BrainControl and Pedius, the Italian social startups at the Global Social Venture Competition

Pubblicato il 09 Apr 2013

This year at the final event of Global Social Venture Competition that will be held in Berkley next 11-12 of April, there are two Italian startups, BrainControl and Pedius.

Actually, they are the only European social enterprise in this remarkable global competition and what they do is outstanding. Both Brain Control and Pedius develop technological solutions to huge problems that many people unfortunately have to face.

Born in 1999, the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) provides aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and $50,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into businesses that will have positive real world impact. Founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the GSVC culminates each year with the Global Finals and Conference at Berkeley in April, gathering teams from around the world and Bay Area professionals for a day of learning and networking. GSVC has evolved into a global network supported by an international community of volunteer judges, mentors and student organizers and a partnership of premier business schools in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

In 2012-2013, GSVC received 650 entries from nearly 40 countries. Previous years’ finalists include Husk Power, Revolution Foods, and d.light design. Since its inception in 1999, the GSVC has awarded more than a quarter of a million dollars to emerging social ventures and has introduced early-stage social venture entrepreneurs to the investment community.


BrainControl BrainControl is a breakthrough technology that gives disabled people the power to control objects with their minds, allowing them to control a communicator, domotic devices (lights, doors, windows, alarms, temperature, bed position, etc.), wheelchairs, and other assistive technologies. Based on a proprietary Brain-Computer Interfaces technology (BCI), BrainControl interprets the electric map that correspond to certain brain activity and allows patients to control a tablet PC through specific thoughts, overcoming physical disability, and improving communication and environmental control. The focus is on assistive applications for people affected by degenerative neuromuscular disease (multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – ALS) and ischemic or traumatic injury, which each year affects more than 3 million patients. BrainControl is the world’s first assistive technology that is usable by people who cannot move any muscles or communicate, but who are consciously aware, a state called “locked-in” or “apparent coma”.


Pedius is a communication system helping deaf people to make normal phone calls, using voice recognition technologies and speech synthesis. Pedius’ users can call all emergency numbers for free, as well as all partner companies supporting our accessibility program who agree to pay a fee and provide users a toll free access number. Users can also call private numbers, paying an affordable fee comparable to what is offered by VoIP communication providers. The goal of Pedius is the reduction of communication barriers for deaf people, enabling phone services for all and at the same time increasing the visibility of our accessibility partner companies.

Hereafter, the complete list of Global finalist teams at GSVC

AtRium – Sud Corea

Carbon Roots – Haiti

CSA Munching Box – Tailandia

E-Lamp – Cina

Damascus Fortune – India

Essmart – India

Faso Soap – Burkina Faso

Jorsey Ashbel Farm – Nigeria

Nafa Naana – Burkina Faso

Pulp Works – Usa

Reel Gardening – Sud Africa

Sunshin Library – Cina

TohL – Usa/Cile

Vi-Care – India

Wedu – Tailandia

Woof – Hong Kong

(Foto in alto Future – Take the Future by your hand. Who else can do? – H.Koppdelanay)

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