Y-Prize Newborn Challenge Kickoff
The problem is staggering: 4 million newborn deaths every year. But the solution is promising: low-cost respirators created by BYU engineering students. The challenge is yours: identify a community most in need and find a way to distribute the respirators.
In the Ballard Center’s newest Y-Prize Challenge, BYU students can potentially save millions of babies from respiratory-related deaths in developing countries by breathing new life into a real, viable business model.
“For those who really get involved, this is a career launcher,” says program coordinator Bradley Anderson. “This is a chance to get equity, or become a CEO or CFO. This is the real deal.”
BYU’s respirators designed by student engineers are both low-cost and easily accessible compared to less-effective or more expensive resuscitation options. This innovative solution could benefit many people in need, the only thing missing is a way to distribute them.
That’s where the Y-Prize Challenge comes in. BYU students are challenged to form multidisciplinary teams to develop a sustainable business model to address where and how the respirators will be distributed. Y-Prize will award up to $100,000 to a successful team throughout a series of competition phases. This money helps the venture take off and continue even after the competition is over.
Students participating in the competition will not only work to help others, but they will gain valuable experience in starting a business.
“It’s not often that you find an acquisition venture that is just available like this,” Anderson says. “However far the students go, it is a fantastic opportunity.”
Y-Prize is a partnership between the Ballard Center’s Social Venture Academy and the D-Prize, a national competition dedicated to the distribution of healthcare and technological advances that solve world problems.
Students interested in competing should sign up to participate by 15 January.