Entrepreneurs from the U.S. and Germany Selected as Regional Winners by Hardware-led Social Innovation Accelerator
Innovations in Medical Treatment, Sustainable Ice Production, and Wildlife Conservation Win $30,000(USD) and Technical Support at 2021 ASME ISHOW USA Virtual Event
NEW YORK – The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has announced the regional winners of the 2021 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW), the prestigious international accelerator of hardware-led social innovation. Eight finalist teams of social innovators from North America, Europe, and Africa presented their design prototypes in a virtual event held July 13-15. Three entrepreneurs emerged as regional winners who will share $30,000(USD) in seed grants and receive technical support to help bring their design innovations to market. They were announced earlier today in a virtual awards ceremony that featured keynote remarks by Lisa Burton O’Toole, vice president of HearstLab and 2020 recipient of the prestigious ASME Kate Gleason Award.
The 2021 ASME ISHOW USA winners are:
- Conservation X Labs (Washington, D.C., U.S.) for “The Sentinel”—a hardware and software platform to retrofit existing devices used in wildlife conservation, such as trail cameras and acoustic recorders, enhancing how conservationists use advanced tools, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning models, and act on important events.
- JK Engineering, part of SelfChill cooperation (Stuttgart, Germany) for its “SolarIce Maker 50”—which produces 50 kg of ice blocks daily, combining solar power with innovative control and efficient operation; The product is engineered to work in tropical climates and designed to be manufactured with local material using SelfChill technology and natural refrigerant, assembled and maintained in the target countries with the help of trained staff. With a PAYG option, customers with limited finances can make monthly mobile payments for ice blocks as-a-service.
- Project Prana (Cambridge, Mass., U.S.) for its “iSAVE (Individualized System for Augmenting Ventilator Efficacy)”—a low-cost ventilator multiplexor that repurposes existing medical flow valves to allow a single ventilator to provide personalized support to at least two patients with independent control of volume and pressure for each patient and safety measures to accommodate sudden patient deterioration and prevent cross-contamination.
“Social enterprises, now more than ever, need the support of the global impact community,” says Iana Aranda, director of ASME’s Engineering Global Development sector that houses ISHOW. “Social entrepreneurs across the world, including many ISHOW ventures, are on the frontlines of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and advancement of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. We are fiercely focused on providing these innovators with accessible platforms for capacity building, expert engagement and co-design of scaling strategies suited for the new normal. Ensuring their success through this global crisis is of paramount importance.”
In addition to the three grand prize winners, the product with the most votes in social media for each regional event is named the “Fan Favorite,’’ and receives $1,000 (USD). The fan favorite prize is made possible and in memory of Byron G. Schieber Jr. M.S., PE, Professor Emeritus QCCNY, and Ruth L. Schieber. The 2021 ISHOW Kenya “Fan Favorite” winner is JK Engineering, part of SelfChill cooperation (Stuttgart, Germany) for its “SolarIce Maker 50”.
More information on the ISHOW USA 2021 finalists can be found on the ASME ISHOW website. A virtual ISHOW for finalists in India was held in May and an event for finalists in Africa (ISHOW Kenya) took place in June.
“We are proud to offer a forum for engineering problem-solving that truly improves lives,” said ASME Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile. “We are continually impressed by the creative talent of ASME ISHOW participants and their passion for helping underserved communities around the world.”
The prestigious global hardware accelerator is open to individuals and organizations taking physical products to market that will have a positive social and/or environmental impact and that improve the quality of life around the world. To date, ISHOW has enabled over 160 startups from more than 28 countries to solve critical quality-of-life challenges for people in underserved communities worldwide. ISHOW alumni have developed affordable devices to address issues including clean combustion, crop threshing, fetal health, food waste prevention, grain moisture, health diagnostics, safe drinking water, and many more that address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
ASME ISHOW annually matches up to 30 carefully selected innovators with curated industry experts to ensure that the proposed hardware solutions are technologically, environmentally, culturally, and financially sustainable. ASME’s panel of judges and experts includes successful entrepreneurs, academics, engineers, designers, investors, and industry representatives from leading organizations in India, Kenya, and the United States. These subject matter experts provide technical and strategic guidance based on ISHOW’s four key pillars: customer/user knowledge, hardware validation, manufacturing optimization, and implementation strategy.
ASME is grateful to The Lemelson Foundation for its continued support of the ISHOW with a three-year strategic investment and to ISHOW implementation partners around the globe. Learn more about ISHOW’s global impact in this dynamic dashboard.
ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education, and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world. ASME recently formed the International Society of Interdisciplinary Engineers (ISIE) LLC, a new for-profit subsidiary to house business ventures that will bring new and innovative products, services, and technologies to the engineering community. For more information, visit www.asme.org.
@ASMEdotorgAbout the ASME Foundation
The ASME Foundation is the fundraising arm of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The Foundation supports an arc of programs addressing every stage of the engineer’s professional journey, from early inspiration and learning to career engagement and nurturing world-changing innovation. For more information, visit www.asmefoundation.org