Each year select finalist teams are invited to attend the Big Ideas Grand Prize Pitch Day in April, where teams present their project ideas to a panel of esteemed judges. Judges then select Pitch Day winners to receive an additional award, ranging from $1,000 for third place, $3,000 for second place, to $5,000 for first place. It continues to be one of our most exciting events!

2018 Grand Prize Pitch Day Winners

The 2018 Grand Prize Pitch Day was held on Wednesday, April 25th, at UC Berkeley’s Blum Hall. Pitch Day finalist teams delivered four-minute pitches followed by a question and answer session with the judges. Judges included representatives from The Rockefeller Foundation, VentureWell, Autodesk Foundation and USAID. To learn more about the winners and watch their pitches, click on the links provided below.


Pitch Day Teams, Project Summaries:

  • Loo Lab (1st Place): A smart technology streamlining operations between pit latrine disposal companies and underserved communities to increase services and reduce costs in Rwanda.
  • Acarí (2nd Place): Transforming the hated and feared “devil fish”, invasive to Mexico, into tasty, nutritious, products to increase employment in rural fishing communities.
  • LUMENDA (3rd Place): An affordable and portable device for rapidly and accurately diagnosing neonatal bacterial meningitis in low resource settings.
  • Hiven (Finalist): A community marketplace for micro-renting home workspaces, providing convenient and affordable workplaces for guests, and revenue for hosts.
  • Innovis Medical (Finalist): A blood monitoring technology enabling rapid point-of-care treatment for military and civilian trauma care.
  • VIDI (Finalist): A smart system leveraging computer vision to track surgical tools, reducing costs while increasing hospital efficiency and minimizing medical errors.