A team of student entrepreneurs from India called Greenway Grameen Infra has won the Grand Prize earlier this month at the 8th Annual Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley. The global business plan competition rewards student entrepreneurs who tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues with innovative ideas.
The winning team took home $50,000 for creating efficient, biomass-based cooking solutions. Around three billion people around the world rely on indoor open fires and traditional mud stoves for cooking, which have a negative impact on the environment and the economy. The team’s Greenway Smart Stove incorporates a unique air-flow generator that saves fuel consumption by up to 65 percent and reduces smoke output by 70 percent.
The start-up has sold more than 12,000 stoves since its commercial launch in December 2011 and plans to expand its product line. Greenway Grameen Infra also shared the Audience Favorite Award.
The award ceremony was held at Berkeley-Haas. The project is a collaboration between Intel and the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. Altogether, $100,000 in cash prizes were handed out. This year, the Challenge drew 25 finalist teams from 16 countries. These finalist teams were selected from more than 150,000 students from more than 50 countries who competed in 14 affiliate competitions.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.