We're so thankful to have the chance to compete in this competition. It was a lot of hard work and iteration; however, the whole ordeal was great for solidfying in our heads the problem and what we need to do to address it.
In the weeks leading up to the deadline, Mark went on a "mandatory" family vacation that had him worried literally sick about the proposal. The lesson learned is that you can't work and go on vacation at the same time. He tried to do work while being sick and sitting on a cruise ship, which of course didn't turn out well. We somehow pulled through with the 15-page proposal and were on our way to submitting it within a few days.
Mark returned, and though there was a deadline extension on the day that it was due, we were fighting tooth and claw to complete our 15-page proposal and submit it only minutes before the deadline. We were in a complete panic when, ten minutes before submission, the online platform crashed. We called Phillip, the competition coordinator, and he set us up with the platform support from the East Coast. We successfully submitted our proposal. Lesson learned: submit items much earlier.
Our months of stress are finally gone, and we have new things to look forward to, namely preparing for Clinton Global Initiative University and looking into procuring components for our cook stove. We still need to establish partnerships in our intended pilot study region as well. I hope we have enough time for everything.
We got accepted to CGIU! We're so honored and excited. I can't wait to meet fellow social innovators and exchange ideas with them.
According to the CGIU website,
Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, President Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world.
Woohoo - we made into Big Ideas @ Berkeley!
According to the Big Ideas website,
Big Ideas@Berkeley is an annual contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.” Since its founding in 2006, Big Ideas@ Berkeley has inspired innovative and high-impact student-led projects aimed at solving problems that matter to this generation. By encouraging novel proposals and then supporting concrete next steps, Big Ideas is helping contest winners make an impact all over the world.
We feel so thankful and lucky that our idea is picking up traction, and we may just get the support we need to see this through. What great news as I was studying for finals :)
We pitched PowerTower [edit: precursor to KleanCook] to a panel of judges who were experts in their fields. In front of a sizeable crowd of people (students and older individuals), we and a handful of teams pitched our ideas for seven minutes. The judges were straightforward and asked piercing questions that left each team on its tippy-toes and worthy for the judges' respect. We were concerned that our idea would not pass as the ideal high-profit start-up company, but the judges and people thought otherwise. We won both "The Pitch" competition and the People's Choice Award!
The prize package included two tickets to the largest technology advertising conference in the world (Ad-Tech), dinner with all of the judges, and two hours of free legal service from Gray Robinson. These have all provided excellent learning experiences and doors to new opportunities.
We're very grateful to ENvision for its dedication to spreading entrepreneurism around the campus and beyond. They provided great guidance and a wonderful experience for us in clarifying our idea and its value, and we hope that ENvision continues to inspire others to start their own ventures.