IIT Gold-Medalist’s Ed-Tech Organization Wins the Young Social Entrepreneurs Global Award in Singapore


International Changemaker Olympiad” (ICO), a global ed-tech organization founded by Rahul Adhikari – an IIT Gold-Medalist turned entrepreneur – has emerged as one of the six winning teams at the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Global 2020 programme for its transformative work in the education sector. The award comes with an S$20,000 grant for the winning organizations.

Rahul Adhikari and P Sai Sindhu from International Changemaker Olympiad receiving the winning announcement from the Chairman of Singapore International Foundation

Since 2010, the YSE programme has nurtured a network of youth with innovative business ideas focused on social good. For the 2020 edition, ICO is one of the six global social enterprises to win the award after a rigorous selection from 367 applications from 63 nationalities. The winning teams represent 5 countries – Singapore, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and India – and address various social issues from breast cancer to agri-tech. They were chosen based on the impact and scalability of their social enterprises, as well as the commitment level of team members.

International Changemaker Olympiad (ICO) (www.ico-official.org) is an ed-tech platform that enables children in schools to launch social initiatives and tackle real-world problems in their home, school, or community, thereby helping them create a positive difference in the world while also enabling them to develop into socially conscious, responsible citizens. More than 25,000 students from 23+ cities of India have participated in ICO to date and created a tremendous social impact – such as saving 4 million litres of water in public washrooms, rescuing 300 injured animals from the streets of their cities, and raising INR 1 Million for NGOs.

Rahul and the other finalists underwent an 8-month long incubation program where each social enterprise was paired with mentors from McKinsey or Temasek. At the end of the incubation, the shortlisted social enterprises reconvened virtually at the final pitching event titled “YSE Pitching for Change” where they presented their innovative ideas to a panel of judges. The judges comprised established entrepreneurs and industry experts from various organisations including Community Foundation of Singapore, PwC Singapore, Deutsche Bank, and Asia Philanthropic Ventures.

After winning the award, Mr. Rahul shared, “It’s a privilege to win the award, especially from so many unique social innovations globally. It’s a big testament to our work and will fuel us further to achieve our vision of empowering every child to become a Changemaker.”

SIF Governor and YSE 2020 Lead Judge, Mr. Lian Wee Cheow, noted that the COVID-19 crisis had heightened the need for social enterprises to address social issues. He said, “It is heartening to witness the drive and passion of these young participants towards creating positive social change. The teams’ commitment, together with their innovative and sustainable business ideas, give us hope that businesses can indeed thrive while doing good.

The YSE Global Award is not the first big achievement for ICO. ICO previously also won the prestigious “Oscars” of Education award in London, an award that celebrates and rewards global innovations in education. It was also selected for the UnLtd India incubation program in 2020 that is designed to support high-growth social enterprises.


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