Contributor: Holly Wise & Ladan Mantaghi
Holly Wise and Ladan Mantaghi are co-directors of the Global Social Enterprise and Development Fellows Program. Wise leads Wise Consulting and teaches enterprise development at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and Mantaghi is the Executive Director of the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at the McDonough School of Business. They are the organizing faculty for the Georgetown University Global Innovation Lab powered by 3 Day Startup.
In October, students collaborated to identify global innovation challenges at Georgetown University’s first Global Innovation Lab powered by 3 Day Startup. In three days students developed solutions to global needs with the guidance of six mentors. The program culminated on day three as students pitched to a panel of five distinguished individuals.
Students that participated included Global Social Enterprise and Development Fellows from the Global Human Development (GHD) Program, students from the School of Foreign Service and McDonough School of Business, along with graduate students from the GHD Innovation in Action course. With the help of 3DS Facilitator Alec Wilson and the use of 3 Day Startup’s “learning by doing” model adapted for global innovation, students brainstormed and formed their innovation teams on day one.
What did they choose to work on?
- Campotos Hoya aimed to solve the unemployment of displaced women and food waste in Colombia.
- Shway developed a supply chain to the U.S. for sewn garments of traditional Seshoesho cloth from Lesotho to enhance the livelihood for women local to the region.
- Apps2Analytics worked to disrupt data collection and analysis in international development assistance.
- Gamechangers aimed to push positive behavior change for youth in refugee camps.
- Scholastic Plastic created a sustainable system for recycling in Turkey.
Today, social innovation is the ever-present buzzword floating around business schools, the internet, and in the minds of resourceful (and conscientious) entrepreneurs around the world. An increasing number of companies like Toms Shoes and Grameen Bank are operating viable businesses with social causes in mind. But the question remains, can you cultivate and teach social entrepreneurship?
3 Day Startup explores the journey of student entrepreneurs from all over the world in the ongoing blog series, Born in Dorms. Universities are ripe for more innovation: the combination of bright students, open information, and more accessible tech creates an environment where student companies can flourish better than ever before. These highly motivated and driven students share their successes, failures, and everything in between as they navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship in their local communities. Read more about each student’s unique perspective on building a viable company in and around campus.
Carolyn Yarina, a senior chemical engineering student at the University of Michigan co-founded CentriCycle with fellow student social entrepreneur Alex Thinath in August 2012.
CentriCycle is a non-profit working to improve healthcare in rural India through the implementation of sustainable diagnostic technology and disease education. In India, one out of every three people live in rural areas and lack local access to basic healthcare. “We have identified one key factor in the increasing disease incidence as the paucity of point-of-care diagnosis in rural villages in India,” says Yarina.
CentriCyle is launching its first device in India later this year: the CentriCycle Centrifuge. A centrifuge is a device that spins at high speeds to separate blood constituents. Once blood is separated, simple paper strips known as rapid diagnostic tests (RDT’s) can be used to diagnose diseases such as HIV, syphilis, and malaria. “Our device is hand-powered, affordable at $25, and enables point-of-care diagnosis in less than 5 minutes. Our total Indian market is $11.5 million,” says Yarina.