It could be another Cinderella story

I am a naturalized US citizen from the former Soviet Union where I held eight Certificates of Invention from their equivalent of our Department of Patents. I consider myself an intelligent and very resourceful individual and take pride in my ability to analyze a problem from many different directions, feeling that a fresh perspective is frequently the source of a simple and efficient resolution. I have four business ideas that I believe are substantial and will create auxiliary infrastructures with an additional numbers of jobs when implemented. The first idea will boost production of solar batteries in near future by creating a variety of new, different from already well known, installation applications that are being used by the government and corporations. This project will help to boost production of clean electricity. Mass production of solar batteries will generate a condition when their price will drop to a level more affordable for an average household. Improvement of the power network security (as an opposition to technological misuse and accidents as well as to terrorist’s threats and acts of sabotage) will take place due to deployment of dispersed, grid-connected solar batteries, which will contribute to strengthening the reliability of the U.S. power grid. Economic advantages are the creation of auxiliary infrastructure with an additional number of jobs, lowering energy costs, which affect all markets; not as much maintenance expense as compared with other sources of electricity. One of the political advantages would be less dependence on foreign sources of energy. The second idea will reduce airline expenses, significantly increase airport productivity, have positive impact on the security as well as provide growth for a related market. Unsolicited proposal with description of this project was accepted and taken in consideration by TSA at April 2003, before its transfer to DHS. It could be a positive factor in the project development The third idea that came up as a logical continuation of the second one will introduce a new concept in cargo transportation. The fourth idea will solve the solid waste problem. This project will eliminate landfills, bring profit, and most importantly, make the environment cleaner. My goal is to create new ventures. It is very hard for an independent inventor to develop a business plan. My innovations while beneficial cannot be protected by patent law and are too costly to be developed by individual investment. Accordingly, they might be brought to fruition by the government, or a corporation. I am looking for help to gain access to decision making corporate or government official. Therefore, I will be able to bring my proposals to their attention. If they will find that my projects have merit, I will proceed with my endeavor to create auxiliary infrastructures with an additional numbers of jobs.

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Lumina Foundation and Big Think have partnered to bring this entrepreneurial competition to life, and we hope you'll participate! We have narrowed down the competition to four finalists and will be announcing an audience's choice award and a judges' choice award in May.

The creator of the winning video — chosen by Big Think's audience, the Lumina Foundation, and an independent panel of experts (bios below) — will be flown to New York for a taping in the Big Think studio as a way to further promote their vision for a new, disruptive idea in post-secondary education.

Thank you to all of the contestants who spent time submitting applications, and best of luck to our final four competitors.

Finalist: Greater Commons - Todd McLeod

Greater Commons, founded by Todd McLeod and Andrew Cull, is an organization that helps people live happier, more successful and fulfilling lives through agile learning. The current education system is inefficient and exclusionary, in which many students who end up earning a degree, if at all, enter a career not related to their field of study. Greater Commons solves this problem and gap in post-high school secondary education in a variety of ways. Passionately and diligently, Great Commons helps others obtain skills, knowledge, wisdom, motivation, and inspiration so that they may live better lives.

Finalist: PeerFoward - Keith Frome

PeerForward is an organization dedicated to increasing the education and career success rates of students in low-income schools and communities by mobilizing the power of positive peer influence. PeerForward works with partner schools to select influential students as a part of a team, systemizing the "peer effect." Research in the fields of sociology of schools, social-emotional learning, adult-youth partnerships, and civic education demonstrates that students can have a positive effect on the academic outcomes of their peers. PeerForward is unique through its systemic solutions to post-secondary education.

Finalist: Cogniss - Leon Young

Cogniss combines technology and best practice knowledge to enable anyone to innovate and share solutions that advance lifelong learning. Cogniss is the only platform to integrate neuroscience, through which it solves the problem of access by providing a low-code platform that enables both developers and non-developers to build sophisticated education apps fast, and at a much lower cost. It addresses the uneven quality of edtech solutions by embedding research-based learning design into its software. App creators can choose from a rich set of artificial intelligence, game, social and data analytics, and gamification to build their perfect customized solution.

Finalist: Practera - Nikki James

Practera's mission is to create a world where everyone can learn through experience. Today's workplaces are increasingly dynamic and diverse, however, costly and time-consuming experiential learning is not always able to offer the right opportunities at scale. Many students graduate without developing the essential skills for their chosen career. Practera's team of educators and technologists see this problem as an opportunity to transform the educational experience landscape, through a CPL pedagogical framework and opportunities to apply students' strengths through active feedback.

Thank you to our judges!

Our expert judges are Lorna Davis, Dan Rosensweig, and Stuart Yasgur.

Lorna Davis is the Senior Advisor to Danone CEO and is a Global Ambassador for the B Corp movement. Lorna has now joined B-Lab, the non-for-profit that supports the B Corporation movement on an assignment to support the journey of large multi nationals on the path to using business as a force of good.

Dan Rosensweig joined Chegg in 2010 with a vision for transforming the popular textbook rental service into a leading provider of digital learning services for high school and college students. As Chairman and CEO of Chegg, Dan commits the company to fulfilling its mission of putting students first and helping them save time, save money and get smarter.

Stuart Yasgur leads Ashoka's Social Financial Services globally. At Ashoka, Stuart works with others to initiate efforts that have mobilized more than $500 million in funding for social entrepreneurs, engaged the G20 through the Toronto, Seoul and Los Cabos summits and helped form partnerships with leading financial institutions and corporations.

Again, thank you to our incredible expert judges.

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