What is SUNRISE?

SUNRISE stands for Students UNiting for Real Impact to Society through Engineering. The program introduces engineering students at all stages to real-world problems, particularly in underprivileged communities.  In 2018-9 we are honored to partner with Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to look at needs in Preventive Health for Vulnerable Populations.

During the Spring 2019 semester, students do customer discovery by traveling with DHS team to see our communities in need. They will be able to apply for customer discovery funding as an individual or team (teams preferred) with a meaningful concept for a solution.

Students have also participate in VSi2 workshops to learn about effective business model development. They will also participate in more customer discovery to get feedback on their ideas. Towards the end of the semester, we will have a showcase with teams presenting their potential solutions.

Bring your creative ideas and your engineering skill to this deep experience. Contribute to Los Angeles and learn about working in multi-disciplinary teams in a fast-paced environment – knowing that your technologies could have major impact.


Each team can apply for funding of up to $1000 to work on their innovation.

Please write a proposal for funding and then submit your document by February 24, 2019 at 11:50 PM.

Apply for Funding

Field Trips

We have two customer discoveries field trips in 2019.

  1. Join us on Friday, January 18, as we travel to Harbor+UCLA Medical Center to talk with administrators and health care providers hosted by Dr. Anshu Abhat from DHS. We will meet at 10 am at USC and return around 2 pm.
  2. On Friday, January 25, we will first meet with Dean Axelrod, an Associate Director at Direct Relief, from 9:30 to 11 am. We will have lunch provided and then travel to USC’s Health Science Campus to visit The Wellness Center at 1200 N State St, Los Angeles, CA 90033 in Room MPR 1072 from 1 to 4 pm. If you would like to travel with us in a van, we will meet outside of OHE on Friday and leave by 12:15 pm.

Attending these events is required for prototyping money and to showcase in front of investors in April.

We will provide travel, thus we need you to RSVP. In order to make travel arrangements, we need a strong commitment.


On September 24, 2018, we had an information session. View the slide decks from the info session about the Project SUNRISE and Designing Solutions to Prevent Disease.

On October 25, 2018, we had a workshop on customer discovery led by Abby Fifer, who is the Executive Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Marshall School of Business at USC. She uses design thinking to create products for under-resourced communities in California.


You may apply as a team or as an individual. There must be at least one Viterbi student on your team. The application requests your name, email, major, and a short statement of interest.

Key Dates

0September 2018
Info Session
0October 2018
0January 2019
Field Trip #1
0January 2019
Field Trip #2
0February 2019
Funding Proposal Due
0March 2019
Meeting, 5-6 PM, DRB 146
0March 2019
Pitch Deck Workshop, 5-6 PM, DRB 146
0April 2019
Pitch Practice
0April 2019
Final Showcase at Spring Innovation Celebration