Catching up with past winners of the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow Challenge
Since 2019, Samsung and Enactus Canada have partnered to help students harness the power of technology in driving better social outcomes
For the past three years, Samsung has partnered with Enactus Canada to help shape the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders through the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow Challenge. The annual challenge equips Enactus student teams across Canada with Samsung technology and funding, and challenges them to develop solutions geared towards specific economic, social or environmental needs in the community.
This winter, we caught up with two of our past winning teams from Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia and Memorial University in Newfoundland to learn more about how their projects have progressed since winning the SFT Challenge.
Enactus Saint Mary’s: Expanding Access with Project Square Roots
The Enactus Saint Mary’s Team, consisting of Kritika Gurung, Avantika Gupta and Maddie Bristol, won the 2020 Samsung Solve For Tomorrow Project Accelerator for their innovative idea behind Project Square Roots. Their project uses a token system to tackle the issues of food insecurity and food waste in Nova Scotia, by assigning tokens to customers that can be redeemed for meals. We spoke with the team on where they have taken their idea since last year.
Q: What did it mean to win “Best Project” in 2020?
A: Winning this award was a huge leap for our team as we had only dreamed that we’d be recognized as one of the top applications. Winning this award and drawing the attention of a leading tech company like Samsung, has given us the confidence to set and achieve goals we never thought we’d reach.
Q: How have you been able to grow Project Square Roots since then?
A: Since winning, we have officially launched our app on the App Store and recruited restaurants around Halifax to be a part of the program, including King of Donair!
Due to the closure of in-person dining last year, the app has been critical to the continued success of our idea, allowing us to launch virtual tokens and a live Meal Feature on our app. This new feature helps guarantee that customers will receive a meal in exchange for a token, allowing them to view available meals on the app and proceed to the desired location to pick them up.
Q: What are your next steps and upcoming areas of focus for Project Square Roots?
A: The Token App will undergo a relaunch with additional features and new partnerships from more restaurants. We anticipate that the application will serve up to 1000 people by the end of the year. We’re also looking to link our physical tokens with the app to use it as a database to keep track of usage and redemption rates.
While we’re currently operating just within Halifax, we’re looking to expand to other towns and provinces within Canada. The way the app has been structured allows restaurants to easily sign up and become part of the Token Program from any location.
Enactus Memorial University of Newfoundland: Taking Project HeartStarter to New Heights
Earlier this year, Diego Hernandez and Megan Hobbs of Memorial University of Newfoundland took home top honours at the Enactus National Exposition for Project HeartStarter, an idea that solves the need for immediate emergency medical care for cardiac arrest victims. Project HeartStarter delivers Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) by drone, connecting patients with life-saving AEDs in under 3 minutes. Despite their relatively recent win, Diego and Megan spoke with us about the rapid advancements they’ve made on the project since then.
Q: What did it mean to win “Best Project” this year at the Enactus National Exposition?
A: For us, winning such a prestigious award showed that we were on the right track with our idea and that we had a real opportunity to transform the way healthcare operates in Canada. The guidance and prize money provided by Samsung allowed us to develop a sustainable plan for expansion.
Q: How have you been able to grow Project HeartStarter since winning?
A: Since winning the award, we have applied for approval from Transport Canada to further expand the project, our registry and education sessions. We’re extremely proud to say that we’ve logged over 500 AEDs and educated over 7,000 individuals on the importance of heart health. The PulsePoint AED app has also had over 4,360 downloads since spring, which is a significant milestone for us.
Q: What are your next steps and upcoming areas of focus for Project HeartStarter?
A: Our intention is to keep the momentum going and start advertising the three components of our program in the city of Corner Brook and town of Torbay next. We expect to receive approval from Transport Canada early next year, which will allow us to move forward on further expansion plans.
This year, Samsung and Enactus Canada are excited to be taking the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Challenge one step further, empowering student teams to develop solutions to an expanded list of community needs in the areas of education, sustainability, diversity, equality & inclusion, and mental health.
For more information on how Samsung Canada is empowering the next generation through education, visit: http://csr.samsung.com/en-ca/localMain.do
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