12 January 2017
Meet 2016 Social Entrepreneurship award winner, Simprints, and learn how you could be next.
Nominations are now open for the Allia Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2017, as part of the Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards. Each year the award seeks out the initiative that has delivered, or will deliver, the most impressive impact on society in terms of social, environmental and/or economic impact.
Want to know what it takes to win? Meet last year’s winner.
The Allia Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2016 was won by Simprints, a nonprofit tech company from the University of Cambridge. Recognising a significant gap in current biometric technology, the team is building affordable, secure, rugged, open-source fingerprint systems, that work in the world’s toughest settings, to break the ‘identification bottleneck’.
Simprints mobile fingerprint scanner is designed to help medics and aid workers identify patients in locations where records are often poorly maintained. The scanner is accompanied by an Android App which links to central databases for storing information.
The exciting tech has a number of potential uses, and the team are currently exploring, trialling and running applications across a wide range of fields including maternal health, education, immunisations and aid distribution.
The team’s tech is fighting against some striking statistics; 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, the vast majority of which are preventable. The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of four check-ups before birth, however only 39% of all mothers are receiving these visits due to challenges in identification and accountability. Biometrics provide a powerful tool to identify patients, instantly finding the right record with the tap of a finger. Simprints is working with BRAC in the slums of Dhaka to ensure every mother and child have access to care.
Prior to entering the awards, the technology has already attracted the attention of the UN, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which awarded the company $250k in funding. Since winning last year, they have seen even greater growth.
“One year ago, Simprints was a team of 6 in the middle of our final R&D push. Today, we have grown to 11 and have deployed our identification systems in Nepal and Bangladesh, helping thousands of mothers and children access healthcare.” said Sebastian Manhart, Director of Business Development at Simprints.
He continued: “Winning the Cambridge News Business Excellence Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2016 was an important stepping stone in this success, allowing us to deepen partnerships in Cambridge and keep recruiting smart, passionate individuals to join our cause.”
“It is vital to raise the profile and awareness of the growing number of innovative social ventures that are delivering huge impact for people and planet for a stronger and more sustainable society. Winning this award can bring prestige, helpful contacts and a higher profile for your organisation. Whether these initiatives are operating at a local, national or international level they have all demonstrated significant ability or potential to make a transformational difference.” said Caroline Hyde, Director of Viability at Allia, who along with supporting the award, runs Serious Impact, a free to access programme of support for potential and established impact entrepreneurs and ventures.