Daniel Yu is quickly becoming one of Chicago’s most celebrated young entrepreneurs.
The Reliefwatch founder hung out with Prince Charles in February after winning the Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneurs Prize in London. He won startup competitions this year at SXSW and the Elevate business plan competition in Silicon Valley. And he’s received six-figure prizes at the 1776 Challenge Cup in Washington DC and the University of Chicago Innovation Fund.
And now Yu can add another achievement to his mantel after being named a finalists for Forbes’ $1 million Change the World social impact competition for entrepreneurs under 30 years old. Yu, 22, was one of six finalists chosen out of more than 2,500 entrepreneurs that applied from around the globe.
Yu and the other finalists will compete at Forbes’ Under 30 Summit Oct 4-7 in Philadelphia, where five finalists will receive $100,000 and the overall winner will get $500,000. The competition will focus on “disruptive and scalable ideas with the potential to change the world.”
“These young superstars were chosen as finalists in this historic competition because they have the ability to solve problems, scale solutions and change the world,” Randall Lane, Editor of Forbes magazine, who oversees the Forbes Under 30 Summit, said in a statement.
Reliefwatch, which Yu founded out of the University of Chicago, helps developing countries track their inventory of medical supplies in real time. Using a cloud-based system that relies on mobile phones, rather than needing expensive computers or internet access, Reliefwatch can help clinics restock supplies before they run out. When people in third-world countries have to sometimes travel days to reach a medical clinic, staying stocked with medication could mean the difference between life and death.
The other finalists include: Amara Humphry, co-founder of Gooru, which provides students in underserved communities with access to crowd-sourced courses; Kiah Williams, co-founder of SIRUM, which uses technology to identify surplus medications at places like nursing homes and pharmacies and find a matching person in need of that medicine; Govinda Upadhyay, founder of LEDsafari, which provides low cost solar LED lamp kits to school students; Paul Duan, founder of Bayes Impact, which brings data science solutions to governments that couldn’t access to them before; and Heather Concannon and Elizabeth Nguyen, co-founders of the Roxbury, Mass.-based Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives, an organization that offers cooperatively-owned affordable housing communities and opportunities for individual investors or organizations to invest their money in ways that reflect their values.
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