Please RSVP to Acara Challenge by Friday, February 24

Acara Challenge 2017 Finalist Announcement
Over the last month, we have worked with students who want to enact change in their community both locally and globally. These students submitted their ideas to the Acara Challenge, an annual competition to identify and reward the best ideas for social and environmental change. We have selected 14 finalists, 7 in each of the international and domestic divisions to compete in the 2017 Acara Challenge. Read more about our finalists below.

The culminating evening event, including a poster session, 2-minute pitches from the student teams and the Acara Challenge 2017 awards ceremony, will be held at the McNamara Alumni Center, located on the University of Minnesota's East Bank Campus. Please RSVP here by Friday, February 24th.

Acara Challenge 2017 Reception and Awards Ceremony Schedule:

5:30 - 6:30PM, Poster Session - An opportunity to meet one-on-one with the Acara Challenge 2017 participants, accompanied by appetizers, beer, wine and soda, catered by D’Amico & Sons.

6:30 - 7:30PM, Welcome and Acara Challenge 2017 Short Pitches - Following a brief introduction, you’ll hear 2-minute pitches from participating teams on their innovative venture solutions to local and global grand challenges. Following the pitches, the audience will vote on the recipients of crowd-favorite awards.

7:30 - 8:00PM, Award Ceremony & Wrap Up - Announcement of the winners of the 2017 Acara Challenge and closing remarks.

There will be 2 days of presentations and judging before the Awards Ceremony, open to the public, and live broadcast via youtube live on Tuesday February 28 and Wednesday March 1. The presentation schedule can be found below.

Tuesday February 28 - International Division

8:00 - 8:30AM, Monsun - Aims to enable Bangalore residents to install rainwater harvesting, an alternative clean water source, on their home by offering an affordable lease-to-own payment program.

8:30 - 9:00AM, Vetiver Solutions - Striving to increase the income of rural Haitians by sustainably improving agricultural soil through living plant barriers while simultaneously creating jobs for local women.

9:00 - 9:30AM,  Luminaria -  The vision of Luminaria is to install centralized solar charging stations for mid-sized, portable batteries which will bring electricity to households in rural communities of Nicaragua.

9:30 - 10:00AM, Recoop - An innovative design organization focused on customized One Health solutions to combat global antibiotic resistance at its primary source: animals.

10:15 - 10:45am, Takadi - A subscription service that combines sustainable fuel delivery and waste collection in one convenient experience. Takadi reduces deforestation and increases urban waste management.

10:45 - 11:15AM, BioChar - The BioChar-Moringa filter is a household water treatment for people in developing and remote countries who suffer from diarrheal disease, especially in children under the age of five.

11:15 - 11:45AM, Afya Uganda - Afya Uganda educates and incentivizes poultry farmers to use antibiotic alternatives that create cost savings, improve poultry health, and reduce antibiotic resistance.

Wednesday March 1 - Domestic Division

8:00 – 8:30AM, La Mesa - A local, plant-based meal kit delivery service, providing sustainably sourced meal options to busy adults.

8:30 – 9:00AM, One Day Tech - Providing K-12 teachers in low-income communities an easy-to-use tool that automates the classrooms management, effortlessly keeps parents up-to-date, and builds a student-centered culture of achievement.

9:00 – 9:30AM, Health Care Navigator
 - A program where culturally-competent, bilingual staff build personal connections with recent immigrant families, empowering them to use preventive care and community resources.

9:30 – 10:00AM, Infinity Blue
 - Reducing sex trafficking in Minneapolis by raising awareness and targeting buyers to reduce demand.

10:15 – 10:45AM, The Local Beat
 - A marketing ecosystem promoting prosperity for small, local farmers by revolutionizing logistics, purchasing power, safety and what consumers know about their food.

10:45 – 11:15AM, Visible Planet
 – An app/web tool that improves accessibility to resources for low income, refugee, and immigrant communities while simultaneously building an invaluable database to facilitate data driven social impact and policy formation.

11:15 – 11:45AM, Folx 
- Because shopping should be easy for any body. They provide one e-commerce story for transgender people to find the products they are looking for.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2017 Acara Challenge! Questions concerning the event logistics can be directed to Kimberly Long ( A detailed schedule of team presentations will be released in mid-February.


Fred Rose
Acara Director 
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