Vision Prize

The Clearly Vision Prize called on entrepreneurs to come forward with innovations that could help overcome the global issue of 2.5 billion people living with uncorrected vision problems. More than 100 entrants from a total of 21 countries competed for $250,000 in seed funding. We saw apps, drones, handcrafted glasses, lasers, artificial intelligence, last mile delivery systems and everything in between. Only those judged to have the greatest potential to improve access to vision correction could be crowned as the winners of the inaugural Vision Prize.

Our Vision Prize Winners

1st Place

Vula Mobile

South Africa

The Vula Mobile app gives health workers in remote rural areas the tools they need to capture accurate clinical information, guiding them through simple tests for visual acuity, finger counting, hand movements and light perception. Now for the clever bit: the app connects the health worker to a specialist who can give expert advice almost instantly – using smartphones to power faster, more connected care.

Vula finished in first place in the Vision Prize, winning $100,000 in funding. They are continually working to improve the service and are now looking to build on their success in South Africa by expanding to more countries.

Visit Vula

2nd Place

Folding Phoropter


The Folding Phoropter, created by the Srujana Center for Innovation at the L V Prasad Eye Institute, is a folded paper device inspired by origami. It takes just a few minutes to construct, costs less than 50 cents, and can accurately test for refractive error in even the most remote locations.

The Folding Phoropter won second prize, taking away $50,000 for further development of the product.

Visit the Folding Phoropter

3rd Place



Essmart distributes life-improving products in the most convenient way possible. Too often, technologies that have the power to radically improve lives do not get to the people who need them. Essmart aims to fix this problem by getting essential goods like reading glasses into local stores – shortcutting the system by going straight to the places where people already shop.

Essmart won the third place prize of $25,000.

Visit Essmart

Runner up

Smart Focus


Smart Focus is a social enterprise from Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Program. They are uniting the powers of industry, government, hospitals and schools to provide high quality, low cost eye exams in China. Teacher training brings eye care straight into the classroom so that students get the treatment they need. By focusing on serving youngsters in rural areas that might otherwise get left behind, Smart Focus is improving the vision of China’s next generation.

As a runner up in the Vision prize, Smart Focus won $10,000.

Visit Smart Focus

Runner up



MAZA provides flexible, on-demand transport services in Ghana using motorized tricycles. Medical emergency? MAZA is on hand. And when drivers have downtime, they can turn their attention to other vital services, like transporting glasses and optometrists to nearby villages. Available whenever are wherever they are needed, MAZA puts remote locations on the map so that everyone can get the treatment they need.

As a runner up in the Vision prize, Smart Focus won $10,000.

Visit MAZA

A lifetime achievement award was also presented to Dr Andrew Bastawrous, CEO and co-founder of Peek.

Finally, innovation prizes of $5,000 were also awarded to 9 ventures whose entries were highly commended by the judges: Drishti, EyeNetra, Logistimo, Style Eyes, VisionX, Salauno, PlenOptika, HelpMeSee and 6over6.

This competition was supplemented by the Clearly Labs – a series of ideas workshops staged around the world, bringing together some of the world’s most innovative minds to think through the global vision challenge.

Find out more about the Labs

Contact Us Privacy Policy Latest press release

© 2017 Clearly Initiative Inc. Contact Us Privacy Policy Latest press release

Privacy Policy