SOURCE: TechSoup Global

TechSoup Global

June 05, 2009 12:01 ET

Mobile Project to Aid Community Health Workers in Developing Countries Awarded $45,000 at NetSquared Mobile Challenge

Philanthropic Competition Showcases Mobile Innovation From FrontlineSMS: Medic, The Extraordinaries, and VozMob: Mobile Voices

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - June 5, 2009) - TechSoup Global (www.techsoupglobal.org) today announced that a project that uses mobile technology to aid communication among health workers in underserved areas was awarded $45,000 in seed funding at this year's NetSquared Global Conference (http://www.netsquared.org/conference/n2y4), an annual event hosted by Cisco, showcasing projects that use technology to propel social change. The mHealth project FrontlineSMS: Medic was the top vote-getter in the NetSquared Mobile Challenge ($25,000), and received additional prize money from challenges sponsored by Microsoft Corp. ($15,000) and the French American Charitable Trust ($5,000).

"We're a scrappy and resourceful bunch, but it's difficult to implement effective programs when your team is 100 percent volunteer, you're balancing school or day jobs, and you don't have much financial support," said Isaac Holeman, Clinical Programs Director, FrontlineSMS: Medic. "We really needed a shot in the arm -- a boost of volunteer power, publicity, and funding -- and that's exactly what we got at the NetSquared conference. With support from the NetSquared community, Microsoft, and the French American Charitable Trust, the next few months will be tremendously exciting."

Other winners in the NetSquared Mobile Challenge include: The Extraordinaries (2nd place), a project that uses on-demand crowd sourcing volunteerism; and VozMob: Mobile Voices (3rd place), a project that, in conjunction with University of Southern California, uses mobile technology to promote citizen journalism among immigrant populations in Los Angeles.

Microsoft, Yahoo! and the French American Charitable Trust also sponsored challenges in the areas of international development, environment and social justice. These NetSquared Challenge Sponsors awarded a total of $61,000 in prize money.

Microsoft Mobile Challenge for Development

-- FrontlineSMS: Medic - SMS for Medical Records and Mobile Lab Diagnostics (First place -$15,000)

-- Face the Change (Second Place - $10,000)

-- Help is only an SMS away (Third Place -$5,000)

-- AGRICULTURAL MARKET INFORMATION SERVICES (AMIS) PROJECT (Honorable Mention - $1,000)

French American Charitable Trust (FACT) Social Justice Awards

-- DatAgro: Increasing the Yield of Latin American Farming Cooperatives ($5,000)

-- Digital Democracy's Handheld Human Rights ($5,000)

-- FrontlineSMS: Medic - SMS for Medical Records and Mobile Lab Diagnostics ($5,000)

-- The Extraordinaries -- On-demand crowdsourcing volunteerism via smartphones ($5,000)

-- Slave Free ($5,000)

The Yahoo! Green Award

-- DatAgro: Increasing the Yield of Latin American Farming Cooperatives ($5,000)

The fourth annual NetSquared Conference, N2Y4, would not have been possible without the generous financial and in-kind support of its sponsors, including conference host Cisco, Microsoft Corp., SAP BusinessObjects, Yahoo! Inc., Acteva, ReadyTalk, Sun Microsystems, Adobe Systems, givezooks!, IdeasProject, Linden Lab, Redemtech, alonovo.com, Aspiration, the Coup, RainCity Studios, Network for Good; and media sponsors L'Atelier and ReadWriteWeb.

About NetSquared

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, NetSquared is an initiative of nonprofit organization TechSoup Global. NetSquared mobilizes individuals, communities and organizations to use the power of social media tools to create social change, and provides funding and networking opportunities for the use of these tools to develop social innovation projects. Currently, NetSquared provides these resources to a community of more than 20,000 registered users and through a network of Tuesday meetups in 12 countries around the globe. For more information visit www.netsquared.org or www.techsoupglobal.org.

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