I grew up in Illinois so have always appreciated the intellectual greatness of the University of Illinois (ask Marc Andreessen about the brains and opportunities in Urbana-Champaign). Just found some interesting news that the College of Business had 600 students participate in a professional responsibility course and its obvious social entrepreneurship and social impact were key components. (I wonder if this is the type of course is the kind of thing @CabreraAngel implemented at Thunderbird — more on George Mason University’s new president Angel Cabrera). From Don Dodson of The News-Gazette:
“The ideas spanned a variety of needs from food, health and sanitation to transportation, education, housing, energy and entrepreneurship,” said Madhubalan Viswanathan, a UI professor of business administration.
The product ideas and business plans came as part of a “poster session” competition that was the capstone project for the Business 101: Introduction to Professional Responsibility course.
The course, required for first-year undergrads in the College of Business, had about 600 students in it this fall.Among the ideas students came up with, Viswanathan said, were:
— A low-cost refrigerator to preserve food.
— A system to help shopkeepers with low literacy levels keep track of inventory.
— An inflatable floating disaster shelter for coastlines.
One of the first-place teams, Dentofresh, created a powder-based mouthwash for the Indian marketplace. When mixed with water, the product would help users avoid serious dental-health problems.
Each member of that team — Stephen Murphy, Gregory O’Connor, Eric Tchon, Michelle Wojnarowski and Rebecca Zielke — received $200 awards.
The other first-place team, Do Your Duty, devised the “Duty Bag” as a way to improve sanitation in a densely populated slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
The team described the Duty Bag as “a sanitary, eco-friendly and affordable bag that people can use when defecating.” Its use could decrease the presence of harmful waste and improve the environment, the team said.
Members of that team — John Casey, Nayeli Garcia, Nichole Johnson and Christopher Pastuovic — also received $200 each.
Members of second-place teams received $150 each, while members of third-place teams got $100 each. Money was provided by the College of Business.
Second-place team Back Nap came up with a blanket that could be folded into a backpack for homeless people.