- SWD today reaches more than 400 families in three states inside Brazil with Aqualuz, the world’s first device for making drinking water accessible from tanks using solar radiation technology, targeted to rural areas without access to water.
- The innovation competition with a social perspective attracted 400 entries from 19 countries.
Safe Drinking Water For All (SDW), a startup based in Brazil and focused on promoting the democratization of access to drinking water and basic sanitation in underprivileged communities through innovative solutions, was the winner of the fourth edition of Social Innomarathon.
This regional competition, organized by SAP in partnership with Socialab, promotes entrepreneurship with an impact in Latin America, designed to solve social or environmental problems, through sustainable B2B business models in which technology has a leading role. In this edition, 400 entries from more than 19 countries in the region were received. Eight finalists were selected to participate in a six-week skills-building program to strengthen their projects.
The jury chose SDW for its great social impact, in line with some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, Goal 6, “Clean water and sanitation.” The startup, also recognized by the UN, developed Aqualuz, a device for making drinking water accessible from tanks using solar radiation based on SODIS technology (“solar water disinfection”). The solution has differential features, such as ease of use, practical maintenance, and an estimated useful life of 20 years. Aqualuz reaches more than 400 families in six states in the interior of Brazil.
“During the course of Social Innomarathon, more than 200 people benefited from our project, we added a new state to the list, and generated international contacts to expand internationally in the region. We are happy for the mentoring and recognition we have received,” said Anna Luísa Beserra Santos, Founder of SDW.
Anna Luísa is a young scientist with a great career in social projects. At 15, she developed Aqualuz, at 17 she created SDW to develop technologies that provide access to water and sanitation as a universal right, and at 18 she was the youngest Brazilian graduate from the MIT Startup Leadership Program. For her impact work, she won the 2019 UN Young Champions of the Earth Award, UNEP’s top accolade for that age segment. SDW also launched the Aquasolina solar desalinator, a new technology to combat and prevent Covid-19 for homeless people, and Aquapluvi, a system for collecting and treating rainwater at bus stops for hand hygiene.
The final with the winning teams from each country was held virtually. The other finalists this year were Caecuslab (Argentina), 7Waves (Brazil), Tu Consejería (Guatemala), ArDown (Mexico), Lavadero Arcoiris 21 (Uruguay), KitSmile (Colombia) and Banco del Estudiante (Peru).
SDW received an award of US$5,000 to invest in the startup, three months of personalized Socialab coaching, and a year of virtual mentoring from SAP Labs Latin America experts, and the possibility to become an authorized partner of the company, to do business with its clients and take part in the Partner Edge program and the SAP App Center marketplace.
“We are proud of this initiative that recognizes projects with a vision for growth and business sustainability in the long term, enabling us to create a positive impact on the communities in the region,” said Lautaro Spotorno, Communications Director, SAP South Region, and CSR Director, SAP Latin America.
In previous editions, the winning projects were:
- Bikelite (2017, Chile): A solution for cyclists that uses GPS technology to create safe routes that avoid the risk of accidents and situations such as theft or damaged streets.
- Ecolones (2018, Costa Rica): A network of people who recycle and exchange waste for crypto-currency for use in stores.
- Nilus (2019, Argentina): A platform that connects food companies with social kitchens to preven food waste.
SocialLab is the world’s largest network of problem solvers. An organization that believes in the power of collective intelligence, SocialLab works with companies, public agencies and multilateral organizations, in the process of building projects that can solve social problems through open innovation, seeking and connecting creative minds capable of improving people’s quality of life through business.
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