2017 TEDxUofM Prize Winner:

FoodFinder, by Jack Griffin

    FoodFinder is both a smartphone app (FoodFinder – Fighting Hunger) and a website (www.foodfinderga.org) that delivers valuable information to food insecure children and their families to let them know exactly when and where they can receive free food assistance near them. Free food resources like food pantries, churches, and co-ops are listed, and the information for each resource includes things like street address, phone numbers, hours of operation, and languages spoken. FoodFinder requires zero monetary or login input from the user, and it provides all available resource data quickly, easily, and privately.


Flexscle, by Biming Wu, Abdulrahman Aref, Sheng Kung, and Ashwinkumar Gopalrathnam

    Adherence to home exercises prescribed by the therapist is critical to the full recovery of a physical therapy patient. However, current patient compliance to those exercises is surprisingly low. Flexscle is devoted to developing a low-cost, wearable that help patients adhere to the exercise through an interactive, gamified mobile app and personalized analytics solution. Through the software platform of Flexscle, the therapist can also track the progress of the patients and provide necessary guidance remotely.

Detroit Ride Share, by Kenny Fennell, Benjamin Morse, Tarlie Townsend, and Tran Doan

    Social Mobility Group is a social enterprise working with low-resourced communities in cities like Detroit to co-create shared-use mobility services. Our first service, Caravan, seeks to improve Detroit's needs-based transportation network. By increasing access to mobility, low-resourced families are better able to access health food options, high quality medical care, educational opportunities, and greater job opportunities. With improved access to these services, these communities will see improved public health and economic outcomes and achieve the inter-generational socioeconomic growth they desire.

Adjacent, by Sal Saia, Brad Rose, and Rachel Jaffe

    Adjacent is a platform that connects early-stage entrepreneurs to a network of potential co-founders and a community of supporters to collaborate, build and grow a successful business. By enabling a dialogue between entrepreneur and community member, Adjacent provides entrepreneurs with constant customer feedback and validation. The Adjacent ecosystem makes it faster, easier, and more accessible for people with great ideas to flourish.

What is the TEDxUofM Prize?

The TEDxUofM prize celebrates putting imaginative and ingenious ideas into impactful action. For the fourth consecutive year, TEDxUofM will be awarding this annual prize of $1,000 to an individual or group in the community to further their innovative and inspirational idea to make a difference.

What We're Looking For:

Ideas from individuals or groups at any stage of implementation. Whether the idea still lives only in your head or has become a movement, TEDxUofM wants to support you!

Why Apply?

Not only do you have the opportunity to receive $1,000 to be used solely on the execution of the idea, but you earn recognition at our seventh annual conference TEDxUofM 2017 Dreamers and Disruptors. In addition to this, you will have connections to TEDxUofM resources, including past speakers and the TEDxUofM community. You will also receive recognition on TEDxUofM social media and blog.

Past TEDxUofM Prize Winners:

2016: Blacklist, Robert Greenfield, Arnold Reed and Drew Koszulinski.

    Blacklist is Flipboard for the socially blacklisted perspectives of America - a media app for communities of color. We're reinventing diverse-driven media by bringing it into the mobile age and evolving the "conversation around diversity" into an interactive, cultural experience that users can engage with. Blacklist solves the problem of diverse media inaccessibility by pooling the best news, media, and trending content on the Internet and customizing content towards the narrative of the user.

2015: PuffBarry, Allison Powell and Kyle Bettinger.

    PuffBarry is an alternative communication device for people with ALS or other muscular degenerative diseases. The device measures puffs of air through the nasal cavity and uses a Morse code like structure to allow patients to create sentences. Allison and Kyle were inspired to make this device after a good family friend, Dr. Michael Barry, passed away from ALS. After receiving the TEDxUofM Prize, Allison and Kyle went on to win The Start-Up, a competition hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship at UofM. Allison also had the opportunity to give her very own TED talk at TEDxTraverseCity, which can be seen here.

2014: The Redlining Project, Zoe Stahl and Theo Schear.

    The Redlining Project is a public art installation and accompanying documentary about the practice of redlining. Redlining is a once-legal discriminatory practice whereby banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions refused loans, mortgages, and insurance to those living in low-income neighborhoods in Detroit. Zoe and Theo had a vision to make the general public aware of the practice of redlining, and to reveal how the now-illegal practice has had long lasting and detrimental effects on previously redlined communities. With the help of a neighborhood group, Zoe and Theo physically outlined previously redlined neighborhoods with red thread. Accompanying this they created a small documentary to raise awareness of their project. Their documentary can be viewed here.