It is high-time for an update. These last few months we have been scrambling to refine our business plan for various competitions as well as our fundraising efforts. This has taken a remarkable amount of time, but I'm happy to say that it has begun to pay off. Last Friday, to an engaged group of friends new and old, I pitched in the final round of the Stanford Social Enterprise Challenge.
Out of a record number of submissions this year we found ourselves in the top 19 semifinalists last month and, after impressing judges, advanced to the final 6 which presented on Friday. The pitch went well and it was amazing to feel the support that we received leading up to the event. It was also great to see our friends who made it to the event for our pitch. Although the new set of judges did not seem to fully appreciate our goals and accomplishments, I have heard from many that we were an audience favorite. At the end of the day we still took home $1,000 in prize money which will help us with our upcoming operations in India.
While I was sitting in the audience during the next presentation I got an email saying that I had been selected as a semifinalist for the Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellowship. This prestigious award goes to "visionary change agents" who are leading "organizations that are well positioned for sustainable growth", so it is a great honor to make it to the semifinalist round. More information here: http://poptech.org/sifellows/
Which reminds me that Driptech has also been nominated for a Tech Award this year. This award was previously won by Paul Polak, founder of International Development Enterprises and Driptech Board of Adviser Member, for his work on low cost drip irrigation. Now, with the innovative Driptech manufacturing system, drip irrigation may once again be on the Tech Award's radar. We have been nominated in the area of Economic Development, and more information can be found at http://techawards.org
Last but not least, veggies! In the last month of sun my garden has absolutely exploded with the tomato, chili, and squash seedlings that we planted. As always, these crops are %100 drip irrigated with the same Driptech tubing we use in developing countries. Here is a photo of my back yard (and yes, that is a 1969 Postal Jeep with right hand drive and sliding doors) and the link to the picasa album with the rest.
Check out the YouTube video that shows the actual irrigation in progress: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Yf030l5c4