SunCulture, a company that seeks to change farming in rural East Africa through the deployment of solar powered irrigation systems, has made it through the preliminary round of NYU's Stern Social Venture Competition. NYU-Poly's Bertha Jimenez, a PhD student in the department of Technology Management, is competing with SunCulture with NYU-Poly alumni Daniel Belleli, Charlie Nichols, currently a student at Baruch College, and Roberto Rhett, an alumni of Connecticut College.
With more than 200 teams registered for Stern's three venture competitions - social, new and technology - competing for up to $200,000 in start-up money, plus pro bono services and technical assistance to help launch a new company or product, SunCulture is among the 12 semifinalists within their category, Social Venture.
The company aims to provide Photovoltaic Drip Irrigation (PVDI) systems to communities by partnering with existing solar installers and equipment wholesalers and re-investing funds from foundations and impact investors. The PVDI will pose a sustainable solution for the scarce resources in sub-Saharan Africa for rural farmers.
Competing in the NYU Technology Venture Competition are three teams with members from NYU-Poly.
Better Future Engineering, with NYU-Poly students Alexander Goldis and Matthew Moore, is a research and development firm specializing in medical device design. Their flagship project is an innovative diabetes management system with an emphasis on ergonomics and active feedback control systems.
Neocast.fm, supported by NYU-Poly students Luc Success and Shirley Wynn, is a cloud-based service for traditional radio stations that provides radios realtime feedback and analytics on their listeners connected through web and mobile platforms. Listeners can pick what they actually want to hear and communicate with other listeners and the DJ.
InKase is a joint collaboration between NYU-Poly students Kazi Yasin Helal, Brennal Pierre, Tina Xiong, and NYU Stern student Jenny Pikman. InKase delivers the first line of bioactive correction fluids that removes inks and other dyed related products from all surfaces.
Rounding things out in the New Venture Compention is Schooldate, another collaboration between NYU and NYU-Poly students. Raymond Ye, NYU-Poly, Simon Li, Andres Uribe and Nikhil Thomas, Stern, and Haoran Guan, NYU, is an online and social network for college students to date online as singles or groups based on shared interests to find compatibility.