Pennies 4 Progress is finalist in UWGT Social Innovation Challenge

Submitted by Anna Rzewnicki on Wednesday Aug 06, 2014.

Pennies 4 Progress is one of four finalists in the 100,000 Kids Hungry No More Social Innovation Challenge, a United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) competition aimed at reducing childhood hunger in the Triangle area. The winning idea – to be announced mid-September – will receive $50,000. 

Pennies 4 Progress is a social startup launched by Ryan O'Donnell, a senior in business administration and international studies in the Poole College of Management and chief executive officer of the organization, and Shreye Saxena, a computer engineering senior in the College of Engineering and chief operating officer, along with other NC State students. The organization is one of four finalists selected from 12 semi-finalists by a panel of judges that included business and community leaders, entrepreneurs, and food industry and nutrition experts. The proposals were evaluated on social impact, break-through potential, feasibility, sustainability, and scalability.

“Our goal was to engage the community in a conversation about the important issue of childhood hunger and we feel like this is the beginning of that engagement.” said Mack Koonce, UWGT president and CEO. “We are excited about the diversity and breadth of the finalists."

Koonce added, “The finalists represent the kinds of partnerships and networks that United Way of the Greater Triangle is building with businesses, government, social entrepreneurs, and nonprofits throughout the Triangle area. We will continue to engage with all participants as we expand the network working on this issue.”

The finalists are now participating in a five-week accelerator where they are receiving mentoring and professional assistance to continue to develop their ideas, after which they will give final presentations of their ideas during the UWGT’s CEO Sleep Out on September 11, 2014. A winner will be announced in mid-September.

The Sustainability Initiative in Poole College is a supporter of this competition. 


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