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2013-05-21

Young Indian innovators bag $60,000 grand prize at DSIC 2013

Technology major Dell on Monday announced a team of students from India, Shital Somani and Vaibhav Tidke which received the $60,000 grand prize at the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC 2013) for its project Solar Conduction Dryer. The DSIC recognizes

Technology major Dell on Monday announced a team of students from India, Shital Somani and Vaibhav Tidke which received the $60,000 grand prize at the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC 2013) for its project Solar Conduction Dryer. The DSIC recognizes undergraduate and graduate students from around the world who envision, create and implement social innovation projects that help communities around the world.

“Two of the most powerful forces in the world are innovation and entrepreneurship. DSIC empowers students to become innovators and entrepreneurs. This year we will provide mentorship or seed funding to more than 250 teams whose projects span multiple issues, including health, energy, poverty, education and much more. Through our programme students are able to create the jobs they want while building the world they want at the same time,” said Suzi Sosa, Executive Director, DSIC and Associate Director, RGK Center.

Shortlisted from more than 2,600 projects ideas that addressed issues impacting more than 110 countries, the project developed by Mumbai-based students aim at addressing the 20 to 30 percent food spoilage rate for poor rural Indian farmers via cost-effective dehydrators powered by solar conduction. The innovation will enable farmers to keep more of their crops and sell dehydrated fruits and vegetables as another income source.

The final five finalists presented their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges comprising business leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and the winner was selected following the pitches.

“Our Solar Conduction Dryer will act as a boon for the farmers and fishermen with poor access to electricity. The platform provided by DSIC will help us in scaling up our technology to reach the farmers and thus provide them with a revolutionary sustainable technology, to cope up with the agrarian crisis and prosper,” said Shital Somani with Solar Conduction Dryer.

The DSIC identifies and supports promising young social innovators with world-class teaching and training, as well as start-up capital and access to a network of mentors and advisers.

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