Forward, a team of student entrepreneurs from China who created a one-stop image processing platform, won the $50,000 first-place prize in the seventh annual Intel Global Challenge at the Haas School on Nov. 10.
The competition, which attracted 28 student startup teams from 22 countries, aims to encourage student entrepreneurs and reward innovative ideas that have the potential to have a positive impact on society. To get to this phase in the competition, they won competitions in their local regions.
The event was hosted by the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and sponsored by the Intel Foundation, which provided $100,000 in prize money.
"This is an incredible opportunity for young entrepreneurs from around the world to learn from the best of our faculty, alumni, students, and investors here at UC Berkeley," says Andre Marquis, the Lester Center's executive director. "It's also a great opportunity for us to meet and learn from some of the world's brightest young entrepreneurs.”
The winning team's platform, called Gaitu, matches Chinese consumers with designers who add special effects, provide image-sharing services, and turn edited photos into art or merchandise.
The $20,000 second prize was awarded to Maxygen, a team from Russia that invented a low-cost, portable DNA test solution that can quickly identify thousands of infectious diseases, genetic predispositions and hereditary conditions. The $10,000 third place prize went to NanoDiagX of Egypt, which used gold nanoparticles to develop a virus test that can detect Hepatitis C in less than an hour at one-tenth the cost of current commercial tests.
Three special awards, worth $5,000 each, were also presented to Intel Global Challenge teams. UC Berkeley's NextDrop, winner of the 2011 Global Social Venture Competition, won the Social Innovation Award for its water management solution that helps people in emerging markets better predict water availability in their communities.
aQuainnova of Thailand won the Emerging Impact Award for the team's Genovex business tool, which can provide early detection of viral diseases in shrimp. The Young Innovator Award was given to the entrepreneurs from team BUCKY'o'Zun of Denmark for their inexpensive chemical compound that provides 99.99 percent protection against all forms of UV radiation when added to sunscreens, anti-aging creams, paints, and other products.
Running simultaneously with the Competition was a week-long seminar, the Global Entrepreneurial Leadership Symposium, for 70 attendees who learned about creating robust mentor networks in their local geographies.
Intel also has launched a $5,000 People's Choice Awards Contest for the public to vote on its favorite competing team. To vote, visit inspiredbyeducation.com/vote.
Video of the finalist presentations will be available on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at http://entrepreneurship.berkeley.edu/main/igcub.html.