A team of Haas Undergraduates won the Big Ideas @ Berkeley grand prize and two other Haas teams took first place in their categories, all emerging from an original field of 160 teams and 550 students across 75 majors and 5 UC campuses.
Cashify, a team made up Shuonan Chen, Justin Chu, both BS 13, and Virgina Chung, BS 12, took home $7,500 for winning the Financial Literacy category and $5,000 in grand prize money for their plans to develop an online “edu-tainment” platform designed to teach new students about finances.
As part of the Cashify curriculum, users will complete tasks for points that can be put toward purchases, such as campus supplies or event tickets. “We’ve all seen fellow students really struggle with their finances,” said Chu. “Our goal is to reach as many minds as possible and make learning about personal finances accessible, fun and useful.” (Read more about Cashify in this post on the Undergraduate Student Blog.)
Emmunify, a team made up of MBA students Sanat Kamal Bahl, Anandamoy Sen, and Erik Krogh-Jespersen, all second-year students in the Evening & Weekend MBA Program, and members from the Schools of Information and Public Health, won first place in the Maternal & Child Health category and took second in the grand prize competition. Their venture simplifies the immunization process for villagers and health workers in rural India through SMS text and voice messaging technology and has the potential to decrease the number of preventable child deaths. (Read about this team's win in the UC Berkeley Digital Health Hackathon.)
AMASS Media, with Haas team members John Chang, Clayton Yan, and Hannah Yang, all BS 12, and Carolyn Kao, BS 14, won in the Creative Expression for Social Justice category. AMASS will connect nonprofits with amateur and early-career videographers seeking to build portfolios to create a way for both to advance their agendas and bring greater public awareness to social justice issues.
Now in its sixth year, Big Ideas @ Berkeley aims to encourage student engagement with the world, helping them develop innovative projects with the potential to solve pressing societal problems in communities at home and abroad. The competition is made possible through the generous support of key donors, including the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation.
Cashify photo L. to R.: Judge Andrik Cardenas, Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership; Haas Undergrads and Cashify team members Justin Chu, Shuonan Chen, and Virginia Chung; Team Mentor David Williams, UCB's Financial Aid and Scholarships Office; and Judge Andrew Rudd, chair of the Rudd Family Foundation.
Emmunify photo: Emmunify's Berkeley MBA students are Sanat Kamal Bahl (far l.), Anandamoy Sen (3rd from r.), and Erik Krogh-Jespersen (far r.), all MBA 14. They are pictured with their Public Health partners Jessica Watterson, Professor Julia Walsh, and Emily Murphy.