(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for WeWork)
Byte Back, the 20-year-old D.C. nonprofit that provides free computer training and career counseling to underserved District residents, won $360,000 at the WeWork Creator Awards Global Finals at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Wednesday.
“We’re thrilled! It was really a privilege to be among a group of finalists and semifinalists who are changing their communities and the world,” said Yvette Scorse, Byte Back’s communications director, to Technical.ly DC. “And for Byte Back, it was one of the most amazing experiences of our 20 years. We are so thankful for WeWork’s generosity and to continue being part of a community of creators, innovators, and passionate world-changers.”
Coworking giant WeWork (which has 10 locations in the DMV) sponsored the event, recognizing entrepreneurs with a social mission. Byte Back won $360,000 and the top prize at the WeWork Creator Awards DC last March. The funds will help Byte Back to plan for a multi-city expansion and increasing free tech training to high-needs communities in Maryland.
— Byte Back (@ByteBackDC) January 18, 2018
Nonprofit Global Vision 20/20, of Easton, Md., took home the $1 million grand prize.
“I’m speechless, over-the-moon, and just super excited. It opens up so many possibilities,” said J. Kevin White, executive director of Global Vision 20/20, in a statement. “This is a complete game-changer.”
CONGRATULATIONS to @re3Dprinting and @GV2020_org for winning the GRAND PRIZE at the WeWork Creator Awards! $1 million will be awarded to the teams for their efforts in the social entrepreneurship space. pic.twitter.com/7OqtWH3hHt
— IEEE Startup & N3XT (@ieeeN3XT) January 18, 2018
It was the second major award in four months for Global Vision 20/20, which ships affordable snap-on eyeglasses and simple optometric training to impoverished people around the world. Last September, it won the National Geographic Chasing Genius award.
Austin, Texas-based for-profit re:3D, which produces accessible 3D printers that use recycled materials, also walked away with a $1 million top prize. All eight finalists walked away with something, and a grand total of $4.22 million was handed out.
Here is the list of winners:
- J. Kevin White of Global Vision 20/20
- Samantha Snabes of Re:3D
- Sebastian Jünemann of CADUS
- Naveed R. Parvez of Andiamo
- Or Retzkin of Eye Control
- Elizabeth Lindsey of Byte Back
- Manal Kahi of Eat Offbeat
- Becca Keaty of Bunker Labs
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