NDSU & Concordia Team Up at Global Social Innovation Challenge

Student team wants to set a new standard for e-mentorship.

Last fall, The Nice Center opened applications for student teams across the university to submit product/service ideas to enter into the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge 2020.

Of those applicants, one team has risen to the top and will represent NDSU and Concordia on a global stage. They’ll also be competing for $50,000 in funding and other resources.

Be Bold, A Collaboration Between NDSU & Concordia Students

The students behind Be Bold, a virtual mentorship program aimed at bridging the gap between in person and online mentoring services, are Nadia Mitchell, pursuing Business Administration with a minor in Entrepreneurship at NDSU, and Sean Feeney, studying Computer Science and Mathematical Finance at Concordia College. 

Criteria For Teams

To compete, student teams were tasked to select a social or environmental issue of their choice, aligned with advancing one or more of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Students also needed to demonstrate a deep understanding of their problem of interest and its causes, the current solution pool, and identify gaps in current service provisions, including any market opportunities.

The Vision for Be Bold

According to Mitchell and Feeney’s research, approximately 16 million youth across America have never had an adult mentor while growing up. This concerning issue is known as the mentorship gap.

One study estimates that the human potential lost as a result of this gap is the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession.

Be Bold aims to bridge that gap by setting a new standard for e-mentorship. Using an encrypted open-source video conferencing software, they will develop a platform for virtual face-to-face interaction. The team wants to offer e-mentorship to every student who faces homelessness across the United States by matching the youth with college students or college graduates with whom they share similar backgrounds.

Heading Into The Finals

Be Bold will join 30 other student teams from 17 countries to compete in this year’s final. Due to the pandemic, all pitches will take place online. But, this means that you can participate in watching this year’s finalists as they pitch on Saturday, June 13th at 5pm PDT.

Register to watch the Virtual Global Finals and cheer on Nadia and Sean as they pitch Be Bold.


Posted on May 22nd, 2020 by Dane Johnson in News and Stories