85 Global Teams to Develop Transformative Technology Solutions for Women’s Safety

May 17 2017


Official roster of teams from 18 countries; advisory board announced for the Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE

May 16, 2017 (Los Angeles) -- XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, today announced 85 teams from 18 countries competing for the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE, a competition challenging teams around the world to develop an affordable technology solution that women can use to rapidly respond to threats. An advisory board of five experts in the fields of technology, internet of things and women’s empowerment, also announced today, will advise the Women’s Safety XPRIZE. Among the competing teams are app developers, technology researchers, top-tier academic institutions and startups working toward safety for women worldwide.

This global competition challenges teams to leverage technology and empower communities with a transformative solution that ensures women’s safety. The solution should autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert and transmit information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds. The winning technology should cost no more than US $40.

Details about all competing teams are can be found here. 38 teams have registered from the United States and 20 teams have registered from India. 

“We strongly believe that safety is a fundamental human right and should not be taken for granted. With the Women’s Safety XPRIZE, we hope to unlock an exponential transformation in the way community members can empower safety for everyone through technology. We are delighted with the participation and look forward to seeing problem solvers all over the world tackle this critical challenge as the competition unfolds,” said Anu Jain, entrepreneur and champion for women’s safety.

“Our active presence in India has attracted world-class moonshot thinking and the call to innovators has resulted in an exciting number of both international and Indian registered teams for the Women’s Safety XPRIZE. We are thrilled to be moving into the next phase of solution development,” says Zenia Tata, executive director of global expansion at XPRIZE.

In addition to the competitor pool, the Women’s Safety XPRIZE today announced the formation of an Advisory Board of academic and industry experts. The Advisory Board includes:

  • ElsaMarie D’Silva is founder and managing director of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity), alumna of the U.S. State Department’s Fortune Program and a fellow with Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices, Vital Voices and a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader;
  • Dhairya Dand is an award-winning researcher, engineer and designer based in New York City where he runs oDD, a futurist factory X lab;
  • Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN is professor and associate dean of research at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and associate director of Hopkins Centers for Global Health;
  • Naina Sharma Tahilramani is a product management and marketing professional with a career spanning 11 years and six cities; and,
  • Natalie Villalobos is the head of Global Programs for Women Techmakers at Google.

The Women’s Safety XPRIZE, sponsored by entrepreneurs, philanthropists and XPRIZE trustees Anu and Naveen Jain, was launched in India in October 2016 at a United Nations day reception in New Delhi. The 20-month XPRIZE will announce up to 25 finalist teams in October 2017 and will then embark on final testing through April 2018. The winner for the prize will be announced in June 2018.

For more information, visit safety.xprize.org.

Media Contacts:

Eric Desatnik / Jackie Wei
310.741.4892 / 310.741.4918
[email protected] / [email protected]

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances— igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE and the $1M Anu & Naveen Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org/.