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PRESS RELEASE: MIT Solve Announces 2017 Sustainable Urban Communities Challenge Solver Teams Following Live Pitch Event

Selected Solver Teams Join the Solve Community to Pilot, Scale and Implement Solutions

MIT’s new Solve initiative – and member of the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change – announced today the 2017 Solver teams for the Sustainable Urban Communities Challenge at the Solve Challenge Finals in New York City. These “Solver teams” were selected out of hundreds of submissions to the Sustainable Urban Communities Challenge to pitch their solutions to a live audience and a panel of expert judges including Founder & President of the EAT Foundation Gunhild Stordalen and Director for Initiatives and Strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation Ryan Whalen.

As Solver teams, each of the nine chosen will join the Solve community to build partnerships with cross-sector leaders that help pilot, scale and implement their solutions.

“When we launched this set of Global Challenges in May, we could not have imagined the incredible set of solutions we would receive: 953 solutions from 103 countries across all four Challenges,” said Alex AmouyelExecutive Director of Solve. “It was a difficult competition, and our judges had a tough task ahead of them in choosing the Solver teams. But now, we could not be more excited to help these innovators pilot and scale for global impact.”

The 2017 Sustainable Urban Communities Solver teams, listed below, pitched exciting and creative solutions that address how urban communities can increase their access to sustainable and resilient food and water sources. 

  • CitySuites: A smart and prepaid water meter, and billing software, that bridges the gap between water utilities and the urban poor by lowering barriers to home connections by eliminating the needs and expenses of water meter reading, billing and collection. 
  • Pipeguard: Pipeguard builds robots that inspect water pipes from the inside to find leaks before they become catastrophic and to prevent loss of clean water worldwide. The end goal of Pipeguard’s robot Daisy is to save water and ensure reliable access to clean water. 
  • WATERIG: WATERIG is a blockchain network that brings people together around energy-collecting and water-producing hubs and facilitates tracking, co-ownership, and exchange of surplus water and food produce. 
  • Fresh Direct Nigeria: These stackable container farms allow farming to occur in urban areas that traditionally lack direct access to fresh produce. Fresh Direct utilizes technology to reduce the need for land, water and electricity and decreases the need for imported goods. 
  • UNTAPPED: UNTAPPED integrates decentralized, off-grid water treatment centers with last-mile distribution and logistics of consumer good for fast-growing populations in developing countries by utilizing technology built for the challenges of informal markets. 
  • Water Messiahs: A water purification system with very low wasted water built to prevent unnecessary ground water table depletion. Each plant has the potential to create a micro-entrepreneur and involves management from the local community in conjunction with ZWW’s technical support. 
  • MealFlour: MealFlour uses edible insects to move the site of protein production into cities, by designing mealworm farms that can be raised at home instead of on a commercial scale to make enough mealworm flour to feed a family of four. The powder can also be easily transported and sold as an additional source of income. 
  • Copia: Copia uses technology to allow businesses and event organizers to request pickups of excess food and have it instantly delivered to communities in need. It's designed as a simple and effective way to feed the hungry, save money by lowering disposal and overproduction costs, and reduce methane by keeping food out of landfills. 
  • StillFresh: StillFresh is the first spoilage-monitoring strip in Asia Pacific and allows users to easily determine if food is spoiled through its color-changing technology. StillFresh enables food businesses to reduce costs incurred from spoilage, adopt a more efficient inventory system, and promote customer protection.

A full list of 2017 Solver teams across all four challenges can be found below:

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Sustainable Urban Communities

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Related Event

Solve Challenge Finals 2017

Apella | New York City

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