Entrepreneurs, companies and thinkers across the globe were recently awarded for outstanding innovation by the Verizon Powerful Answers Awards. The challenge resulted in a share of $6 million in awards to contestants who are pioneering their categories, with a focus on education, healthcare, sustainability and transportation.
According to Verizon's website, "We believe good ideas combined with powerful technology can help solve the world's biggest problems."
This notion is represented by the members of the Society for Women Engineers every day. A career in engineering allows women to become a positive and powerful force in improving quality of life, with innovative thinking and cutting edge creation.
"Awards programs are a reminder to current and future engineering and technology leaders that a career in engineering could be the catalyst for greatness," said Elizabeth Bierman, president of the Society of Women Engineers. "Just like Verizon, SWE hosts its own awards programs to recognize visionaries in STEM careers, and to inspire other individuals to reach their full potential as well."
Among those awarded was Matternet, a startup co-founded by Andreas Raptopolos and Paola Santana with the goal of using drones to provide medicine, food and other basic needs to developing countries. As told to CNET.com, Paola dreamed of a career in politics as a little girl because she wanted to change her country. However, she quickly realized that technology was the key to change.
The Verizon award allowed Paola and Andreas to expand their production and put out more drones for the benefit of countries that don't have the infrastructure to easily obtain these basic needs.
Verizon recently announced it will be holding the competition for a third time this year to award the innovators, developers and entrepreneurs who ideate solutions to some of the world's most complex problems. Focus categories for this year's competition are transportation, emergency response and the Internet of Things (IoT). Innovators can apply here by the deadline of June 18, 2015.