EduKar, Solarbrush, Medicinia, and Mandae Win The Challenge Cup Sao Paolo

January 31, 2014

1:21 pm

This week, The Challenge Cup headed down to Brazil for the only challenge to be held in South America. The Sao Paolo event was held at Supernova Labs and hosted by 1776, the DC-based startup hub providing the resources innovators need to succeed.

Eighteen startups competed, in the areas of education, energy, health, and smart cities, for the chance to head to Washington, DC in May to compete in the final Challenge Cup competition.

The four winning startups from Sao Paolo are:


EduKar offers financial support and various other services to complement their training with Edukar receiving a percentage of student’s earnings. A modern take on the education system that is currently struggling to show its value to millennial students.


Solarbrush manufactures robots that clean solar panels in arid regions, such as deserts, where manual maintenance is costly and dangerous. Without such maintenance, solar panels reduce their effectiveness by up to 35 percent.


Medicinia is an alternative healthcare delivery model that uses online interactions to increase doctor productivity and patient satisfaction. Medicinia does this through a questions and answers platform that connects patients with doctors and general practitioners with specialists.

Smart Cities

Mandae is a platform that simplifies the process of shipping– all you have to do is take a picture, and Mandae’s driver picks up everything to be packed in their office and shipped through the appropriate carrier.

Stay tuned for coverage for the next Challenge Cup competition, which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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