Accessible healthcare units in developing countries, tech-education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Colombia, coworking spaces in rural areas and an app that plants trees to honour your efforts in reducing your carbon footprint – all these projects have one goal in common: They want to make a social and environmental impact. An aim that, combined with innovative ideas and entrepreneurial approaches, led to these projects and their inventors being among the winners of the Social Impact Award. A prize that is annually awarded by the TUM Management Alumni e.V. and is also featured in our latest PRME report.
What is the Social Impact Award?
The Social Impact Award honours projects addressing social problems offering innovative solutions and approaching these solutions with entrepreneurial strategies. All students, graduates and alumni of the TUM School of Management can submit their projects. For example, a social project they have worked on in their bachelor’s or master’s thesis that’s tackles a social issue or aims to have a beneficial impact on society. Reacting to the current issues of the global pandemic, last year’s applicants also thought about social issues that came up during the corona crisis and developed ideas on how to overcome these new challenges. The annual winners are rewarded with a prize money of 2,000 Euro, sponsored by the TUM Management Alumni e.V.. To show you the great variety of the projects, we have compiled an overview of the winners of the last two years for you:
Winner 2019: “Curafa”: Healthcare for everyone
Altus Vilijoen has worked on finding digital solutions to healthcare accessibility and affordability in disadvantaged communities. Working on his master’s thesis the student joined Curafa, an initiative that is supported by Merck and provides healthcare units in countries such as Kenya. For his commitment Altus won the Social Impact Award in 2019.
Winner 2020: “Comoon”: Revitializing rural cities
In 2020 TUM-student Marius Schulte won the cup, collaborating with his friend Jan-Niklas Kippelt, who studies at the Münster School of Architecture. Their innovative idea: As due to the Corona crisis people tended to work on remote and shop online more and more, the team wanted to develop a project to revitalize cities and retail stores. Turning spaces in the suburbs into coworking offices, Marius and Jan-Niklas wanted to make rural areas and towns more attractive and at the same time reduce the commuter traffic contributing to climate protection. The prize money enabled the winners to create their first prototype and hence found their own startup “Comoon”.
2nd Place 2020: “Recothink”: Your journey to a more sustainable life
The second place went to “Recothink”, an app that is being developed to make users aware of their carbon emissions and lead them to a more sustainable lifestyle in a playful way. Jakob, Yilun, Julius, Philipp and Tobi, the five students behind the project, integrate four levels of usability into the app. Browsing through “Recothink”, users are able to collect general information on CO2 consumption, calculate their emissions, follow a journey program that provides tips to reduce their CO2 level and “Recothink Garden”, a virtual garden in which the users are able to plant trees by collecting points throughout their successful journey. The highlight: “Recothink ” does not only want to provide value for the user but also for the environment, as every time the user plants a tree, a real one is planted by the initiative.
3rd Place 2020: “Techdalo”: Supporting tech-students from disadvantaged families
An initiative that was awarded with the third place and is already running at high speed is the social startup “Techdalo”. Its goal: to fight social injustice and provide tech-education for young people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in Colombia. Working together with the entrepreneurship initiative Enactus Munich, TUM School of Management students want to give the Colombian youth a reasonable vision of their future and financially support and organize IT mentoring programs. Collaborating with tech companies, who are in need of skilled workers, “Techdalo” supports students in gaining work and education and furthers the economic growth of the tech-industry. Starting with four students in training during the pilot phase in December 2020, the students envisioned to empower another 80 students by the end of this year.
What do you need to become a successful social entrepreneur?
You want to become a social entrepreneur and apply for the Social Impact Award as well? The most important thing is to be passionate about your work, believes Altus Viljoen.
“Get started and learn as you go”, suggests the “Recothink”-Team. Talk to experts and entrepreneurs about your idea and dare to think innovative. Maybe you will be the next social change maker!
If your project study, Bachelor or Master thesis tackles a social issue or aims to have a beneficial impact on society, then apply now for a chance to win up to 2,000 Euro. All students, graduates and alumni of the TUM School of Management can submit projects for the Social Impact Award 2021. For more information click here. Apply now!