Acara Innovation Fellows

The 2016 Innovation Fellows are:

Pure Paani

Chris Bulkley-Logston & Kaylea Brase

Pure Paani provides portable, hand-operated water filtration devices to a network of micro-entrepreneurs living in communities in which potable water access is minimal. Pure Paani plans on initiating a pilot study, which involves testing the effectiveness of the filter, gathering customer feedback, developing a product assembly procedure and assessing the business model.

SMS Maama

Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, Katelyn Pastick & Meg KenKnight Burman

SMS Maama is a text messaging service for pregnant women in Uganda. Women receive informational and interactive screening texts and are connected with a midwife should follow-up be indicated. Find more information here.

SMS Maama News: College of Biological Sciences.

The Soté Initiative 

Ashley Xiong & Hannah Chau

The Soté Initiative aims to bridge the gap between medical attention and those in need, focusing specifically on conditions that can be cured through simple surgeries. Current efforts are focused on screening for and surgically treating precancerous cervical lesions in rural Haiti, with the goal of replicating the program across the globe.

Connect with The Soté Initiative on Facebook

Pots With Purpose

Ben Schram & Johanna Christner

Pots With Purpose is working to reduce death and disease caused by unclean water in low-income communities in Kenya by training local women entrepreneurs to educate the community about the needs for proper hygiene and sanitation, and selling products that will help them keep their families safe from waterborne diseases.

Connect with Pots With Purpose on Facebook


Viswa Challa, Raj Kumar, Andreas Hochrein & Raoul Fernandes

HealthSync will distribute remote health monitoring stations to rural villages in India to help gather data for rural health professionals and urban health centers that are trying to address the lack of health-care access in these areas.

Siobhan Powers

Patricia Columbus-Powers

This high-end Native American fashion house allows consumers to represent Native American success and contribute to empowering Native American designers to end cultural appropriation of Native American culture in fashion, provide employment to Native American felons, and promote healing and self-expression through art.

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Simon Cecil & Adam Roa

Minnesota Freedom Fund pays bail for low-income individuals and connects them with legal support, helping them reconnect with their jobs, homes and families. It seeks to cast light on inequities in the legal system and ensure that no one is stuck in jail for the crime of being poor.

Read about past Acara Innovation Fellows here.