INFORMATION FOR UNIVERSITIES
The Tibetan Innovation Challenge was an intercollegiate social entrepreneurship business plan contest, organized by the University of Rochester, aiming to improve the lives of Tibetans living in refugee camps in India through self-sustaining and replicable business ideas. It was held from 2015 – 2017.
A similar competition is being held by YETI, the Youth Employment for Tibetans Initiative. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2019. For more information, visit Tibet Innovations.
There are many populations in need who could benefit from a competition such as this one, and it is our intent that the Tibetan Innovation Challenge will serve as a model for other competitions to serve similarly challenged populations around the globe. Tibetan refugees face many economic, legal, social and political difficulties, as well as the added challenge of trying to preserve the rich culture of a people whose history dates back over 2,000 years. The Dalai Lama has expressed deep concern over the outflow of young Tibetans who are forced to leave their communities in search of gainful employment. The Tibetan Innovation Challenge intends to respond to this concern by stimulating the development of self-sustaining and replicable business ideas. The founder of competition partner The Art of Peace Foundation, Michael Wohl, is a University of Rochester alumnus.
There is no fee for universities to participate. However, If selected to advance to the National Finals in June 2016, your university’s team and/or your university will be responsible for all expenses associated with travel and accommodations for the final competition. Participating universities may also want to budget for sending faculty and staff to the finals. National Finals details TBA.
No, but all team members must be enrolled college or university students as of March 1, 2017.
The first-prize winners in the National Finals will be awarded $5,000. The second place team may also receive a cash prize. All of the submitted plans have the opportunity to form the foundations of real businesses in the Tibetan refugee community.