The European Social Innovation Competition is an initiative of the European Commission that awards three 50.000 Euro prizes per year to the most innovative ideas developed to address social issues in EU Member States and beyond. Now in its seventh year, the theme this time is RE:THINK LOCAL, calling on projects that make use of the local characteristics of a place in order to create opportunities for young people in our changing economy.
The competition is held in memory of the Portuguese innovator Diogo Vasconcelos. It is a great opportunity for talented people to get their social innovation idea off the ground.
Our Dora Palfi, co-founder of Women@EIT, decided to take this fantastic opportunity in hand. She is CEO and Co-Founder of ImagiCase and joined the competition with her startup. The company, based in Sweden, wants to provide a mobile platform for tangible and expressive coding education, built by girls for girls. The platform pairs with the imagiCase devices, the first product being a phone case with an embedded LED matrix that can be programmed to display any text or pattern: this way users learn to code through customising their accessory. The platform also provides tutorials of coding concepts guiding the user through the journey of learning to code in a gamified way, and it also fosters an online community of girls learning to code through the possibility of sharing one’s creations on a design feed.
This year, the competition was rather stiff and only 30 projects have been selected to enter the next phase of the competition - out of 731 eligible entries from 39 countries. ImagiCase is one of them! And it is now moving towards the next stop: an intensive three-day training programme called “The Academy”, which this year takes place in the beautiful city of Cluj in Romania. Here, the 30 semi-finalist projects will receive mentorship from experienced social innovators and entrepreneurs, and have the opportunity to develop what for many is just an idea at this stage into a viable business proposition. Of course, they all hope to secure a place among the 10 finalists in the next selection round, and to ultimately be one of the 3 winners in November.
We want to wish Dora an enormous success with the next stages of the competition, and many congratulations for what you ended up to achieve until now!