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Broadcaster Tavis Smiley and the University of Maryland have issued a “Last Call for Submissions” for the $75,000 TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge. The deadline for entries is October 13, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge will award a minimum of $25,000 each to three social innovators, one in each of the target impact areas of hunger, sustainability and education.  Additionally, each winning entrant will have an opportunity to appear on the Tavis Smiley Network, receive an entrepreneur mentorship at the Clark School's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), and showcase their innovation at Platform Summit 2014. 

The TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge has also launched a Twitter campaign to enhance outreach during the “Last Call for Submissions” period. Twitter users are encouraged to use hashtag #SocialInnovatorCall4Entries to generate greater awareness of the challenge and contribute to discussion about the importance of social innovation.   

Entrants may register for free online at www.tavissmileysocialinnovator.com.  Finalists will be notified and invited to pitch their idea to a panel of judges in November 2013, and the winners will be announced on the Tavis Smiley Network in January 2014.

Entrants' submissions must include a written executive summary and short video articulating the issue being solved; methodology; a sense of the potential local, national and global impact of the solution. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel comprised of representatives from academia, business, community/grassroots, government, nonprofit groups and the technology community.   For a complete list of challenge rules, visit www.tavissmileysocialinnovator.com.

“We’ve received many thought-provoking, well-written, and original ideas thus far and look forward to receiving more,” said Smiley.  “Clearly, the unrelenting economic crisis has highlighted the necessity for radical change in the way we approach our social and economic challenges. If the United States is to emerge stronger from these difficult times, it is important to stimulate a new model of growth, fortified by knowledge and innovation as key drivers.” 

The TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge supports Tavis Smiley's initiative to dramatically reduce poverty in America and the University of Maryland's commitment to increase the number and quality of new businesses inspired by competition to create a large and strong new generation of entrepreneurs who benefit society.

About Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley is host and managing editor of the nightly talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS produced by TS Media, Inc., and the host of The Tavis Smiley Show and co-host of Smiley & West from Public Radio International (PRI), both produced by Smiley Radio Properties, Inc.  Smiley is also the author/editor of 16 books, including New York Times bestsellers Covenant with Black America, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, and his most recent, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. In 2009, TIME magazine named him one of the World's 100 Most Influential People. 2013 marks his 10th season on PBS and is the inaugural year for the Tavis Smiley Network (TSN) on BlogTalkRadio.  For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com.

About A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering is a premier program, ranked among the top 20 in the world. Located just a few miles from Washington, D.C., the Clark School is at the center of a constellation of high-tech companies and federal laboratories, offering students and faculty access to unique professional opportunities.  Our broad spectrum of academic programs, including the world’s only accredited undergraduate fire protection engineering program, is complemented by a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, early hands-on educational experiences, and participation in national and international competitions. The Clark School is leading research advancements in aerospace, bioengineering, robotics, nanotechnology, disaster resilience, energy and sustainability, and cybersecurity. From the universal product code to satellite radio, SMS text messaging to the implantable insulin pump, our students, faculty, and alumni are engineering life-changing innovations for millions. Learn more at www.eng.umd.edu.


September 13, 2013

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