2022 Columbia Venture Competition Winners – SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant

Every Spring, the Columbia Venture Competition gives out $350,000 dollars in cash prizes to the next generation of Columbia entrepreneurs.

Alumni judges from Brooklyn to Bordeaux to Beijing evaluate and advise competitors until three winners are chosen for each challenge track, which this year includes: the BlocPower Columbia Climate Challenge; Columbia-CareOne Healthcare All-Stars Challenge; Brown Institute Innovation Challenge in Journalism, Media, and Technology; the StartupColumbia Challenge; the SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant; the Technology Challenge; and the Undergraduate Challenge. 

Congratulations to the winners of the Columbia Venture Competition – SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant!


First Place, $15,000 Prize, tied


Sortile automates the sorting of post-consumer textile waste.

Founders: Agustina Mir ’21SIPA, Constanza Gomez ’22BUS


First Place, $15,000 Prize, tied


More than 4,600 tons of organic food waste are produced every day in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Unfortunately, only 10% of it is properly managed, leaving more than 4,000 tons of waste ending up in landfills daily. Meanwhile, our fish and poultry farmers are struggling to afford the increasingly expensive animal feed. SiMaggie aims to establish a circular economy, by converting untreated organic waste into a sustainable source of protein and affordable feed for the fish and poultry industries with the use of technology to optimize maggot cultivations.

Founders: Romauli Butarbutar ’22DSI (Data Science Institute), Lili Nur Indah Sari ’22SSW, Muhammad Rifqi Febrian ’22SIPA


Honorable Mention, $10,000 prize, tied


Sourceable, an online platform and mobile application, empowers, connects, and supports citizen journalists in areas of conflict and crisis. Through strategic partnerships, Sourceable serves journalists, human rights professionals, and legal advocates by providing verified documentation in the forms of photos, videos, texts, and audio recordings.

Founders: Lena Arkawi ’22SIPA, Susanne Prochazka ’22SIPA, Namir Ahmad ’22SIPA, Silvana Zapata-Ramirez ’23SIPA, Parv Joshi ’22DSI (Data Science Institute), Siddhant Kumar ’22DSI (


Honorable Mention, $10,000 prize, tied


Energia+ is an online platform that aims to make use of data related to the volume of water remaining in reservoirs in Brazil and, through the nudge model, encourage the conscious consumption of water and electricity in households, seeking to present customized information in a structured and simple way to citizens regarding their own consumption and on the updated situation of the reservoirs that supply them.

Founders: Ester Hee Kim ’22SIPA, Daniel Rocha Correa ’23SIPA, Luis Gustavo Perez Fakhouri ’22SIPA



The Public Policy Grant Program of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) invited students to form teams and propose student-designed projects and prototypes that use ICTs and/or data analytics to solve urban problems around the world. Solutions may be market-based, public/philanthropic supported, or a mix. The Program encourages the formation of interdisciplinary teams that integrate students of public policy, computer science, engineering, and other fields across Columbia University. All teams had to include at least one SIPA student in a substantive role.

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