THE BLOG
12/10/2013 04:23 pm ET Updated Feb 09, 2014

Trailblazing Young Innovators Announced for NFTE World Series of Innovation

The votes are in and this year's winners of the NFTE World Series of Innovation are in! Winners from around the globe awarded over $80,000 in cash and prizes for new product ideas.

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In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which ended last week, NFTE announced the winners of its 2013 World Series of Innovation (WSI), presented by Microsoft. Every year, this competition invites teams of students from around the world to create innovative products and services in eleven categories. With over 700 individual entries spanning 9 countries, three finalists were chosen in each category. One grand prize winning team per category was chosen by popular vote and awarded up to $10,000 in cash and $1,500 for their school or youth serving organization. The two runner-up teams for each challenge each received $1,000 for the student team members and their school or youth serving organization to share.

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And this year's competition received an unprecedented number of entries and votes! NFTE's President and CEO, Amy Rosen, said:

The World Series of Innovation is a great opportunity for all young people to think big and to solve real world issues that can make a global impact. We look forward to the possibility of seeing these exciting innovations come to life and to continue to provide encouragement to young people globally to pursue the countless entrepreneurial endeavors that lie ahead.

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Amy Rosen.

This unique program was the brainchild of Dan Delany, NFTE's Chief Marketing and Development Officer, and today has evolved into a rich competition with judges from Microsoft, SAP, Coca-Cola, Pitney Bowes, and The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, who selected one winning team from each category for the Adjudicator's Choice. In addition, the general public with thousands of online votes cast awarded one team from each category for the People's Choice. These winners received $2,000 in cash and prizes and $500 for their school or youth serving organization.

I couldn't be more excited to announce the winners in each category below!

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40 Chances Food and Nutrition Solutions, sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, had four winners. Two Baskets from Stamford won the "Reducing Food Waste" section for their idea to place baskets in schools to collect uneaten food (see here). Good Eats from Philadelphia won in the "Nutritious Foods/Schools" category for healthy vending machines (their ad spot). And Chiang Mai Connect, from Thailand, won in both the "Nutritious Food Distribution Networks" and the "Local Nutrition Through Local Production" categories; they won for their network of natural and organic food distribution. See their ad spot here.

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Chiang Mai Connect's prototype.

Thanks to Microsoft's leadership and support, the competition included the Tablet/Smartphone Game Design category. The Adjudicator's Choice went to Eruditious from Silver Springs and Approximnary from NYC, for their app that matches words with clues solving "tip of the tongue" irritations. The Missing from Pleasonton, CA and CollaboratED from Stamford won the People's Choice awards.

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CollaboratED's prototype.

Fanfom from Vancouver won the People's Choice in Technology Sports, sponsored by SAP. The Adjudicator's Choice award went to SAP Sharks from Lansdale, PA for their app about the San Jose Sharks. In the Literacy Game/App category, thanks to Pitney Bowes' generosity, both the People's Choice and the Adjudicator's awards went to Word Avenger from Miami. This interactive app allows students to travel through a meteor "word" shower, improving their vocabulary while saving the world! See their ad here.

Coke sponsored the Sparkling Beverage Marketing category, when Fruit Tablet's (Miami) won the People's Choice award for their calorie-less vitamin tablets; and Elixir-Beaniology from British Columbia won the Adjudicator's award for their preservation idea to package flavoring in a bean only to be released in the drink upon consumption (their ad is here).

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Elixir-Beaniology's prototype.

The Replicable Business Design category supported the Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment, from the World Economic Forum. In this category, IsePure All Natural Cologne, from Grand Rapids, MI, won for their fragrance line (see here). Errand Runner from Washington, D.C. got the Adjudicator's Choice (see here).

Your Hours from Miami won the People's Choice for Community Committed and Job Fit, sponsored by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, for their project. Adjudicator's Choice was Daylight from Glasnevin, Ireland.

The competition, a featured event for the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 18-24), featured groups of two or more students creating a new, unique or innovative product or service to address that market niche. Teams showcased how their product or service will impact people's daily lives and how they will market their innovations. Submissions consisted of a description of their entry, a marketing pitch for the product or service, a customer profile and a 60-second commercial. To meet the winners or for more information, visit here.