SOURCE: Singularity University

Singularity University

August 26, 2009 10:58 ET

Singularity University Spawns New Business Ventures to Address "Humanity's Grand Challenges"

Graduate Studies Student Ventures to Address "Grand Challenges" Through Scientific, Technological Collaboration and Innovation

Inaugural Graduate Studies Program Concludes With Venture Demonstrations, Closing Ceremonies at Moffett Field

MOFFETT FIELD, CA--(Marketwire - August 26, 2009) - Following an intensive nine-week graduate-level interdisciplinary program, Singularity University (SU) today announced that several Graduate Studies Program (GSP) student team projects will spin off into new business ventures. The projects will be fully unveiled at the final August 27 presentation judged by SU faculty and staff, and Silicon Valley venture capital and business leaders.

SU is also pleased to announce Graduate Studies Program Closing Ceremonies will begin at 3pm PT on Friday, August 28, at NASA Ames Research Park, Moffett Field, California. Key members of NASA will present closing remarks to the inaugural GSP class, as well as SU co-founders Dr. Peter H. Diamandis and Dr. Ray Kurzweil, and student representatives. The live stream and archive video of the Closing Ceremonies can be viewed at beginning at 3pm PT on August 28.

"The vision for Singularity University is based on the realities and benefits of the exponentially accelerating technologies needed to address the major challenges facing the world today, and coming tomorrow," said Dr. Ray Kurzweil, co-founder and chancellor of Singularity University. "The inaugural class of students and the inter-disciplinary curriculum successfully executed on the mission we envisioned; demonstrated by the initial ventures in development. It's clear that Singularity University is fostering the next cadre of leaders to take the world beyond the curve."

From Vision to Reality

The "Ten to the Ninth Power" (10^9) team project challenged the 40 GSP students to affect one billion people within the next 10 years, by harnessing the power of the convergence of accelerating technologies to address one or more of "humanity's grand challenges," such as climate change and poverty. Through the final four weeks of the program, teams of approximately 10 students tackled their chosen challenges, and emerged with new business ventures supported by demonstrated market need and viable business models. Many already have investment commitment, or are in process of securing financial support.

"It's been such a pleasure and learning experience working with the students over the past nine weeks, and diving into the flood of ideas produced from the group," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, co-founder of Singularity University. "The team project was quite challenging. From around the globe, these students truly are the world's future leaders, as demonstrated by the initial ventures they have created to address some of the major issues facing the world today. Together, they have shown the power and innovation of the collective wisdom to affect major challenges. I'm sure we'll continue to see great things from the inaugural class."

The team projects will include the following reports:

--  Solutions for Low-Bandwidth Communications discusses mobile phone
    proliferation to accelerate economic development. SMS is the most
    universally available and least expensive form of telecommunication in much
    of the developing world. The first project is an SMS platform that will
    provide an intelligent server infrastructure to run applications. The
    platform will provide a set of modular programming tools accessible through
    a web portal, empowering individuals to create localized SMS applications.
--  Driving Toward an Intelligent Transportation Grid addresses how an
    intelligent transportation grid can positively affect energy usage and slow
    climate change. The major impacts are to people valuing access over
    ownership of cars, and a decrease in global carbon dioxide emissions. As
    the first part of this intelligent grid, the group is launching Gettaround,
    a marketplace for peer-to-peer leasing of under-utilized car hours. enables car owners to create revenue from their depreciating
    cars, and for renters to have easy access to cars -- affordably and
--  Rapid Housing Manufacturing That Begins in the Developing World
    focuses on advances in rapid, additive manufacturing technologies to
    construct affordable and customizable housing in the developing world. Cost-
    efficient, environmentally sustainable solutions have the potential to
    create a transformative new paradigm for improving housing construction
    using local resources.
--  Global and Civic Disaster Response considers a new paradigm for
    disaster response that has advantages over existing systems, such as
    allowing users to overcome communications network problems typical of
    crisis situations. From this, the team is building a company focused on
    delivering innovative new solutions to facilitate evacuation, medical
    triage and aid in natural disaster situations.

"The inaugural Graduate Studies Program was a great journey following the impact of the convergence of science and technology," said Salim Ismail, Executive Director of Singularity University. "The students' level of energy, creativity, and innovation was unparalleled throughout the program. With a short runway, the team projects show great depth of thought and practical ability to affect change well beyond the typical boundaries. The inaugural GSP class is second-to-none, and I look forward to following their actions in the coming years."

The Next Chapter

Singularity University will offer the inaugural, 9-day Mid-Level management program beginning November 7, 2009. Dates for the inaugural 3-day C-Level executive program will be announced later this year. Interested candidates can submit applications and find additional information at


Singularity University (SU) is an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies in order to address humanity's grand challenges. With the support of a broad range of leaders in academia, business and government, SU hopes to stimulate groundbreaking, disruptive thinking and solutions aimed at solving some of the planet's most pressing challenges. SU is based at the NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley. For more information, go to

Contact Information

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