RISE Showcase 2019-2020

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.

In 2019-20, four awards were made for exceptional projects. These projects will each receive $2000 worth of seed funding from U21 to support their growth and development.

  • Most Innovative (joint): Guided Hands
  • Most Innovative (joint): Roots Africa
  • Most Impact: Foodprint
  • Most Potential: Solar4Schools

See all the 2019 entries below.

Pledges received in 2019-20: 67

The RISE 2020/21 Showcase is now open!

View the RISE 2020/21 projects



Charlotte Hoonhout, Melanie Duff, Christine Yip
  • The University of Auckland
  • Watchtower is a human-centric mental health support system connecting people together. The initiative has been trialed in schools and workplaces and is now intending to create hardcopy and digital resources to enable watchtower to be implemented at scale.

    Circular Ground

    Athanasia Christodoulou and Ka Ching Vicki Chan
  • The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Circular Ground is a food waste reduction scheme built on a circular economy: turning used coffee grounds from cafes into coffee cups to be sold back to the businesses.

    Baby Boxes in Uganda: An Infant Mortality Measure

    Hannah Purtell and Megan Grammatico
  • University of Connecticut
  • Baby Boxes is an intervention program geared towards reducing infant mortality in rural Uganda, through providing a safe wooden box-crib and increasing healthcare engagement. The team is seeking advice and partnerships for resource-limited scaleability in sub-Saharan Africa.

    The Eczema Eradication Project (TEEP)

    Harrison Li, Alan Yau, Vincent Chu, Joann Ng, Keshia Kung, and Rosy You
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • TEEP is a patient-led, community outreach and evidence-based healthcare intervention for sufferers of eczema, aiming to help 1 million people manage their condition through peer support and nutrition.

    Snap Recycle

    Ellie O'Shaughnessy, Adam Basinski and Anant Rangan
  • University of Birmingham
  • Snap Recycle is an app-based recycling tool which helps communities understand and follow local recycling processes, to increase recycling, reduce landfill, and encourage responsible consumption.

    Sustainability Week Switzerland

    Gaia Di Salvo, Marie-Claire Graf, Nathalie Appenzeller, Sarah Käser, Lorenz Henggeler and Dario Siegen
  • University of Zurich
  • Sustainability Week Switzerland is a national student-led program of sustainability education running across 27 university campuses, which has led to more sustainable practices in higher education. The team is aiming to expand into Sustainability Week International.


    Wenjing Yang
  • Lund University
  • Solar4Schools develops solar power to provide basic lighting and mobile charging to schools in Kenya, generating revenue for the school as a charging business, and reducing carbon emissions.

    One Step at a Time

    Ally Lloyd, Ross Tanner, and Beth Dillon
  • University of Glasgow
  • One Step at a Time raises awareness and supports inclusion, by equipping people with the tools to be good friends to those with disabilities. The team is looking to scale up current workshops and offer accompanying digital resources.


    Annie Clayton and Luke Davis
  • University of Nottingham
  • Foodprint is a social supermarket in Nottingham, selling otherwise-wasted food at low prices to those experiencing food poverty. The team is looking to expand their mobile distribution network to reach more isolated communities.

    Biodegradable starch plastic

    Pritish Jain and Mridul Khanna
  • University of Delhi
  • The project team has created a PVA-starch polymer to tackle the challenge of plastic ending up in global marine ecosystems.

    MAP Youth

    Yuan Xu and Jinlin Yang
  • University of Amsterdam
  • MAP (Master, Advance and Potential) connects high school students in Zigong with university students, to improve access to educational and personal future planning, benefiting thousands of students. MAP would like to establish a framework to help grassroots organisations take this model to other communities.

    SDG Awareness Week

    Vuong Phan and Shona Bischof, University of Melbourne; Alejandro Almaraz, Tecnológico de Monterrey; Ebele Aniereobi and Ajay Soni, University of Birmingham; Mariam Bibi Kholvadia, University of Johannesburg; Nicola Goldmann, University of Glasgow

    The international project team have run simultaneous Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) awareness weeks across 6 universities, and are looking for support to scale up their activities.

    Roots Africa

    Cedric Nwafor and Mandela Jones
  • University of Maryland
  • Roots Africa connects students and academic institutions in Maryland with farming communities in Liberia and Uganda, to create young changemakers who can implement agricultural change and innovation. The team is looking for partnerships with other organisations who can assist on their journey.

    Guided Hands

    Lianna Genovese
  • McMaster University
  • Guided Hands is a product which helps those with limited fine motor skills to complete everyday tasks, from writing, painting and fully participating in school and society. ImaginAble Solutions is ready to take this product to market, helping people with various medical conditions across Canada and the USA.

    Team3 Farm

    Bonginkosi Kalipa
  • University of Johannesburg
  • Team3 Farm works in Eastern Cape, an area with high poverty and unemployment, leasing arable land that was neglected under apartheid, training underskilled and underqualified people and employing them in farming. Team3 Farm undertakes leadership and education training to create lasting change to poverty and food security.


    Alison Wood and Mhairi Cochrane
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • LilyPads uses community initiatives to combat period poverty and stigma in Kenya and in the UK, including education for women, launching enterprises selling reusable sanitary pads and training women to create sustainable change. The team is looking for partners working with womens' groups to expand their reach.