Student Start-ups Go Big

March 22, 2016
graphic of natural symbols

U of M students are bright, there's no question. But it seems they truly find their stride when they put their creativity and intelligence toward finding sustainable solutions that can have an impact in the real world.

Some of those solutions: A text messaging service for pregnant women in Uganda, an affordable and portable light and energy system for urban slum residents in India, water filtration devices for communities with minimal access to clean water, and a hydroponic system that allows growers to plant and forget fresh vegetables until they are ready to be eaten.

These are just a few examples of the winners of the U of M's 2016 Acara Challenge, a competition held by the U of M's Institute on the Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management.

"Students today are passionate about creating positive impact in the world, and we are happy to recognize the best of [them]," says Acara director Fred Rose.

The winning teams now have resources and funding to further develop their ideas for environmental and social challenges.

"The Acara program continues to unleash the creativity and passion of young people across the University and the globe," says Lewis Gilbert, chief operating officer with the Institute on the Environment.