RISE 2020/21 Showcase and awards

55 projects, 207 U21 students involved, 143 pledges of support received.

It can be difficult to take a social enterprise or innovation idea beyond small-scale, local implementation, into something bigger. Creating global impact is even more of a challenge! RISE helps students realise this goal for their projects by giving them access to a global audience of potential supporters. U21 will ensure that each project will receive expert support as well as international exposure, working to attract pledges of support for the different projects from our global partners in industry and academia.

See all this year's entries below.

Winning Projects:

Most Impact: Proyecto 99 from Tecnológico de Monterrey,  Mexico.  

Most Innovative: Project CheckR from KU Leuven, Belgium.   

Most Collaborative: FundEd from University of Maryland, USA.   

Most Potential: SunFeeds from Lund University, Sweden.   

Provost’s Award: Cuple from University of Melbourne, Australia.

Many thanks to our judges:

  • Professor Jenny Dixon, Provost of U21
  • Professor Arturo Molina; Professor of Product Innovation and Vice Rector of Research and Technology Transfer, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico.
  • Brian Koh, Director NUS Enterprise, National University of Singapore.
  • Cedric Nwafor, social entrepreneur, civic activist, and joint winner of U21 RISE 2019 for his ROOTS Africa project
  • Amber Bartlett; U21 Student Experience Project Manager


Inside Out Kids Development

Hui Ling Wong
  • University of Nottingham
  • Inside Out was founded by a university student to benefit, inspire and transform kids, especially those who are coming from challenging background through softskills, character building and stress management training.


    Yidong Lin
  • University of Nottingham
  • This is a design of disposable syringe set for hospital usage. This design generates less medical waste after usage and can regulate the proper disposal of the waste syringes to ensure the safety of medical users


    Ivor Keesmaat, Eleanor Collinson & Lara Bellato
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Our goal is to prevent the illegal poaching of endangered animal species. We will do this by exploiting ground-borne vibrations in a novel way, to detect the presence of poachers and react in real time. We intend to provide this service at an affordable price and involve local communities.

    Project ADOBO

    Ling Xin Yong, Conrad Pantua, Shuangyu Wei & Paige Tien
  • University of Nottingham
  • Project ADOBO aims to implement the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) usage to reduce large wastage of energy consumption in building when there's low to no occupancy.

    Engineering for Chile

    Rafael Kaempfer, Vicente Jander, Catherine Gomez, Joaquín Couyoumdjian, Sebastián Villagra, Leonardo Caamaño & Javiera Boada
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • A project of engineering students of PUC, whose mission is to link the different socio-environmental problems of Chile with the educational process within the School of Engineering, promoting the will of serving others using the tools given by our school and forging future professionals with a social vocation.

    Returning the Hand

    Sofía Contreras, Javiera Gomez, Bárbara Riquelme, Angela Cárdenas, Pía López & Rosa Rojas
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Devolviendo la mano is a student volunteer program, whose main objective is to promote active aging of the elderly through intergenerational relationships. We work with a team of volunteers willing to accompany and stimulate cognitive and emotional skills, thus generating a process of learning and mutual empathy between both groups.


    Hope Dhlamini & Bongani Mafabatho
  • University of Johannesburg
  • COVID P.U.N.C.H is a community development project implemented to achieve 3 United Nations Sustainable Development goals. We are Practising Ubuntu (humanity) Nurturing Charities and Homeless shelters, as well as vulnerable households. Groomed by a team of active and influential youth, we carry out campaigns outreaches and a community garden program.

    Project Srijan

    Ritwik Arya, Mansi Garg, Vridhi Jain, Yash Gulati, Sudipto Ghosh, Tuhina Haldar & Muskan Saxema
  • University of Delhi
  • Hydroponics - soilless culture of growing plants - was introduced under Project Srijan in 2020 after working closely with potters and planters for two successful years. Under hydroponics, we have collaborated with a new community, have spread awareness and are now working on marketing strategies to scale up & achieve newer heights.

    Project Dhyan

    Aditi Singh, Anamika Dubey, Bidhu Khanna, Sangeeta, Sulakshana Saikia, Swastika Ojha & Yastika Sharma
  • University of Delhi
  • Project Dhyan is a Disaster preparedness program, advancing SDG-11 to arm vulnerable communities in tackling heatwaves in Delhi with a special focus on gendered experiences of the disaster. Led by 19 members, it aims to identify and map vulnerable spaces, develop disaster preparedness plans and coping strategies, and spread awareness.

    World Education Project

    Samkelisiwe Shongwe
  • University of Johannesburg
  • The World Education project denoted as the ‘WE project’ is an attempt to solve the lack of basic education in the world. The we project on its own is a registered non-profit entity, which is student led. The world education project can address more than several of the sustainable development goals. The WE is an online/downloadable application that serves the purpose of basic education to those wishing to pursue basic literacy to advanced.


    Jane Stevenson, Holly Thomson & Sophie Mahandru
  • University of Glasgow
  • Oot, currently operating as an Instagram platform, is a “community wardrobe” where users can borrow and lend their clothes for free. Oot provides an accessible alternative to the fast fashion industry, which is having detrimental impacts on the environment and garment workers worldwide.

    KoRe Education

    Hyunjin Kim, Sehyun Oh, Yu Seon Chung & Jungyoon Yoon
  • Korea University
  • KoRe(Korean Refugee) Education has provided Korean language and culture classes for refugee children staying in Korea, since they don’t have equal access to SDG 4:quality education. With support from the civil society: Human Asia(NGO), Yonhap News, Korea University, and the government: Ministry of Justice, we plan to sustain our project.

    IBDecision - the care solution for IBD

    SeongHui Min& Hyunjae Jeong
  • Korea University
  • Intensive care solution for IBD patients using by deep learning, Medical Data

    Go Green

    Seo Jung Park, Semi Kim, Chaehee Kang, Bomi Han, Kyungmin Rho, Eunji Hwang & Suyeon Kim
  • Korea University
  • Promoting habituation of environmental practices in daily life by using social media platform, especially with Instagram.

    Art Apart

    Alya Prasad, Di Heng, Tsev Siddhant, Darpan Ningoo, Priscilla Fong, Benjamin Harris & Elicia Neo
  • National University of Singapore
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • Art Apart is a virtual opportunity for English Language learning through mediums of art, drama and music. By partnering with the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong, undergraduate facilitators recruited brought quality education to refugee and migrant students along the border of Thailand and Myanmar.

    'How can we promote learning for all?'

    Nicola Dickson
  • University of Glasgow
  • I propose to produce a ‘principles of practice’ interactive guide for academics and practitioners, outlining the methods and mechanisms available to enhance marginalised learners’ engagement in adult learning. By identifying and communicating the barriers and enablers to adult education, we can promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

    DigiGallus Connect

    Isla Melee, Emilio Villagran Salcedo, Sophie MacBrayne, Sara Cullinane, Riya Bisht & Conor Cunningham
  • University of Glasgow
  • DigiGallus Connect, is a student led initiative from the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow, which aims to provide basic digital literacy skills to older people in the Greater Glasgow area to help combat loneliness during the Covid-19 lockdown.

    Project Zero Waste DU

    Ujala Mall, Subhanshi Singh, Srija Reddy, Pragati Pramod & Uma Sathwika
  • University of Delhi
  • The project aims to efficiently manage the institutional waste generated in University of Delhi, through connecting relevant companies and organisations in the sector with the help of 'Change in Range' application and relevant tools backed by case specific study and research on the area and keeping the obstacles in mind.

    Project Sunflower

    Ismael Bawah
  • KU Leuven
  • Sunflower is a digital platform aimed at promoting and providing nature-based mental health tools. Sunflower is based on and contributes to the latest research in the field.

    Project CheckR

    Nikte Van Landeghem, Gaëlle Maus & Salma Nachi
  • KU Leuven
  • Let’s start gaming for your health. In Belgium 1 in 3 patients has a chronic disease, but we’re 30% slower than the EU to detect preventable and chronic diseases. CheckR is a VR game that can detect risk-patients and redirect them to the doctor.

    International Action Group

    Julie Gannon, Diana Cenusa, Roisin Ryan & Clodagh Scott
  • University College Dublin
  • International Action Group is a global project sharing about the Sustainable Development Goals seeks to discuss current issues, such as environmental protection against climate change, systemic inequalities, human and social rights sharing international perspectives. The IAG vision is one of encouragement, cooperation, and action through our Instagram posts and webinars.


    Athaliah Fubara, Aisling Farren, Anupa Sara Paulose, Than Sin, Dominic Barnes, Aaditya Manoj Shah & Jennifer Kevany
  • University College Dublin
  • Buyrish is a one-stop online marketplace for Irish businesses. It is a social enterprise that provides high quality, inexpensive Irish products from sole traders. Buyrish aims to help local businesses struggling during the pandemic by giving them exposure and support.

    Rain Drop

    Natalia Birch & Arnold Nieuwoudt
  • The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Smart water meter to alleviate water scarcity by informing households when, where and how much water they use for individual activities such as showering or gardening via your smart device. It suggests optimised plans to improve use & save money, and also entices healthy competition through comparison tools like strava.


    Noe Noe Su Aung, Yan Bin Ng & Ben Wee
  • National University of Singapore
  • Challo is a mobile web / platform that seeks to empower locals in the Indian Himalayas to 1) improve their local livelihoods through eco-tourism, and 2) contribute to regional biodiversity efforts.

    Tap That

    Charlotte Loke, Jacob Chew, Yuki Tan, Kymie Chia & Kenny Pee
  • National University of Singapore
  • Tap That aims to reduce plastic waste by maximizing the lifetime of one-time-use plastics, reducing our overall dependence on plastic packaging. We aspire to be able to implement refill options for household consumables such as hand soaps, body soaps, and laundry detergents.

    Catering Care

    Yan Ping, Sammie Ng, Wai Yiu Ryan Hoi, Yi Lam Yvonne Hui, On Ni Lui, Ching Ho Wong & Hoi Shan Kwong
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • Founded in summer 2020, Catering Care devotes to cultivate collective care and advocate for food justice, while reconnecting community segments through collaborative engagements. We do so by purchasing meals from caterers who are challenged by the pandemic using public donation, and deliver them to the food insecure population.

    Youth ACT

    Amber Roos, Laura van der Wal, Kenneth Ngai & Bárbara Oliveira Soares
  • University of Amsterdam
  • YOUth ACT is a community-based hub for young activists, advocates and social entrepreneurs in Amsterdam. We strive to be an inclusive, safe and collaborative community that brings together individuals with wide-ranging backgrounds and empowers them to work on social and environmental justice topics.

    Socius XR

    Anzel Singh, Sarah Mwashomah, Weilian Du, Dweep Kapadia, Tushaal Kumar & Shabiya Ali
  • The University of Auckland
  • Socius XR is a technology company transforming inclusivity through their VR and Mobile App involving social immersive experiences that allow Autistic teenagers and adults to prepare and practice, initially, job-related skills and interactions. While educating employers on Autism empowerment to ensure neurodivergent people feel appreciated in the workplace.

    D·S WAY

    Zhiqi Xu, Puning Wang, Yiyi Tao, Zhijing Xu & Christy Fong Cheu
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • In Guizhou,China, the income of craftsmen is barely higher than the poverty standard of US$1.25 a day and they are at risk of returning to poverty under the impact of the COVID-19 . Through D·S·Way,which means ‘Design&Direct the South West’, we hope to connect students and craftsmen through study tour and design, to reduce the poverty of local craftsmen.

    Ask A Student

    Wilfred Nokes, Bronte Mulvany, Sameed Afzal, Katherine Szewczyk, Josephine Soei, Christopher Capitanucci & Sorrel Smith
  • University of Birmingham
  • Ask a Student is an app that allows students to complete surveys in return for discounts in Highstreet retail. Survey data will be analysed and available to businesses for a small fee. Information collected surrounding mental health would also be free to mental health services to promote well-being amongst students.

    Green Trace

    James Roth, Andreea Tatu & Hugo Biais
  • University of Birmingham
  • GreenTrace is centred around ensuring sustainable consumption in our lives in order to combat goal 12 of the UNSDG. This goal implies total trust and transparency from companies, that can only be achieved by information. Our solution, facilitating the customer’s access to any product’s supply chain’s informations using QR codes.

    Convict Fitness

    Joseph Kwon
  • UNSW Sydney
  • Convist Fitness aims to reduce the rates of recidivism in Australia by training former inmates to become leaders in their community through fitness.

    Impact Engineers - Walgett Community Garden

    Lucy Birdsey
  • UNSW Sydney
  • A social impact project which aims to promote food and water security in Walgett, an area severely impacted by drought. This project creates a community garden that provides fresh and healthy food to the community.

    Alliance of Parkinson

    Christine Jeyachandran
  • UNSW Sydney
  • Without timely treatment, Parkinson’s Disease disables many. The Alliance of Parkinson's aims to increase the quantity, quality and accessibility of resources and training available to health professionals and patients and their families, to improve services and the quality of lives of people with Parkinson's throughout the Spanish speaking world.

    Veni, Vidi, Vici (V3)

    Caitlyn Singam
  • University of Maryland
  • Through the use of a low-cost, portable, secure system for communicating healthcare information, V3 seeks to arm healthcare workers with the tools they need to combat illness and provide healthcare services - even in disaster relief scenarios where conventional communication methods may not be available.


    Thomas Bizzell, Jack Anderson & Harrison Cusack
  • The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Working to reduce the fuel consumption of the trucking industry through overcoming barriers to platooning. Developing software to coordinate platooning opportunities without requiring the sharing of sensitive cost-modelling and scheduling data between competitors.


    Shubham Mittal
  • University of Maryland
  • Bridging the gaps in the educational, tuition and after school needs of identified underprivileged children between LKG and 8th grade in India through direct cash transfers and technology.


    Eva Wu, Risin Dahanayake, Vishal Katwe, Nathan Lee, Mariam Hanna & Jason Li
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Cuple addresses the UN SDGs 11, 12 and 13 by providing a convenient and sustainable business model that reduces the amount of disposable plastic Australians use. We are a social enterprise that partners with cafes to offer a modern and effective way for consumers to use a reusable coffee cup.

    ERG Sunset

    Peiying Zhang, Yiming Xue, Renan Chen, Zhiyue Zhang, Yiyang Zhou, Yining Cai &Liuyi Zhang
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • ERG Sunset is a warm project that responds to the SDGs No.11: building inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and neighborhoods. ERG Sunset starts from family to meet the elderly’s biological, emotional, developmental needs; customize inclusive homes to build for the elderly a safer and greener living space.

    An Inspiring Idea of Waste Disposal

    Yierfan Yierfan, Ayizekeranmu Yiming & Yimilan Kaisaier
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Water pollution is serious, dredging is one of the common treatment methods, but in the process of dredging is not only difficult to completely clean the bottom mud, and because of its high moisture content, the unsolidified sludge is difficult to be reused.


    Elsa Sjödahl & Iris Bjerkén
  • Lund University
  • SunFeeds is a new nutritional replacement food based on sunflower kernels. SunFeeds focuses on two things; developing a food product and formulating an approach to facilitate the product in, what we like to call, the right way. SunFeeds is aimed for two different target groups. SunFeeds- RUTF is developed to meet the needs of children aged 6-59 months who suffer from severe malnutrition. SunFeeds -cream aims to meet the needs of elderly who are cared for in the healthcare- system.

    The Social Backer

    Elias Mathiessen, Carlos Ranero, Zoe Elsner & Vandana Hettiaratchi
  • Lund University
  • The Social Backer is a social enterprise aiming to empower and connect grassroots organizations worldwide. We aspire to become the platform where organizations and people that want to change their communities come together to support each other and democratize development!

    Circle Centre Lund

    Hedda Roberts, Emily Silva, Florence Kunert, Jeni Sarmakari, Philipp Montenegro & Ronja Karvinen
  • Lund University
  • Circle Centre was founded to address the problem of overconsumption, which leads to the degradation of environmental resources, poor working conditions and excess waste. We have launched a library of goods, where our members can borrow over 600 items instead of owning them. We aim to promote more cultural community based consumption, rather than material consumption of goods. We also host open educational events and hand-on workshops focussed on sustainable living and product reuse.

    Linda Initiative

    Martine Ophelie Irakoze & Lydia Owuor
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Linda is a social enterprise run by University of Edinburgh students which was created out of passion and personal experience. Our name in Kiswahili means “Protect” hence our goal to protect young people from early teenage pregnancies and other related sexual and reproductive health issues due to lack of information.

    Untitled Oats

    Callum McCadden & Alex Baldwin
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Our project is creating a truly sustainable milk alternative. We make oat milk and address the hidden sustainability challenges in the industry.


    Yiqiang Zhao & Shashwat Ganguly
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Looper a web-based 3D modelling software to help architects quickly test-validate-fit early design schemes with various building codes.

    Green it

    Maria Alejandra Parreño, Douglas Da Silva & Joan Casanelles
  • University of Zurich
  • Green it! is the idea for a community building website to facilitate the concretion of projects that foster biodiversity and well-being. We want to help people with ideas for greening their houses and neighborhoods, to find and exchange resources with others that think alike and with sustainable businesses.

    POP (Pure Organic Power)

    Divanna Silva Novelo, Ana Paula Cienfuegos Ortiz, Emiliano Pineda Pérez, José Andrés Torres Domínguez
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey
  • The industrial revolution of the 20th century scaled production to the next level, but left behind other parties involved such as the community and the environment. POP bridges the gap between these groups by transforming manure into cellulose through a fungal-based process that brings great benefits to the environment.


    Arushi Madan, Gloria Nwator, Alice Phillips, Rizza Chayla D. Riparip & Abrar Hussein
  • University of Birmingham
  • Our app uses AI to facilitate safer, healthier travel, taking into account the impacts of isolation on mental health whilst simultaneously promoting cultural awareness and economic growth of the destination neighbourhood. It provides solution to issues of balancing health and the economy highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, combining SDGs 3&8.

    Hello World

    Arely Anguiano Rodríguez, Margarita Guadalupe Jiménez Reyes, Ximena Martínez Aranda, Christopher Mercado Aguilar, Jairo Enrique Ramírez Sánchez & Nadia Elena Venegas Montoya
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey
  • Hello World is a social entrepreneurship initiative that seeks to include people with hearing and communication disabilities in society, with their empowerment through a mobile application that provides them with the necessary tools to facilitate learning processes, reduce communication barriers and increase their autonomy.

    Amandamask Adaptor

    Amanda Tomkins
  • McMaster University
  • The AmandaMask adaptor is an innovative, reusable type of PPE which was designed to help address the shortages and shortfalls of current N95 masks. By providing a more comfortable fit and more secure seal, the AmandaMask helps to better protect frontline health care workers against COVID-19 and any future pandemics.

    The $ecureT Wallet

    Tara Sabzvari, Sajjad Rashidiani & Md. Asif Khan
  • McMaster University
  • $ecureT is an environmentally friendly digitalized portable wallet that stores all your banking and card information in one place and is only accessible through user biometrics. It includes features like NFC and can use solar energy without producing plastic and mitigating plastic pollution (on land and water) and climate change.

    Proyecto 99

    Angélica Jael Pantoja Reyes, Keyra Naomi Carranza Sánchez, Enrique Lozano Rosciano, Nancy Hesed Malagón Martínez, Leslye Vanessa Franco Aguilera, Jazmín Castillo Ortega, María Regina Revolorio Vargas
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey
  • Proyecto 99 was built to provide accessible quality education to people from elementary school up until high school. The objective of the project is to combat, prevent and reduce school dropout rates through extracurricular activities that promote the talent and the integral development of each individual.

    Peer to Peer

    Nikki Emamian, Molly Schreier, Catherine Zuzarte, Sanketh Andhavarapu & Nina Joshi Esha Ponnuri
  • University of Maryland
  • Peer to Peer strives to support the local refugee population by helping refugee youth in Prince George’s County, Maryland, to integrate into their new communities. We accomplish this by organizing University of Maryland student-mentors to volunteer at nearby after-school and weekend programs for refugee students.

    Banana Fibre Bag

    Marwah Sadat
  • McMaster University
  • The Banana Fibre Bag project by the Yayra-Si Youth Foundation (YSYF) aims to address plastic pollution as well as job insecurity among women and youth in a rural, underserved community in Ghana called Doryumu. These bags will be locally sourced and produced using banana/plantain plant fibres in order to replace current plastic and paper bags.