- Recipients will be honored for their innovation in human-centered technology at a celebration on June 1, 2019 at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, CA
- Five winners were selected from hundreds of submissions across five categories, including Internet of Things, Healthcare, Adaptive & Accessibility, and Sustainability
LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2019 — Not Impossible Labs, the leader in technology for social good, will unveil their Class of 2019 Not Impossible Award winners at the second annual Not Impossible Awards show, presented by Avnet and sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, CA on June 1, 2019.
The Awards celebrate and recognize the inspiring work of people and companies who share Not Impossible’s mission to create innovative technology to improve the well-being of others and honor the commitment of those who innovate for the sake of humanity. This year’s winners will each be featured in short “Origin Story” documentaries, which will premiere at the Awards show on June 1. Watch the Not Impossible Awards trailer.
“Our 2019 winners come from different backgrounds, industries, and experiences – but all share a common mission: To recognize absurdities in the world and then commit to figuring out life-changing solutions,” said Mick Ebeling, founder of Not Impossible Labs. “These individuals inspire us every day, because they prove that nothing is impossible if we commit to making a real difference in the world, one person at a time.’”
The Not Impossible Awards recognize disruptive innovation across areas of focus that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals – and are organized into five categories: Internet of Things, Healthcare, Adaptive & Accessibility, Sustainability, and a Wildcard category. Submissions were evaluated on their ability to address issues of need and inaccessibility through original, cutting-edge technologies.
The winners of the 2019 Not Impossible Awards are:
Puffin Innovations – Limitless Award
Adaptive and Accessibility Category
For Empowering Others To Break Through Barriers
Puffin Innovations Founder & CEO, Adriana Mallozzi, was born with cerebral palsy. Frustrated by the limitations of available assistive technology, she had an idea for a new hands-free device to control computers and mobile phones – a Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered joystick that could mount pretty much anywhere. Unlike its competitors, the Puffin has its own power source that lasts up to six days without recharging, making it truly revolutionary. Puffin Innovations is committed to changing the industry in order to help people with disabilities lead more independent lives and explore the world.
Butterfly Network – Healthcare Breakthrough Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
For their Innovation in Healthcare
Dr. Jonathan Rothberg was inspired to invent Butterfly iQ, the world’s first handheld whole-body ultrasound system, when his daughter was diagnosed with a form of tuberous sclerosis. The main form of treatment for her tumors was through the use of high-frequency ultrasound, and he realized the need for a more accessible and intuitive medical imaging solution. For over 50 years, medical ultrasound technology has not evolved at all, with traditional systems costing upward of $50,000 and requiring three transducers to scan the entire body. Butterfly iQ emits all three types of ultrasonic waves utilizing a single silicon chip, and the Butterfly mobile app provides users with a HIPAA-compliant, collaborative platform to securely share ultrasound scans. By making medical imaging universally accessible and affordable, Butterfly is democratizing healthcare.
HotSpot – Connectivity Award sponsored by Avnet
IoT (Internet of Things) Category
For Their Utilization of Connected Devices to Improve Lives
Hotspot, created by three 18-year-olds, is on a mission to onboard 3.9 billion people who don’t have access to the internet. Hotspot started off as a protocol that allowed users to create guest networks on their existing Wi-Fi network and get paid in cryptocurrency for letting strangers use it. However, it has since pivoted into an application that allows users to use SMS for internet surfing. The long term goal for Hotspot is to use blockchain to create a decentralized Peer-to-Peer Internet which can be implemented with minimum centralized infrastructure. Hotspot believes they can kick start the revolution of giving everyone on earth a higher quality of life by making network access easy and accessible to all.
“Smart, connected technology has incredible potential to shape our world for the better, and the Not Impossible Award winners are at the forefront with amazing, creative work,” said Avnet CEO Bill Amelio. “We are honored to sponsor the Not Impossible Awards and the IoT category because the entrants inspire us—and the world—to realize the transformative possibilities of technology.”
Saathi Eco Innovations India Pvt Ltd – Impact Sustainability Award
For their Dedication to Eco-friendly Solutions that Change Lives
Saathi’s four co-founders Kristin Kagetsu, Tarun Bothra, Amrita Saigal and Grace Kane came together on a mission to improve women’s access to sanitary pads. To that end, Saathi developed a proprietary single platform technology to convert banana fiber into an absorbent material, which is used to create an 100% compostable and biodegradable, all-natural sanitary pad. These eco-friendly sanitary napkins use locally sourced banana fiber from the state of Gujarat, where Saathi is based. Saathi is motivated by the potential to make a positive difference for women in India while using an engineering approach focused on ecology and sustainability.
Flare – Commitment Award
For their Dedication to Evolving Tools to Progress Public Safety
Flare was built to address the challenge of calling for help in countries with no coordinated emergency response. In its launch country, Kenya, getting emergency care required hundreds of calls and often took several hours, with an average wait time of 162 minutes. In less than a year, Flare has reached response times as low as four minutes. They built a best-in-class dispatch center to respond to hundreds of emergencies and developed a low-cost 911 infrastructure that aggregates available responders onto a single platform. Without purchasing an ambulance fleet or spending billions of dollars, they have reduced response times down to global standards. Flare currently has 60 ambulances on their platform at any given time, along with 19 security vehicles and more than 500 vehicles geotagged, resulting in the largest emergency network in the region. Flare provides an end-to-end solution for emergency care and provides patients with an affordable and easy way to access help.
The awards ceremony will be hosted at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel on June 1, 2019. The event will include a pre-show reception and post-show after party in the theatre lobby. The show will feature entertainment, inspiring speakers and the world premiere of the Class of 2019 winners’ “Origin Story” documentaries. Tickets to attend the event are available at https://notimpossibleawards2019.splashthat.com/.