INDIANAPOLIS (July 21, 2022) — AgriNovus Indiana, a non-profit focused on growing the agbioscience economy, today announced Bloomington, Ind.-based Civic Champs won its HungerTech Innovation Challenge, scoring the company $25,000 to help advance their tech-enabled food security product.
In partnership with Elevance Health, the HungerTech Innovation Challenge sought innovators to develop new technologies and profitable business models to improve access to nutrition, simplify online transactions and unlock free delivery for food-insecure Americans served by the more than $100 billion annual Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“The technologies, business models and delivery systems that teams concepted in the HungerTech Innovation Challenge offer an inspiring view into how technology and innovation can connect food supply to those in need,” said Mitch Frazier, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “We look forward to working with the Civic Champs team to advance their technology, further develop their business model and scale to address the needs of those served by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”
Civic Champs’ team includes Geng Wang, Mike Jeffery, Darcy Neureiter and Jahonna Lipscomb. Their solution is a mobile app that allows SNAP shoppers to purchase from participating grocers and schedule home delivery at no additional charge. The company has successfully tested delivery in its local market and plans to use the prize money to advance the app with new features, including trip status, order management and text messaging capabilities.
“Building solutions that are at the intersection of bringing our communities together through volunteerism while solving the serious challenges that face our friends and neighbors is what excites and motivates our team,” said Geng Wang, CEO of Civic Champs. “Participating in the HungerTech Challenge allows us to work with incredible partners and build on our existing platform to serve the 37 million people who are food insecure across the United States.”
As the HungerTech Innovation Challenge winner, Civic Champs will receive $25,000 and the guidance of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to explore piloting their solution. They will also be included in a forthcoming report to policymakers later this year.
In addition to Elevance Health, leaders from the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, Community Health Network, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and TechPoint supported the innovation challenge.
The announcement of the winner of the HungerTech Innovation Challenge follows the release of an AgriNovus-commissioned study, Leveraging Technology to Improve Food Insecurity, which identified the need for technology and new business models to improve the more than $100 billion annual federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
To learn more about HungerTech and the winning team, Civic Champs, click here.
About AgriNovus Indiana
AgriNovus Indiana is the state’s initiative focused on advancing the agbiosciences sector as a nationally recognized leader through business growth, entrepreneurial acceleration and thought leadership; strategic collaborations among corporations, industry associations, government and universities; the creation and support of new companies; and branding and targeted promotions to elevate the sector. AgriNovus Indiana is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an effort dedicated to the region’s continued prosperity and growth. To learn more about AgriNovus Indiana, visit www.agrinovusindiana.com.
About Elevance Health
Elevance Health is a leading health company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Elevance Health serves more than 118 million people, including more than 45 million within its family of health plans. Delivering health beyond healthcare, Elevance Health is expanding from being a partner in health benefits to a lifetime, trusted health partner. For more information, please visit www.elevancehealth.com or follow @ElevanceHealth on Twitter.