Nine humanitarian businesses win Bloomberg-funded Genesis challenge

The Genesis Prize awarded nine burgeoning businesses $100, 000 for their humanitarian efforts at a Bloomberg Philanthropies event in New York city on Tuesday.

Winners of the 2015 Genesis Prize - courtesy


Genesis Generation Challenge Recipients of this year are: Build Israel and Palestine (BIP); Building Up (Canada); eNable 3d Printed Prosthetics; LAVAN (Israel); Prize4Life (Israel); Sanergy (Kenya); Sesame (Israel); Spark (Burundi); and Vera Solutions (United States, India).

The winning projects’ concepts focus on subjects such as public health, education, cross-cultural exchanges to spur understanding and tolerance, poverty alleviation, and using data to drive impact in social good enterprises.

These nine supporting innovative projects are guided by Jewish values to address the world’s pressing issues. The Genesis Generation Challenge will award $100, 000 to implement each winner’s initiative. The recipients will also be matched with a mentor to help them develop the project.


The competition was born out of the $1 million award which former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg received as the organization’s first recipient of the prize, which was bestowed in Israel last May.

Instead of using the prize money himself, Bloomberg decided that it was best to “pay it forward” and use the funds to promote innovative and humanitarian enterprises.

“At a time when many Americans and Israelis fear the relationship between our countries has become irrevocably strained, we must recognize that the bond our citizens share is based on our common democratic values, like freedom, justice, innovation and community, ” Bloomberg said of the reasoning behind rewarding this crop of aspiring do-gooders.

Genesis Generation Challenge participants were invited to meet other entrants through online forums on the Genesis Generation website to help collaborate on submission of ideas and form teams. Each team is led by a designated team leader aged 20-36, with additional team members being 18 or older.

The entries were judged by a panel of global business leaders, philanthropists and social entrepreneurs, including Director of Global Cities Inc., Marjorie B. Tiven; President of American Jewish World Service, Ruth Messinger; CEO of Sony Entertainment, Michael Lynton; prominent American attorney and mediator, Kenneth Feinberg; and Deputy CEO of the Genesis Prize Foundation, Jill W. Smith.


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