Regrettably, the finals presentation event for the 2017 Tibetan Innovation Challenge was canceled this year. We would like to recognize the four teams that were prepared to compete in the finals and applaud them for their hard work and innovative ideas. Their plans will still be shared with our Tibetan partners in hope of implementing one or more of the ideas in a Tibetan community.


Prince Jacob, Haritha Naveen, Saiprasad Sankaranarayanan

Idea: Jampa Box is a monthly subscription box of 5 everyday lifestyle/wellness items that have a Tibetan influence.


Tsering Lama, Zhaxi Qucuo

Idea: Tibetan Homeopathic Remedies will manufacture homeopathic remedies with herbal essence plants to make medicinal, beauty and other organic products.


Dharan Chandrahasan, Fahad, Saniya Shaikh, Divya Vijaykumar

Idea: Manufacturing and selling customized and sustainably sourced yoga mats as a means of livelihood for Tibetans refugees living in exile in India.


Kanupriya Agarwal, Xueying Chen, James Pike, Matthew Stein, Wenjing Xie

Idea: Spread the awareness of Tibetan culture through publishing Tibetan children’s stories, while also preventing pterygium in at-risk Tibetan children.


Meet the judges of the 2017 Tibetan Innovation Challenge. Although they have not formally evaluated the 2017 finalists to award prizes, they will be providing feedback to the teams.

Click the judge’s name to read his or her biography.

Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker. In his career, he has been the founder of multiple startups, he has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and he has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known companies, including Priceline.com, uBid.com, CTI, ColorJar, and more.

Today Jeff serves on the boards of companies in the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. He supports entrepreneurs and small businesses on a worldwide basis, serving on the global advisory boards of Global Entrepreneurship Week (supporting entrepreneurship in over 130 countries), the US State Department’s GIST program (Global Innovation through Science and Technology, working in 49 emerging nations), the APEC Startup Initiative (the Asia Pacific Economic Council’s 21-member nation association), and many others. He supports the White House, the State Department, USAID, and similar organizations internationally on economic growth initiatives and entrepreneurship programs.

Jeff is a frequent keynote speaker, having been invited to speak in over 50 countries. He speaks on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business leadership, and is currently writing a book on how to scale a business, which will be published worldwide in the summer of 2014. Jeff also teaches innovation workshops to major corporations on a regular basis.

Jeff is a featured business expert seen on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CNN International, Bloomberg News, CNBC, ABC, and NPR, and in publications including Forbes, Inc., Time, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and more.

Jeff received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the national CEO council for his contributions to the field of entrepreneurship, as well as receiving the 2012 Champion of Entrepreneurship Award from JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and Rising Tide Capital.

Outside of the world of technology, Jeff has produced movies in Hollywood, has produced musical events including concerts, tours, and charity events with such artists as Elton John, Britney Spears, NSYNC, and others, and serves on numerous charity and non-profit boards.

Priceline.com, uBid.com, CTI, ColorJar

Kate McElligott

Kate currently serves as the Director of Strategic Development at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) where she is responsible for developing partnerships to fuel the growth of the small and growing business (SGB) sector in emerging markets. Kate joined ANDE with ten years of experience in relationship management, business development, and marketing for global development and social enterprise. She previously served as Senior Manager, Thought Leadership and Strategic Partnerships at Grameen Foundation where she worked for five years garnering resources for economic development, mobile technology, and livelihood programs. Early in her career Kate spent a year volunteering in China as part of the Harvard Kennedy School’s WorldTeach program, and ran several capital campaigns as a consultant for CCS Fundraising. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at Prosperity Catalyst, an organization incubating social enterprises in Iraq and Haiti. She’s also a Senior Adviser to Hooks Book Events, and Adviser to RESET women’s retreats. Kate graduated from the American University with an M.A. in Social Enterprise. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Providence College.

Director of Strategic Development,
Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)

Tashi Nangsetsang was born in 1966 in Dharamsala, Northern India. He was only 6 years old when he immigrated to Canada with his parents.

Tashi has been an outstanding community leader over the years in Ontario. Today, Toronto has become the largest Tibetan community in Canada and he has been instrumental in the growth of the community.

Tashi was elected as the President of the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario in 1986-1988, 1994-1996, and 1998-2000.

In 2002, Tashi opened the Rangzen Café, the first Tibetan restaurant in the Parkdale/High Park area of Toronto which is now called Little Tibet. Today, there are 8 Tibetan restaurants on that same street.  He sold the restaurant in 2010 and purchased the building, which he owns today.

Tashi also volunteered as the Transportation Coordinator when His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferred Kalachakra Initiation in Toronto in 2004.

Today, he is a Project Manager at A & L Contractors, and a property and income investment advisor in the residential and commercial sector in the Toronto area.

Tibetan Community Leader in Toronto, Canada;
Project Manager, A&L Contractors


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