The $1 Million XPRIZE Competition Will Help Ensure the Safety of Women

March 8, 2017

5:50 pm

One in three women globally have faced sexual or physical violence in their lifetime, and in a study by the United Nations, 92 percent of women in New Dehli have experienced some form of violence in public spaces in their lifetime. Here in the US, the Bureau of Justice estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years. This is unacceptable.

There must be a better way to provide a safer society for women and the ability for them to get emergency help. Fortunately, some entrepreneurs are doing what they can to change it.

The Challenge

Almost four billion people across the globe don’t have access to a centralized emergency response system. Within the US, we have 9-1-1, where individuals can call to report a crime. However, many times that’s too late. Other nations don’t have universal emergency access numbers nor a solution where they can get immediate assistance.

Taking on the universal need to have a basic safety emergency reporting and response networks for women who are faced with violence, Anu and Naveen Jain launched the Women’s Safety XPRIZE competition where teams from around the world can leverage technology to empower communities with a transformative solution that ensures women’s safety.

For those that aren’t familiar with XPRIZE, they are a highly leveraged, incentivized prize competitions organization with the mission to solve the world’s grandest challenges, such as space travel, ocean discovery, global learning, artificial intelligence, and eco-friendly initiatives. This time it’s women’s safety.

“Technology is used in almost everything we do today. Empowering women and children with a technology solution that could provide instant safety will change their lives especially in many parts of the world where girls are not even sent to school because of safety reasons. With safety tools, women and children around the world will have access to education, healthcare, jobs and opportunities,” said Anu Jain, a philanthropist and entrepreneur.

Dreaming Big

Dreaming big and taking on the hard challenges to improve humanity is something familiar to the Jain family.

Anu Jain is an entrepreneur with a deep commitment to philanthropy. She cofounded several successful ventures including Lavish Life, InfoSpace, and Intelius. She is a trustee of the board and a member of the Visionary Circle at the XPRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit focused on using exponential technology to solve the grand challenges of humanity. She is sponsoring an XPRIZE to come up with the best solution for the safety of girls and women in India.

Naveen Jain is the founder of Moon Express, World Innovation Institute, Intelius, TalentWise, and Infospace. He is also in the running for the Google Lunar XPRIZE space race competition where Moon Express’ innovation intends to mine the moon.

Together they are sponsoring an XPRIZE to come up with the best solution for the safety of girls and women in India and around the world.

The XPRIZE

The Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE is a $1 million global competition that challenges teams to leverage technology to empower communities with a transformative solution that ensures the safety of women. Armed with innovative safety nets, communities everywhere could rapidly respond to threats against any of its members, ensuring that help is always available when needed.

The winning team’s solution will autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert while transmitting information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds. The winning technology will cost no more than $40 (US).

“We want a solution for every human being around the world who is affected by sexual violence and have to make this solution affordable to all,” said Anu Jain.

The timeframe is a 20-month competition beginning on October 24, 2016 and ending in June 2018. Registration is open now through April 28th, 2017 with a $250 entrance fee.

Read more about Naveen Jain’s Moonshot here or space travel here on Tech.Co

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Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, was the former Chief Editor of AZ Tech Beat and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She's a veteran to CES and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to sport tech and funding.

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