What Better Way to Invest in a Better Tomorrow than to Invest in the Next Generation and Their Solutions?
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
To best understand the motivation driving Wavve’s vision, I’d like to introduce you to Dan. Dan is a 16 year old STEM Geek who created a Non-Invasive, Low Cost Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) via Smartphone Breath Analysis that won third place in the state STEM Fair. In layman’s terms, he created an app than detects the presence of COPD (notably difficult to diagnose).
Weeks after the fair, I asked Dan how he would pursue his project. He looked down and said “I don’t even know how and where to start, nor do I have the resources to launch something in high school”
After hearing Dan’s story I was shocked. But Dan is hardly alone, and in his story we saw a problem: one of the most innovative groups of society face significant barriers to innovation and social impact
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
We surveyed past participants of the top innovation fairs in Connecticut and found that despite the fact that more and more teens are coming up with viable solutions for the world’s biggest challenges, only .001% of those solutions were able to be realized. Therefore, the world is not tapping in to its full human potential. If we do not spread access to innovation, those are millions of dreams deferred and solutions missed out on.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We are Wavve, the world’s first open social innovation platform for Generation Z. We provide the mentors, resources, funding, and partnerships to help teens launch their own ventures. We accelerate Gen-Z driven solutions and collaborate with existing institutions working to solve global challenges, creating a collaborative platform for maximum innovation. We act as a pathway for teens and existing change makers to develop solutions into today’s most bridge between teens with ventures and institutions looking for solution.
To accomplish our goals, Wavve utilizes a 1-3 year virtual incubation program. Firstly, we help our teen incubatees design viable ventures, guiding them on skills such as pitch training, web design or prototyping. Then, we connect our ventures to our network of mentors, investors, and partner organizations who may want to sponsor or mentor a venture.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
Jodi B, a 17 year old high school student from Connecticut, applied to Wavve’s platform online, with the hopes that she would gain the tools and resources to turn her venture from a developed idea to a tangible reality. After being accepted into Wavve, she was assigned to a project manager here at Wavve (college business student), and they were able to create a roadmap and goals for Jodi to launch her venture, ICOD (In Case of Deportation, an online resource for kids with families facing deportation). Every week, she meets with her project manager to improve upon her venture, going over everything from effective web design to how to pitch her idea to running an initial prototype.
Once Jodi is at the point where she will run her pilot program, Wavve will connect her to our network of partners, sponsors, and investors so that she can take her venture to growth and realization!
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
While other platforms or incubators exist, many serve older populations. We also are among the first to cater to the audience to social/non-social entrepreneurs, serving activists as well. We are also the first platform for not only teens, but for other institutions to work together synergistically with GenZ to develop solutions and innovations. We firmly believe that there is no better way to invest in a better tomorrow than to invest in the next generation, which is why we aim to unite high potential Gen Z innovators with existing institutions willing to drive bold change.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
After opening up applications for just one month, we have received fifteen applications from teen innovators with ideas. Currently, we have accepted three into our Incubator, where they are now getting the guidance and mentorship to bring their venture concepts to fruition. Our ventures include goggles utilizing solar technology to prevent drowning (SonarSaver), an online help and disaster relief platform for families facing deportation (I.C.O.D), and a IOT powered self-heating driveway tile (Brilliantile).
Any investment into Wavve is not just an investment into one incubator, it’s an investment into a diverse, high-impact, ever-growing portfolio of ventures. This allows our impact to spread beyond one venture, to communities around the globe that all of our ventures serve.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
Our goal is to be able to incubate 20 Gen Z driven ventures by the end of this year. To do this, we have partnered with several hackathons, science fairs, school counselors, and business competitions to help Wavve gain visibility.
To improve upon our innovators’ experience, we also hope to grow our network of mentors, sponsors, and partners. We are currently partnering with local mentoring centers and services to grow our pool of mentors who may be interested in providing valuable insight to our ventures.
Lastly, we are working on growing our network of partners, and have been actively reaching out to organizations and companies whose corporate or philanthropic goals include driving bold change and investing in the next generation.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
We are working on marketing our program in order to grow our network of innovators that wish to incubate their ventures, although thus far, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response to our program.
Another one of our main goals is to grow our network of mentors and partners. At present, we have been reaching out locally, however, we are still seeking any resources that will allow us to build our network.
In order to achieve our goals, we are currently in the process of developing a curriculum with the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy, yet further curriculum development support would be needed.
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations between $100-$1k
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
Wavve ‘s being and mission is built on the idea that young people can and should have the ability to create bold and meaningful change. Thus, partnerships with other changemakers would be essential to tackle this issue.
At present, we are partnered with several fairs and innovation competitions who are able to spread the word about Wavve to their participants.
We hope to partner with organizations and companies who are actively working to drive innovation and bold change, who might be able to partner with some of our portfolio ventures to help them become accelerated and launched.
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)
Middle Eastern or North African (for example: Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Syrian, Moroccan, Algerian) (11)
How did you hear about this challenge?
Recommended by others
Word of mouth
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?
Referral from our co-founder Rohan Pandey!