locally. (Booth, Crown)

Mama Land Brand LLC. provides premium, cashew-based, products from West Africa to competitive markets. Our products raise awareness of our social efforts. A percentage of our profits supports education in rural communities in Africa from where we source our crop, with an emphasis on girls. (Harris)

Next Daysies endeavors to become a nationwide, scaled, social venture which repurposes unwanted flowers for new homes. Next Daysies is seeking partnerships with local, wedding, and corporate event planners, as well as florists in order to provide ‘floral recycling services for good’ by re-cutting and re-bouquet-ing unused/unwanted flowers and selling them at a fraction of the cost to a wide range of end-customers. 

Period is a subscription based digital outreach and legal correspondence platform, paid for by attorneys and advocates, that gives incarcerated people free access to legal assistance and advocacy by matching them with attorneys who can review cases for innocence and post-conviction claims, and with influential advocates who can lead public campaigns. (Booth)

ProSocio is a web-based virtual service navigator that breaks down language barriers. Leveraging a combination of machine learning and natural language processing, ProSocio helps individuals discover and access health facilities, providers, and social services in a language-concordant manner. (Harris, Booth, Pritzker Medicine)

ReRoute is a logistics company focused on enabling the cost effective reuse of packaging through a “circular logistics” solution. ReRoute offers pickup and cleaning of packaging materials for reuse, allowing companies to ship their products in an eco-friendly way without compromising profitability. (Booth)

SocialWalk is an easy-to-use mobile app that encourages physical activity by allowing users to turn their steps into money for nonprofits through campaigns sponsored by companies’ charitable or CSR programs. SocialWalk provides a low-cost marketplace for smaller nonprofits to connect with corporate sponsors and expand their donor base. (Booth, UChicago Medicine, College)

Stoked is a socially-conscious restaurant group looking to empower BIPOC entrepreneurs and serve healthy meals in local food-insecure communities using food trucks. Our target beneficiaries are asset limited, income-constrained, employed (ALICE) consumers for whom time and money are at a premium and fresh, healthy meals are difficult to access. (Booth, Physical Sciences)

Testament makes it easy for individuals and families, particularly those in the Black and Latino communities, to create wills and preserve family assets. Latino and Black individuals rank the highest among Americans without a will at 82% and 77%, respectively. Testament provides a tool for individuals and families to address these pain points within minutes. (Booth, College)

The Support Network empowers college students across the country to create an inclusive community and support each other’s identity, mental wellbeing, and day-to-day lives through peer-facilitated groups and bi-weekly community events. We work with student leaders and administrators to launch effective peer-to-peer support models. (Booth)

To get the latest news and events planned around this year’s John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge, sign up here.

Join us (in-person or online) for the 2023 Edwardson SNVC Finals on Tuesday, May 23. 

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