Urban Works Innovation Challenge 2018

                                               2018-2019 WINNERS                                                          

                                                                 Winning Startups

                                                  Winning Columbia Student Teams


For the inaugural Urban Works Innovation Challenge of 2018-2019, passionate young professionals and entrepreneurs as well as students were invited to improve environmental sustainability in Indian workplaces by integrating sustainable resource-use and waste/pollution reduction, green technologies and infrastructure, and energy-efficiency in their solution designs.

Over 50 startup and 70 student applications were received for the challenge; 8 teams were supported for solutions addressing urban sustainability.

The project addressed the mentorship gap for startups and social impact technology developers by recruiting key members of the Columbia Engineering faculty as advisors, including Professors Patricia Culligan, Ioannis Kymissis, Vijay Modi, and Faye McNeill, and Director of Entrepreneurship, Ivy Schultz, with generous support from the Dean of Engineering, Mary Boyce. The program also saw the inclusion of Advisors from Columbia’s network, including Sharad Sanghi, Managing Director and CEO of Netmagic Solutions, Pirojsha Godrej, Executive Chairman of Godrej Properties, Shom Hinduja, President-Alternative Energy and Sustainability at the Hinduja Group, and, writer Aparna Piramal Raje.

Over 25 training sessions were organized for the winning teams led by various experts based in India, who provided intellectual inputs to understand the Indian context and helped develop and execute a rigorous curriculum in consultation with the Engineering faculty, including field visits, customer discovery meetings, and expert speakers.

The project increased public awareness for environmental sustainability in Indian workplaces by organizing expert panels and disseminating related outputs through print and social media platforms. Academic institutions such as IIT Bombay, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, government bodies such as the Maharashtra State Innovation Society, Quality Council of India, civil society organizations such as International Energy Forum (IEF), Center of Environmental Research and Education (CERE) and private organizations such as K Raheja Corp, and Reliance Life Science participated in public events.

Leading media publications such as The Hindu Business Line, The Deccan Herald, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times and online portals such as the Inside Outside Magazine and Architects and Interiors India covered the launch of the Challenge and programs held.

                                                                 TESTIMONIALS FROM THE 2018-2019 WINNERS