Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
In 2007, I founded the Harvard Project for Sustainable Development. As co-president I turned the group from a freshman idea into a 40+ member organization, operating in three countries in multiple sectors, raising over $20,000 in funding, and leading over 25 students on international projects. Specifically, in 2008 I led a multi-campus team to combat water-borne diseases in Nicaragua; creating an affordable 75%-25% incentivised subsidy programme for ceramic filters, holding health workshops, and conducting community-wide usage surveys. The project served over 100 people in 3 communities and was one of three winning finalists in MIT’s 2008 Millennium Campus Challenge.
In 2011, I co-founded Managing4Development, a graduate society focused on optimising aid through better management. We organised over 30 seminars, forums, an events with faculty and field experts. We also partnered with the Egyptian NGO Nahdet el Mahrousa to connect young social entrepreneurs with the skills & resources to take their ideas forward, and won first prize at the 2012 IdeaTransform entrepreneurship competition.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?
We understood very early that cooperation is essential for our model to succeed. We have already developed key partnerships with some of the biggest players in the mobile data collection space, such as Dimagi, Medic Mobile, Magpi, VaxTrac and mPower. All these companies focus on enabling mobile users to collect data in order to improve programme outcomes across sectors.
In Cambridge, we have developed key strategic partnerships with two leading hardware and software companies: ARM and Redgate, who support us financially, with in-kind donations, and with volunteers. One of our aims is to create a Tech4Dev hub in Cambridge to leverage some of the tremendous talent available in this city to build products that have a real impact in the developing world. For this purpose, we host weekly “Hack_Nights”, where engineers from our partners and other leading technology companies in Cambridge help us develop our hardware and software. This spirit of sharing knowledge and cooperating not only furthers our mission, but also enables us to draw on the knowledge of some of the UKs best engineers.