Fundación Mapfre awards three major international social transformation projects – #BHHMembersInitiatives

KUVU (Spain), a shared accommodation platform that promotes coexistence between young people and the over 55s; Lysa (Brazil), the first GPS robot guide dog, designed to provide autonomy, safety and quality of life for people with visual disabilities; and ANA-Paz Mental (Mexico), an online service that supports caregivers and relatives of people with chronic and degenerative diseases.

These are the winners of the fifth edition of the Fundación MAPFRE Social Innovation Awards, an initiative whose aim is to improve people’s lives through entrepreneurial projects and teams that are transformed into proposals of high social value, and which is promoted by IE University, an academic partner of the awards.

The three selected winners have received an individual prize of 40,000 euros to develop their projects, as well as free consultancy from EY, offered through its Foundation to help them grow and become more efficient. They will also become part of Red Innova, which promotes the exchange of expert knowledge and contributes to the social innovation ecosystem.

The event, held today at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, was attended by the Secretary General for Innovation, Teresa Riesgo, who stressed that “to achieve appropriate solutions to complex problems we must be able to base them on knowledge and innovation, and for them to be good, they must be sustainable, not only environmentally, but also socially and humanly”. With this in mind, she pointed out, “these prestigious awards are being launched, which make visible solutions to situations that affect or will affect many of us and which provide training, mentoring and networking, aspects of incalculable value”. The Secretary General for Innovation also congratulated all the entrepreneurs who took part, and especially the winners, whom she recommended not to stop “pedalling in this world of innovation”.

Social and inclusive projects

“The road to innovation is always long, uncertain and complex, but with effort, talent, methodologies and the help of institutions such as Fundación MAPFRE, reaching the end is easier. Innovation with a surname, with a focus on social issues, after a long economic crisis, a global pandemic and a war, is more necessary than ever”. This was emphasised by Antonio Huertas, Chairman of MAPFRE and Fundación MAPFRE, who also congratulated all the participants in this edition, “innovators who add social commitment to their work and who make people’s lives easier”.

“These awards for social innovation are a reflection of IE University’s commitment to sustainability, an essential factor in promoting positive change through education, research and innovation,” said Santiago Íñiguez de Onzoño, President of IE University, who also participated in the event, presenting the award to Neide Sellin, CEO of Lysa. He also stressed the importance of education in training people who are capable of “making a positive impact on the world”.

The three award winners: Spain, Brazil and Mexico

Eduardo Fierro, CEO of Kuvu: “The award represents a unique opportunity to inspire other organisations and to build a world where generational diversity, which brings so many advantages, is valued and promoted. The award will allow us to push the platform forward and develop a mobile app that will reach more users”.

Neide Sellin, CEO of Lysa: “It is very gratifying to have made it this far. I hope to set an example for other women and encourage them to develop technology products that help change the world. I believe that with this award we will make history by providing more autonomy and freedom to visually impaired people around the world.

Ariel Zylbersztejn, founder of Ana-Paz Mental: “I dedicate this award to my grandparents, who were the seed of the idea. Watching them grow old and taking care of their partners was something that inspired me. I also dedicate it to all the service-minded people who help thousands of elderly and senior citizens on a daily basis, giving their heart and soul.

200 entrepreneurs from 10 countries

This year’s call received more than 200 initiatives from 10 different countries, developed by scientists, researchers, university students and business schools. The nine finalists presented their proposals to a jury made up of professionals from the fields of business and social entrepreneurship, who selected the three winners, taking into account criteria based on their potential for social impact, their technical and economic viability, and the capacity and experience of the team.

New edition and new region

Fundación MAPFRE has announced that in the next edition it will expand the scope of these awards to include a fourth region as powerful in social innovation as the United States. The call for entries for the sixth edition will open in October. The terms and conditions will be available here.