On April 23, 2020, Washington University in St. Louis innovators celebrated the 6th presentation of the Global Impact Award (GIA) during a virtual Zoom reception. GIA provides up to $50,000 to WashU students, postdoctoral researchers, and recent alumni. Three scalable, sustainable, and quick-to-market ventures impressed the judges and were each given a share of the $50,000 prize pool.
A $20,000 award was presented to GiftAMeal to support their mobile app, which gives a socially conscious incentive to support partner restaurants. Through the app, GiftAMeal provides a meal to someone in need, each time a user takes a photo at a partner restaurant. GiftAMeal was founded by WashU alumni Andrew Glantz (BU’17) and Jacob Mohrmann (BU, LA’16).
3Dux Design also earned an award of $20,000. Founded by current WashU student Ayana Klein (LA’22), 3Dux Design supplies children around the world with the educational materials and academic skills they need to succeed.
Wabbani, a socially conscious home décor company received a $10,000 award. After meeting in the Hatchery course co-founders Paul Dinkins (GB’18) and Alice Layton, developed Wabbani to manufacture and sell culturally authentic add-ons from remote developing communities, including items which fit the exact specifications of Ikea products.
Chancellor Andrew Martin joined for the virtual 2020 Global Impact Award presentation. The Chancellor remarked that gathering around the award was a “testament to the [Center’s] commitment to the [University’s] mission.”
The Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship is honored to facilitate the GIA. “We are proud of the work that the ventures in the Global Impact Award accomplish. Through entrepreneurship, these teams are making a lasting impact on the world and the Washington University entrepreneurial community,” shared II Luscri, Managing Director of the Skandalaris Center and Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “These ventures represent the potential of entrepreneurship to shape society and create community.”
The award is made possible through the generous donation of alumnus Suren G. Dutia (BS’53, AB’67, MS’67) and his wife, Jas K. Grewal. The donors established the GIA to support teams whose inventions, products, ideas, and business models have a broad, lasting impact on society; develop a community and knowledge that helps future awardees and others engage in high impact entrepreneurial activity; promote collaboration, develop entrepreneurs through financial and mentoring support who find solutions to the world’s most intractable problems; and identify entrepreneurs who are committed to giving back to help others.
Giving back is one of the first things 3Dux Design plans to do. Reflecting on her award, Ayana Klein stated, “A key priority for me is to quickly implement a remote learning program to help children out of school right now under the weight of this global pandemic. I am also passionate about supporting my peers here at WashU, many of whom have lost their summer internships and will be using some of this funding to build a team of student mentors for remote teaching. I aim to make this a global program since education is no longer limited by geography. I am already working on ways to implement this and am excited to continue to make a difference through 3DuxDesign.”
During the presentation, Grewal shared that she and Dutia “welcome the winning teams to the Global Impact family” and encouraged all the teams who participated in this year’s competition to “continue working on your ventures and come back and compete again.”
This year’s awardee GiftAMeal experienced the benefits of the GIA community and the support provided to the teams, as they participated in their second GIA cycle and emerged winners in 2020. Founder and CEO Andrew Glantz shared, “I am beyond grateful for the mentorship and guidance I received throughout the Global Impact Award process. Despite the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Skandalaris Center ran a terrific competition, adapting the format to be virtual and helping make sure that us finalists were prepared. The GiftAMeal team is incredibly honored and humbled to be selected as a winner of the award. The award is truly validating, and the prize money will go a long way to grow the impact GiftAMeal can make to heal hunger.”
Congratulations to this year’s winners.
Learn more about the winning ventures:
To view the live announcement: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=549626979072786