Big Ideas Judge Ishita Jain: Human-Centered Design for Social Impact

Big Ideas Judge Ishita Jain: Human-Centered Design for Social Impact

Jun 6, 2019

By Francis Gonzales Ishita Jain, a judge in the 2018-2019 Big Ideas Contest, specializes in using design as a tool for social impact. She works at the Autodesk Foundation, where she supports entrepreneurs and innovators focused on innovative design solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. Ishita honed her passion for design […]

Motivation and Mentorship Spurred 2019 Big Ideas Contest Winners

Motivation and Mentorship Spurred 2019 Big Ideas Contest Winners

May 13, 2019

How do you become a social entrepreneur? The question has been the subject of many articles, books, and TED talks. For applicants to the Big Ideas social innovation contest, however, the answer is fairly simple: motivation and mentorship. The recently concluded 2018-2019 Big Ideas Contest brought together over 400 judges and mentors—from six continents—to evaluate […]

2019 Big Ideas Contest Winners Announced!

2019 Big Ideas Contest Winners Announced!

May 2, 2019

In November 2018, the Contest received over 330 pre-proposal applications, representing over 1,000 students across 12 campuses. After a preliminary round and a final review, 34 teams were awarded prizes across 8 different categories, with award amounts ranging from $2,000 to $15,000. Categories Art & Social Change Connected Communities Energy & Resources Food System Global […]

Big Ideas Grand Prize Pitch Day Showcases Inventions of Top Student Teams

Big Ideas Grand Prize Pitch Day Showcases Inventions of Top Student Teams

Apr 17, 2019

In 2006, the Big Ideas Contest launched at UC Berkeley to catalyze and support an interdisciplinary and diverse network of student entrepreneurs to develop game-changing innovations. No longer would entrepreneurship be ensconced within just engineering and business schools and accessible to only a few. The time had come to “open-source” entrepreneurship to include the range […]

Big Ideas Winner Po Jui “Ray” Chiu, co-founder of BioInspira Inc., named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy category

Big Ideas Winner Po Jui “Ray” Chiu, co-founder of BioInspira Inc., named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy category

Mar 14, 2019

With the encouragement of bioengineering professor Seung-Wuk Lee, Chiu and his team had submitted their glucose sensor to Cal’s Big Idea Contest, which provides funding and support to interdisciplinary teams of students with inventive proposals. They won first place in the category of “Innovation Technologies for Society.”

Big Ideas Innovation Ambassadors Nurturing Ideas into Enterprises

Big Ideas Innovation Ambassadors Nurturing Ideas into Enterprises

Feb 1, 2019

By Lisa Bauer Founded in 2005 at UC Berkeley, Big Ideas has become one of the largest and most diverse student innovation competitions in the country. The contest supports the next generation of social entrepreneurs–providing mentorship, training, and the diverse resources required to support big ideas from their earliest stages. In 2017, to ensure the […]

Maria Artunduaga’s Mission to Manage Chronic Lung Disease

Maria Artunduaga’s Mission to Manage Chronic Lung Disease

Jan 30, 2019

By Tamara Straus On February 26, 2018, Maria Artunduaga had a eureka moment that medical entrepreneurs dream of. In the office of UCSF Professor Mehrdad Arjomandi, she was soliciting advice about a wearable prototype she had developed to monitor oxygen in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dr. Arjomandi—a clinical professor in the Division […]

ZestBio Continues Innovation with Waste-based Products

ZestBio Continues Innovation with Waste-based Products

Dec 5, 2018

By Tamara Straus Early in 2017, Ryan Protzko, then a doctoral student in biochemistry at UC Berkeley, was working on research to turn orange peels into eco-friendly bottles and contacted a citrus juicer in California’s Central Valley. Would the company be able to spare some orange peels? Yes, responded the representative, the juicer could truck […]

DOST— Fostering Early Childhood Development in India

DOST— Fostering Early Childhood Development in India

Nov 28, 2018

By Veena Narashiman ’2020 Early years of childhood form the basis of intelligence, personality, social behavior, and capacity to learn and nurture oneself. Increasingly, child development researchers are also finding that brain development during the first eight years is the most rapid, with children who receive attention in their early years achieving more success in […]

Big Ideas Judge Ryan Shaening Pokrasso: A Commitment to Social Impact and the Law

Big Ideas Judge Ryan Shaening Pokrasso: A Commitment to Social Impact and the Law

Oct 16, 2018

By Francis Gonzales Ryan Shaening Pokrasso (JD ’13), a San Francisco Bay Area attorney who specializes in assisting social entrepreneurs, has been a longtime judge and advisor for the Big Ideas student innovation competition. Ryan entered the legal profession by way of nonprofit policy advocacy. He served as program director for New Energy Economy, a […]