MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and HONG KONG, China – November 9, 2017 – Singularity University (SU), a global community with a mission to educate and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges, and Project Heha, a worldwide movement to help people achieve super happiness and co-create a happier world, today announced the winners and runners-up of the global Super Happiness Challenge.The Super Happiness Challenge was a global open innovation contest that began in May of this year to find individuals and startups with ideas and new products or services that tapped into unmet needs to co-create a happier world. The Super Happiness Challenge received 528 submissions from over a thousand people representing 74 countries and six continents.In late October at the GSV Labs in Silicon Valley, the five finalists for the Idea Track and the five finalists for the Startup Track met to present their solutions to two distinguished panels, one of judges for the Challenge and the second of Silicon Valley investors for their chance to win cash prizes and the opportunity to receive up to $1 million in additional investments.The judging panel included Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab Director; Dr. Kasisomayajula Viswanath, Harvard University Professor; Sammy Lee, Project Heha founder and Chairman and Chief Invisible Officer of LKKHPG; Jennifer Jolly, Emmy Award Winning Tech-Life Journalist; and Pascal Finette, Singularity University Vice President, Startup Solutions. Judges were looking for creativity, scalability and feasibility, and the ability to impact happiness.The investor panel included Curtis MacDonald, Happiness Ventures; Mark Iwanowski, Global Visions - Silicon Valley; Ish Drugal, JSC RUSNANO; and Marlon Evans, GSV Labs. The investors noted the growing importance to a startup’s success of having a mission to positively impact the world, and Mark Iwanowski of Global Visions also commented that a focus on happiness in a startup’s culture and mission was also key in its ability to succeed.In commenting on the strong response to the Challenge, Sammy Lee, the creator of the Super Happiness Challenge and author of Project Heha: The Movement to Co-Create a Happier World, said, “So many people around the world resonated with the theme of making the world a happier place. I’m happy to see that startups and ideas can not only focus on technology and money, but also on their impact to cause great happiness to the people of the world.”Pascal Finette from Singularity University said, “At SU, we champion ideas and startups that use exponential technologies to solve the world’s greatest challenges. I was impressed by the mindfulness and quality of the Super Happiness Challenge solutions and look forward to seeing them prosper as they bring these innovations to a world greatly in need of them.”
Wefarm, the grand prize winner of $25,000, is based in the UK and led by CEO Kenny Ewan.Wefarm is a service for the world’s 500 million small scale farms and the 2 billion people who work on them, but have no Internet access. Wefarm lets farmers connect with one another around the world to solve problems, share ideas and spread innovation. Farmers share crucial livestock and crop knowledge, request creative low-cost farming methods, or ask questions relating to any type of agricultural output. Wefarm’s service works both online and over SMS using machine learning algorithms to aggregate vital data, alerts and information across the supply chain for farmers and the agriculture industryLaunched in 2015, over 453,000 farmers are using Wefarm today, a number that is expected to be 1 million by April 2018. Knowledge shared on Wefarm can help farmers produce higher quality product, increase yields, gain insight into marketing pricing, tackle the effects of climate change, source the best seeds, fertiliser and loans, and diversify agricultural interests. As an example of Wefarm’s impact, Michael, a tea farmer in Kenya, increased his yield from 2,000kg to 3,884kg in just one year from the information and advice he received from Wefarm.BLITAB, the runner-up and winner of $10,000, is based in Austria and led by Kristina Tsvetanova, MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35.BLITAB is the first-ever Braille tablet for the world’s 285 million blind and visually impaired people. A tactile and voice tablet, BLITAB helps blind people learn, work, and play, as well as have access to real-time information using one device. Only 1 percent of the world’s published books have been converted to Braille. BLITAB converts any document into Braille text using air pressurized “tixel” dots that raise immediately from the surface and then fall down again. Available to rent from schools for 50 cents a day, the tablet runs Android operating system. Kenya has 10,000 tablets in use today and BLITAB founders hope to impact 2 million people within 2 years.
Garbage Medical Insurance(GHI), the grand prize winner of $35,000, is based in Tanzania and led by Christian Mwijage.GHI is a micro-insurance plan to use garbage as a financial resource, enabling those less fortunate to pay for healthcare. With this program, those uninsured and living in poverty are able to pay for health coverage, drugs, and other clinical services by using the collection of garbage as payment to insurers. Primarily targeted to the wellbeing of children below 5 years and expectant mothers, GHI also offers the community an incentive to start an organized waste management and waste entrepreneurship system at the household level.Smile Mirror, the runner-up winner of $10,000, is based in the U.S. and led by Berk Ilhan.Smile Mirror is a “magical” mirror that allows people to see themselves only when they smile, functions by recognizing the movement of facial muscles and is based on the principle of creating reasons for people to physically smile and by doing so, feel emotionally happy. The solution consists of a glass mirror, a smart material, a camera to detect facial movement, and enclosed electronic circuitry. Smile Mirror encourages people to smile and see their smiling faces in the mirror, with the bigger purpose of engaging them with their positive, loving, and smiling selves.ABOUT PROJECT HEHAProject Heha is a movement to co-create a world of Super Happiness. It is founded by Sammy Lee, the Chairman and Chief Invisible Officer of LKK Health Products Group (LKKHPG). The goal of Project Heha is to help everyone live happier lives - Heha lives - through specific actions and a global ecosystem. As an advocate of Super Happiness, we want to practice our philosophy, and help others learn it and pass it on to people everywhere. By helping everyone to develop habits that bring positive change, we hope we can help the whole world to live happier, healthier, and more successful lives. For more information on Project Heha, go to http://www.projectheha.com.ABOUT SINGULARITY UNIVERSITYSingularity University (SU) is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build an abundant future for all. SU's collaborative platform empowers individuals and organizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. A certified benefit corporation headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, SU was founded in 2008 by renowned innovators Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis with program funding from leading organizations including Google, Deloitte, and UNICEF. To learn more, visit SU.org, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @SingularityU, and download the SingularityU Hub mobile app.CONTACTS:Brooks Wallacebrooks@hollywoodagency.comShelby Corradinoshelby@tablepr.co