Ten innovators were selected from over 830 applicants to the second Solv[ED] Youth Innovation Challenge, which called for young people aged 24 and under to present solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, particularly those related to learning, economic prosperity, health, and sustainability.
The 2023 Solv[ED] Innovators (seven of the 10 pictured above) range from ages 16 to 24 and represent six countries. From aiding individuals with autism in California to improving sustainable food systems in Peru, these youth innovators are addressing a wide range of challenges in their communities and in the world. Meet the teams and learn about their solutions:
Agrotech Plus, based in Nairobi, Kenya, preserves fresh fruits, vegetables, and other perishable goods like fish with walk-in, solar-powered, cold stations for 24/7 storage.
AUesome, based in California, USA, is a social enterprise with the mission to bridge the digital and physical world of at-home therapy for children on the autism spectrum, one kit at a time.
Birth By Us, based in California, USA, is an app that empowers Black women throughout the pregnancy and birthing process. It also gives health professionals insights into reducing preventable maternal deaths and complications.
Cycleau, based in New York, USA, offers a compact greywater treatment system designed to advance household resilience to public water contaminants while reducing the impacts of sewage pollution on local waterways.
Green Venture Tanzania, based in Arusha, Tanzania, is a recycling and manufacturing company transforming plastic waste into sustainable lumber and modern handcrafted recycled furniture.
Ollas Sostenibles, based in Lima, Peru, is creating sustainable food systems by interconnecting access to food, water, and renewable energy in peripheral areas of Lima.
SENF, based in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, connects institutions, educators, and learners in a single learning environment for accessing courses, digital meetings, and more through an online learning platform.
Sign Talk, based in California, USA, aims to bridge the digital communication divide between the ASL community and non-ASL users through a web-based application.
Signa, based in Jocotepec, Mexico, is an app for wearable devices that allows deaf users to communicate with others by translating sign language using predictive machine learning. SignaPlay is an app that teaches sign languages to anyone with the help of AI.
upLYFT: Improving Mobility with Smart Clothing, based in London, UK, is developing smart wearables that increase muscle strength and bone density, prevent injury, and facilitate recovery.
“Through innovation challenges, we at Solve have witnessed firsthand the groundbreaking tech solutions that emerge when young innovators receive funding like unrestricted grants and support like connections to potential corporate partners and mentor figures,” says Hala Hanna, Executive Director of MIT Solve. “Engaging young people is not just a moral imperative, it is also a strategic one. By investing in our youth and promoting civic engagement, we can help shape a generation of passionate, informed, and engaged citizens ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow and make a lasting impact on the world around them.”
The HP Create What’s Next Prize will grant $100,000 across three solutions—Green Venture Tanzania, Cycleau, and Ollas Sostenibles—for their work addressing key sustainability issues, particularly related to the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastics and packaging. All 10 Solv[ED] Innovators will receive a minimum grant of $5,000 thanks to the generosity of Living Proof, along with mentorship and support from the MIT Solve community to help scale their solutions.
The 2023 Solv[ED] Youth Innovation Challenge is supported by the Morgridge Family Foundation, HP Inc., and Living Proof. Subscribe to the Solv[ED] newsletter for future youth-focused challenges and connect with us if you’re interested in supporting youth innovators.