18 July 2014
WeFarm wins Google Prize
Google Impact Award Winner
We’re very excited to announce that WeFarm has picked up a Google Impact Award – Grand Prize!
Supported by Nesta, The Google Impact Challenge supports UK nonprofits using technology to tackle problems and transform lives around the world. WeFarm was originally selected from 1000s of entries as one of ten winning projects to receive £200,000 – first announced by Entrepreneur and star of BBC’s Dragon’s Den Peter Jones last week.
Subsequently a panel of judges were to select three final winners to take home a total grant of £500,000, as well as mentorship and training from both Google and Nesta. A fourth finalist would be chosen to receive the final grant by public vote.
Yesterday, Sir Richard Branson – a supporter of the challenge announced that WeFarm was one of the Grand Prize winners!
Sir Richard Branson said:
“It’s such a pleasure to be involved once again in the Google Impact Challenge, an amazing initiative. All ten finalists have shown the UK and international non-profit community that the adoption of tech innovation can drive massive, global change that can transform the lives of millions of vulnerable people and species the world over.”
Peter Jones Said:
“After an inspiring process, we’ve unearthed four outstanding projects from ten exceptional charities. Google’s Impact Challenge shows that innovation is crucial to success. You can’t stand still.”
SomeOne/Else’s Warren Hutchinson added:
“We’re over the moon that WeFarm has been recognised by Google as a highly innovative project that will have direct benefits in peoples lives. We are extremely proud to be part of this exciting project.”
The grand final took take place at Google’s London headquarters, with a judging panel featuring entrepreneur and BBC Dragon Peter Jones CBE, inventor of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, broadcaster and director of Red Nose Day Emma Freud, Nesta’s Innovation Lab Executive Director Helen Goulden and Google’s Matt Brittin and Jacquelline Fuller.
Go to The Google Impact Challenge website to learn more about the projects.
Here’s the full list of the 10 finalists:
Grand Prize Winner: Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation – Connecting smallholder farmers in the developing world with access to agricultural information
Grand Prize Winner: Foundation & Friends of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – Tackling malaria through the use of acoustic sensors
Grand Prize Winner: Centrepoint – Tackling youth homelessness through data analysis
Public Vote Winner: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) – Enhancing the sight of the blind and partially sighted through smart glasses
Carr Gomm – Helping social support users to self-direct their care through an app
We Are What We Do – Improving young people’s mental health through gaming
Virunga Foundation – Reporting security and conservation threats in Virunga National Park in The DRC
Catch22 Charity Limited – Guiding young people through social enterprise projects and increasing their employability
Relate – Resolving family disputes through an online tool
St Giles Trust – Supporting reintegration of former offenders through social connections
Helen Goulden, Impact Challenge Judge and Executive Director in Nesta’s Innovation Lab said:
“This challenge shines a light on the just how many charities are already doing great things with technology to address some of our most pressing challenges. We’re hugely excited by the 10 finalists who’ve made it to this stage, there are some fantastic projects in the running”