2016 is well underway and we’re getting closer to finding our winners for this year’s Wireless Innovation Project (WIP). Since launching in 2009, the Wireless Innovation Project has awarded $4.2 million to unique solutions made to help address critical issues around the world with a focus on helping people in the most vulnerable areas. This year will be no different! With the deadline quickly approaching on February 27th, we wanted to send a reminder to all who wish to enter and also highlight a few past WIP winners.
Organizations such as US universities, NGOs and entrepreneurs with nonprofit partners can enter for the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project competition 2016. Entries must be submitted by February 27th, 2016. For more details visit the Wireless Innovation Project (WIP)
Last year, we awarded $300,000 in first place prize to the California Institute of Technology SEVA Sanitation project, for its vision to provide an intelligent black water treatment system to the 2.5 billion people in the world without access to adequate sanitation. SEVA turned to the Wireless Innovation Project and Vodafone Americas Foundation to develop a self-diagnosis system through mobile devices to ensure toilets in developing regions worked properly and received timely repairs. Since winning WIP last year, SEVA is getting ready to launch the mobile-based software in the next few months around the world. Hear directly from our winner: LINK TO BLOG
Empowered by mobile technology, Soko connects artisans from countries like Kenya—the majority of whom are women in underserved communities—directly to brands, retailers, and online customers around the world to sell their art, jewelry and other crafts. Soko’s innovative supply chain—which took home second place in the 2014 Wireless Innovation Project—manages a network of over 1,000 independent artisans through what we call our “virtual factory”—a mobile phone driven supply chain that coordinates opportunity, production and fulfillment with no centralized point of production or overhead. With this technology, any talented artisan can participate in the global marketplace, becoming a driver of social and economic development in their community.
Since the WIP, Soko has quadrupled its artisan network, grown its consumer base, and now sells at retailers including Nordstrom and Anthropologie. The model has also evolved to be so efficient and affordable that artisans retain an unprecedented 25 to 35 percent of revenue.
In 2011, EyeNetra won the Wireless Innovation Project for its mission to bring affordable yet accurate mobile vision testing to the 4.2B people who require glasses globally. At the heart of EyeNetra’s patented-technology lies the ubiquitous smartphone—seamlessly combining uncompromising precision with far-reaching accessibility for today’s digital world. From humble beginnings at the MIT Media Lab to 300+ product iterations and 35,000 validation tests, EyeNetra has since proudly launched its suite of cutting-edge solutions for the Eye Care community in both emerging and developed markets. With each portable device featuring amazing ease-of-use and scalability, it’s no surprise that the entire product line is already on backorder through Spring 2016.