Seven undergraduate UC students won gold and silver at the February Acara Challenge, a global competition at the University of Minnesota that tasks students to devise and pitch a solution for a social, security or environmental issue in an emerging market.
Evan Gilbert, BBA '13, and Bojan Lazic, BBA '13, presented the “humble commode," a closed loop system that could help millions have access to toilets. His presentation won fellow group members Zubin Sadri, BBA ‘13, and Carrie Lierl, A&S ‘15, the gold award. (watch video to see presentation)
Mathew Davenport, CEAS '16, a freshman majoring in bio medical engineering, presented his group’s venture plan "CincyVeil," a method that converts toxic chromium waste in tanneries into a non toxic form using agricultural waste. He was joined by freshman Alex Hernandez, BBA ‘16, Josh Haner, BBA '13, and Abe Zbornick, BBA ‘15, (watch video to see presentation)
"Students faced some incredible competitors from graduate students from Minnesota and Cornell, but our undergraduate students prevailed in presenting incredible work," says Ratee Apana, associate professor-educator of management/international business at the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. Apana and Rajan Kamath, associate professor of management at Lindner College, taught the multi-disciplinary University Honors Program “Take the Challenge for Sustainable Development.” The course, offered again Fall semester, culminates with a sustainable solution for social change.
Both teams will now advance to a global stage in India, where they will meet with venture capitalists and test pilot their ideas at Acara’s summer institute. The $2,500 award ($1,500 for gold, $1,000 for silver) will be used toward a pilot in which students will work with a multi-disciplinary team from the Indian Institute of Technology at Roorkie, India.