The Dell Social Innovation Challenge season is well underway, and mentors are working with 263 teams who have advanced to the semifinal round. Every year, DSIC attracts and supports promising student entrepreneurs who have dedicated themselves to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

A snapshot of the semifinalist projects:

  • Semifinalists come from 36 countries, with about half originating in North America (including Canada and Mexico). Thirty percent came from Asia Pacific, and more than 10 percent came from Africa.
  • Our student entrepreneurs have plans to make an impact in more than 50 countries. More than a third are targeted at Asia Pacific (including Australia and the Middle East), with Africa and North America each comprising about a quarter of other countries of impact.
  • Many projects tackle issues in education, with almost 70 education-related business ideas. Last year, we hosted the Dell Education Challenge, a spotlight contest to identify and invest in the most promising ideas for transforming primary/K-12 education. All entries also were entered in this spring’s larger Dell Social Innovation Challenge, and we’re excited to see the mentoring and support they received last fall has resulted in promising business plans that have qualified for the semifinal round!
  • Fifty-seven projects focus on economic development and poverty, with another 39 engaged in health issues. Meanwhile, 20 projects have innovations for environmental issues, and 16 deal with technology.
  • More than 250 Dell team members are serving as project mentors, helping these teams fine-tune their business ideas in hopes of advancing to the finals.

We’ll announce the five finalist teams April 8, along with winners of our specialty and phase awards. You can follow our journey at www.dellchallenge.org, or Tweet at me @MicheleatDell.