Homerton Changemakers Seed Fund Winners 2022
Seed Fund Initiative in partnership with Cambridge Wireless
Homerton Changemakers empowers young people to create change by giving them the tools and resources they need to realize their dream for a more just, sustainable and regenerative future.
This year Homerton Changemakers launched their annual Seed Fund Initiative. Homerton students with a plan for an enterprise, product, or initiative, that is focused on increasing public good and societal impact had the chance to win £2,000 in seed funding as well as hands-on mentoring from our supporters and mentors at Cambridge Wireless. The groups were encouraged to explore the possibility of using technology to achieve their aims. Five winning groups were selected. Additionally, Homerton Changemakers awarded £1,000 in seed funding to two highly commended projects. The students from the five winning teams and the two highly commended teams presented in this article have started truly impactful and innovative change-making projects. Read more about them below!
Seed Fund Winners
Ir Dr Anthony Ma and Abiel Ma
Vuala is company working to revolutionize the food waste collection industry with innovation.
Our mission is to reduce 100 million tonnes CO2 in 10 years.
We have been recently accepted into the Accelerate Cambridge program and a start-up program at Somerset House in London. Credit and gratitude must be given to the Homerton Seed Fund and Changemaker programme for the support. We would like to say that we are still aiming to set up our first UK pilot system at Homerton College. This would be an important milestone within our journey to deploy the innovation commercially. With Cambridge being the place where I’ve spent most of my time developing the innovation with my team, it would be an absolute dream come true to set up our first UK pilot system within the University and help Homerton accelerate its sustainability journey. We are currently researching on sustainability related programme within the University and are aiming to establish a collaboration with the University’s “Living Lab” programme and apply for the University’s Carbon Reduction Fund. We wish our innovation can be utilised at Homerton, and possibly be a case study on how a Homerton Seed Fund/Changemaker venture can make a positive environmental impact on saving 100 million tonnes CO2 in 10 years.
Shukria Rezaei, Najib Sharifi, Maike Steindel and Goncalo Araujo Regado
UniArk is a passionate group of young people striving to bring a positive change to oppressed communities worldwide by supporting their young people, particularly women, to access and navigate higher education opportunities at leading global universities. A core belief of UniArk is that helping (even if only a few) such promising students leave their oppressive environments and have the opportunity to develop themselves to their full potential is the best thing we can do to increase the probability of positive change in these countries. This is our investment in securing a sustainable future for the generations to come. Unlocking the future and investing in the potential of bright students to change the world starts at UniArk.
The Fáilte Centre
Bethany Clarke, Claire Campion and Colleen Bromberger
At The Fáilte Centre, we offer individualised learning opportunities as well as psychosocial & mental health support (MHPSS) services at our welcoming centre in Athens, Greece. The individuals accessing our centre - many of whom are refugees and asylum seekers – come from a wide range of backgrounds, and experience many complex challenges, including many instances of trauma. Over the funding period, we will begin to thoughtfully incorporate technology into our programmes to maximise and monitor impact. Our specific focus will be on using technology and data collection to inform and enhance our trauma-informed Child Safe Space approach. Guided by research, we will be testing various ways of supporting children with psychological first aid and emotional regulation. We will then be using the data to guide us towards creating software which caregivers could use to support children with trauma processing, healthy coping mechanisms and emotional regulation.
Liz Willey and Ben Grassby
Strive is an education recruitment platform that streamlines and democratizes the university recruiting process. We use extensive credentialing, quantitative and qualitative data to efficiently dovetail the best suited students to respective entry-level jobs and internships. One of Strive’s fundamental missions is to expand access for both the student and the employer markets. While the platform democratizes the internship and entry-level process by allowing students from all diverse backgrounds to be matched with their best suited jobs free of cost, it also opens employers to every corner of every university on our platform, matching them with thoroughly qualified candidates from a wider applicant pool.
The Biophilic Education Institute
Rosina Dorelli, Zach Reznichek and Farhaan Mir
We are introducing Biophilic Education, a passionate love of life and all that is alive. We value the whole human ecosystem as an integral part of the local and global ecosystems. Through transdisciplinary, contextual, project-based learning, and portfolio based formative assessment, we are transforming the way we teach and assess the secondary school curriculum. We value and nurture peoples unique talents and interests because we need a rich diversity of skills and knowledge to build a flourishing society. We are building a more equitable, ethical and sustainable model for the schools of the future, community spaces for life-long learning, where collaboration is valued over competition.
Highly Commended Groups
Najib Sharifi, Hardika Kukreja, Eleonore Buffet-Heuser and Subhankar Paul
‘Tara: Ek Roshni’, which translates to ‘Star: a light amidst the darkness’, is a project that aims toward the upliftment of women affected by domestic violence and social inequities.
Women’s economic independence and security are necessary for the elimination of abuse. Many women, especially in the underprivileged communities living in abusive relationships, are limited by choice of poverty over abuse. Women need economic security and independence to improve their chances of living free from abuse in relationships.
The collective efforts of individuals, communities, businesses, and the government, directed towards women’s economic independence and security can speed up the pace of women’s equality.
Through this project, we aim to empower women by providing them with skills training. Simultaneously, we will be collaborating with a team of experts to assist in legal, psychological, and academic remits. The academic experts are on board to later expand the project and help these women and their children in acquiring further education. The team of doctors associated with the project will provide any medical assistance needed to these women.
Empowerment is not easy, but we believe that if we can provide a safe space for these women to seek support and receive skills training, they can earn from their households as well as build a community of support and a dignified transition to self-employment and independence. This project aims to save families in India and bring self-sufficiency to its members.
Nicola Filzmoser and Cornelius Palm
Nicolas’ and Cornelius' personal experience with chronic pain since their childhood fuels their ambitions to transform paediatric chronic pain management for the better. Videos are at the core of our products @HappyrHealth.com. The SeedFund will be used for video equipment to develop Happyr pain therapies, wellbeing exercises, and patient education.
A very special thank you to all of the incredible and devoted mentors who have helped our Seed Fund winners get their projects off the ground. Not only did the mentees’ projects benefit but they themselves got the chance to experience a lot of personal growth and learning. Thank you to our Mentors from Cambridge Wireless Mark Rayner, Claire Rose, Sylvia Lu, Dave Roberts, Abhi Naha, and Pooya Kamvari, Homerton alumnus.
Cambridge Wireless (CW)
CW is the leading international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless and mobile, internet, semiconductor and software technologies. With an active community of over 1000 technology companies ranging from major network operators and device manufacturers to innovative start-ups and universities. CW stimulates debate and collaboration, harnesses and shares knowledge, and helps to build connections between academia and industry. CW's Special Interest Groups provide its members with a dynamic forum where they can network with their peers, track the latest technology trends and business developments and position their organisations in key market sectors. CW also organises major conferences and along with other high-quality industry networking events and dinners. With headquarters at the heart of Cambridge, UK, CW partners with other international industry clusters and organisations to extend its reach and remain at the forefront of global developments and business opportunities.