The world has solutions to poverty. Can you distribute them to those in need?

Our world has already invented many effective poverty solutions, but sadly most fail to reach actual people in need. Millions of lives would improve if people had access to proven energy, education, health, and other interventions. Can you start a new social enterprise and solve this problem?

D-Prize is a call to the world’s boldest entrepreneurs. Can you design a new social enterprise and solve one of the distribution challenges below? If selected, we will award you up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in Africa, India, or another other developing region. D-Prize will award 5-15 social entrepreneurs funding. If your pilot is successful, we will help you find future funding and grow to impact millions.


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Fletcher D-Prize "Poverty Solutions Venture" Competition

Challenges

Girl’s Education

SUGAR DADDY AWARENESS CHALLENGE: 14 million unintended teen pregnancies occur annually in sub-Saharan Africa, and girls are 5x more likely to be infected with HIV. A one-hour “sugar daddy awareness” class reduces these risks 28%. Can you teach “sugar daddy awareness” classes to girls in need?

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SCHOLARSHIP CHALLENGE: Fewer than 50% of girls in developing countries will finish high school because they cannot afford fees. A $250 scholarship can quickly change a young girl's life. Can you create a fundraising website and raise money from developed-world donors?

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Energy

SOLAR LAMP CHALLENGE: 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa use kerosene lanterns to light their homes. Solar lamps are cheaper, cleaner, create cost savings, and increase household incomes by 30%. Can you sell solar lights to rural or slum-dwelling households in need?

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COOK STOVE CHALLENGE: 3 billion people cook on traditional stoves, which cause chronic smoke exposure and are the cause of 4% percent of the global disease burden. A $13 modern stove provides cost savings and health benefits. Can you sell cook stoves and maintain long-term adoption rates?

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Education

FLIPPED CLASSROOM CHALLENGE: By 2030 Africa will need to fill an impossible 4.1 million teaching positions. “Flipped classrooms” and deskilled curriculum can be run by a facilitator, and reduce the need for expert teachers. Can you implement an effective curriculum to teach students in a resource-limited classroom?

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TESTING CHALLENGE: In sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children remain illiterate even after five years of school. Testing and public scorecards increase accountability in poor education systems. Can you launch an organization that tests student and school performance, and makes the information publicly available?

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Governance and Infrastructure

TRANSPARENCY CHALLENGE: Public services in developing countries are rife with corruption. Public reporting and scorecards creates real accountability. Can you improve transparency and report data on the public service performance?

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ROAD MONITORING CHALLENGE: World Bank infrastructure projects see a high social ROI, yet only 19% of roads in sub-Saharan Africa are paved. New road projects often cuts corners and may not even be finished. Can you create a simple road-construction mapping and monitoring system?

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Global Health

VACCINE CHALLENGE: For $20, a child can be vaccinated against a range of infectious disease for life. Yet millions of vaccines are wasted. Can you create a simple management system that tracks vaccine supplies?

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CORRECTIVE SURGERY CHALLENGE: Obstetric fistula, cervical cancer, club foot, and cataracts all have effective treatments. Yet identifying patients among large populations is difficult. Can you create a way to identify patients and connect them to early treatment solutions?

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MATERNAL HEALTH CHALLENGE: Misoprostol is a $3 drug that could prevent 100,000 maternal deaths from postpartum hemorrhaging. Can you develop an organization to train birth attendants to administer misoprostol?

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Custom

Propose your own challenge! If you know of another proven intervention in need of greater distribution, we would like to hear it. The only requirements are to choose an already proven poverty solution that is in need of distribution to more people in the developing world.

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Review the Competition Details

Who Should Compete?

D-Prize is for all aspiring entrepreneurs. You may come from anywhere in the world, be any age, and have any background. You must be committed, highly skilled, and ready to work hard to scale-up your impact as a long term career.

We will fund some existing organizations, especially if your organization wants to pilot a new distribution-focused initiative. If you are over 12 months old, have already raised more than $100,000, and are not piloting a new distribution-focused initiative, D-Prize is unlikely to offer funding.

Timeline

FIRST ROUND

Submit a resume and two-page concept note by Aug 26 (early deadline), Sept 7 (regular deadline), or Sept 21 (limited extension). Early submissions encouraged.

SECOND ROUND

The top 5% of entrepreneurs will be invited to submit a full 10 page proposal. Full plans are due within four weeks of being invited to submit.

FINAL ROUND

The top entrepreneurs will interview with judges. Winners will receive up to $20,000, mentorship, and other support as you launch.

GET STARTED

Launch your idea. Spend the next three months using all of your talent to start a venture and help millions of people.

Winners

Most Recent Winners

The Breakfast Revolution
Pankaj Jethwani and Saurabh Rane

India faces a silent malnutrition epidemic: ~40% of its children are malnourished leading to ~50% of all child deaths and 2-3% loss to India's GDP. The Breakfast Revolution aspires to eradicate malnutrition by providing affordable and equitable access to nutritious foods and other essential nutrition interventions for India's 400 million + children, adolescents, and women. The venture leverages three distribution channels: selling to existing feeding programs of non-profits, to government food safety-net programs, and to consumers living in urban slums via microfranchises. In the last 1 year, the enterprise has impacted 11,000 beneficiaries and aims to reach 60,000 beneficiaries in the next 2 years.

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Blueprint International
David Clark, Catharine Young, Colin Young

Blueprint International uses advanced low-cost mobile app technology to track and assist vaccine supply chain drivers. This creates context around the vaccine journey, determines where challenges are faced and obstacles occur, and provides information that is used to tailor solutions appropriately for each vaccine supply chain. Working closely with OPSI Systems, a premier logistics company in South Africa, the team is piloting in the Western Cape, South Africa with the intent to scale up to five countries within the next two years.

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Power2Girls
Sophie Danner, Melissa LaFayette, Sheena Lahren, and Nick Pernisco

Power2Girls will teach sugar-daddy awareness classes, a proven solution to address high teenage HIV and pregnancy rates. The venture relies on local change agents who are personally and professionally invested in the empowerment of girls. During our 3-month pilot, the team will teach over 5,000 girls in Ghana about the risks associated with sugar-daddies and empower them with the tools and confidence to take control of their lives. Within a year, Power2Girls will reach over 50,000 girls.

    GiftedMom
    Alain Nteff

    GiftedMom is central Africa's first social enterprise which develops innovative and low-cost technologies to improve maternal and infant health. The team manages an automated service that notifies pregnant women on when to go for the next antenatal care service and alerts moms with newborns on when to take their babies for the next vaccine, which currently impact over 2800 pregnant women and newborns in over 18 villages in rural Cameroon, and have increase antenatal care turnout by 20%. GiftedMom will soon scale nationwide in Cameroon, targeting 20,000 users in the next 12 months and 5 million users across Africa in 2 years.

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    Azimuth Solar
    Eric Silverman, Manuel Ludwig-Dehm, Soonen Ahua

    Azimuth Solar fights energy poverty by providing affordable, clean and reliable solar lamps to people not yet connected to the grid. The team operates in Sierra Leone, and within the first three months aims to reach close to 800 households. Azimuth Solar’s long-term vision is to achieve a significantly larger footprint and equip 10,000 households with solar lanterns over the next two years.

      SoLight
      Adam Cameron

      SoLight is drastically increasing the use of solar lamps in Uganda. Customers are served via a shopkeeper network, and services include a Daily Rental Program where customers can use a solar lamp for less than 7¢/day. SoLight addresses the largest barriers to market penetration: lack of trust, lack of financing, and lack of availability. We aim to distribute and finance over 4000 solar products by the end of 2015, and dream of a world where solar lamps are more accessible than kerosene.

        SponsorHer!
        Viola Csordas and Maria Zandt

        SponsorHer! will ensure the brightest girls receive high school education through a scholarship program. Their fundraising platform mobilizes a network of expatriate mothers through an interactive social fundraising website. SponsorHer! will fund 100 scholarships during a three month pilot, and has a vision to scale to support 5,000 girls in the next two years. Viola and Maria won the Fletcher D-Prize “Poverty Solutions Venture Competition”, and are supported by the Fletcher School’s Institute for Business in the Global Context.

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        Project Dharavi
        Evan Young and Muhammad Obuz

        Project Dharavi will implement a highly integrated and sustainable system that resolves the problem of waste collection in urban slums. Using a lowcost and durable squat toilet, they provide a dignified alternative to the poorly kept, overcrowded and potentially dangerous public toilets that are currently available in Dharavi, Mumbai. By connecting the waste received in these toilets to the biogas industry this initiative will redefine waste, transforming it from a source of disease to a catalyst for change. Evan and Muhammad won the GWupstart D-Prize competition at George Washington University, and are supported by the GW Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

          Dazin
          Deepak Ashwani

          Dazin was founded by Deepak Ashwani. Dazin provides most affordable and environmental friendly cooking energy solution to the households of Bhutan. Dazin manufacture the fuel cookies (small and efficient briquettes made by crowd-sourced forestry wood waste) and distribute it along with leasing gasifying stoves to eliminate household air pollution. It will set-up fuel production infrastructure over the next three months and hopes to lease 25000 stoves in 2 years.

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          vChalk
          Daniela Gheorghe and Anil Bishnoi

          vChalk offers remedial education and progress tracking services to schools in India. Our customers’ problem is the inability to support all children with diverse learning needs. This inefficiency translates into poor learning outcomes for millions of first generation young learners, who are enrolled in school but have not achieved the minimum benchmarks for learning. We are bringing remedial education to 30 schools in three months, with a goal of growing to 1,000 schools in five years.

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          Jeunes Braves
          Som Kpante and Komi Begeou

          Jeunes Braves was founded by Som Kpante and Komi Begeou. This new venture will scale up Sugar Daddy Awareness Classes across Togo. This intervention was proven in a randomized control trial to reduce unplanned teenage pregnancy and HIV infection rates by 28% among teenage girls. Jeunes Braves will teach 5,500 girls over a three month pilot, and has plans to scale to 500,000 girls within two years. Jeunes Braves won the NYU Reynolds D-Prize competition held at NYU, and is supported by the NYU Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship.

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          Novotera
          Dylan Maxwell and Olivier Kolmel

          Novotera is helping low-income families in Vietnam gain access to clean cookstoves by building a distribution network around the popular Rua cookstove. The Rua is designed to work with rice husks, minimizing deforestation and the purchase of fuel, while also producing biochar. Working with local NGOs, manufacturers, a mobile salesforce and merchants, the pilot will improve the health and living conditions of 250 households and set the stage for an infrastructure capable of reaching 25,000 in 2 years.

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          ALTech
          Malango Washikala

          ALTech addresses energy needs of off-grid and under-electrified households and institutions in the DR Congo, one of the world’s most challenging markets. The venture uses an innovative distribution model that consists of on-lending clean energy solutions to primary and secondary school teachers, health workers, health centers, and hospitals. The model also involves reaching out to pregnant women, nursing mothers, and students’ parents. From its humble beginning in a DR Congo’s village, ALTech now operates in four provinces, has distributed more than 50,000 clean energy solutions, and aims to reach 2 million households within 5 years.

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          RARE Education
          Michael Bealer

          RARE Education is developing a radically affordable model of delivering high-quality secondary education. RAREwill support students through an individually paced program of self-directed learning. Students will learn from world-class digital content delivered through low-cost tablet computers, as well as a traditional print library. Staff will serve as coaches, mentors and tutors. By not requiring multiple specialized teachers and classrooms, RARE can operate in rural remote villages where population densities have been too low to support traditional high schools. RARE: the 18th Century schoolhouse meets 21st Century technology.

            Qorax
            C. Nicolas Desrosiers, Nigel Carr, Abdishakur Mohamoud

            Qorax (“ko-rah") distributes clean, high impact home energy technology in Somalia, where grid delivered electricity rates are among the most expensive in the world and unemployment is over 50%. By 2016, Qorax plans to reach over 25,000 low-income households with a range of affordable solar lighting solutions.

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            Kouzin Dlo
            Jessica Laporte

            Kouzin Dlo sells chlorine for household water treatment through a network of direct sales agents in Haiti. It will increase access to affordable clean water and create economic opportunities for women. During a three month pilot, Kouzin Dlo will expand to six new communities in Port-au-Prince and reach an estimated 500 new families.

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            Eduquer
            Murali Kumar, Sid Kannan

            Founded by two Cornell entrepreneurs, Eduquer plans to leverage the culture of giving among college students to raise educational scholarship funding for young women. The team harnesses social media engagement tools to engage new charitable students. Eduquer has partnered with Watch Me Go (2013 D-Prize winner) to launch a pilot.

              Bright Renewables
              Allison Lee, Tinoe Ganga

              Bright Renewables provides renewable energy solutions to households and small businesses in Zimbabwe. We aim to lead the energy revolution by making quality solar products and energy efficient appliances affordable and accessible. We believe clean, reliable power offers more opportunities for people to communicate, access new ideas and information, provide effective social services, and build better businesses.

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              Phoenix Solar
              Adedotun Eyinade, Sola Fagorusi

              Phoenix Solar will bring affordable solar products for lighting and mobile phone charging to under-served communities in Nigeria. Solar lamps result in significant savings to rural households and reduce exposure to harmful kerosene lamps. It will distribute 2000 lamps in three months, with plans to be the biggest supplier of affordable solar products in Nigeria.

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              Past Winners

              CleanTap
              Prerna Seth, Molly Daniell, Joel Putnam

              Columbia SIPA students are piloting CleanTap, a venture which has repurposed the well proven "Tippy Tap" handwashing station found in rural areas, and is now distributing the technology to urban street food vendors in India. The pilot program will provide hand washing for nearly 1500 customers in Mumbai and. The team plans a full launch in the summer of 2015.

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              EarthEnable
              Gaya Datar, Ray Deng, Joshua Tackel,

              Born from Stanford's "Design for Extreme Affordability" program, EarthEnable is helping Rwandan masons install $30 earthen floors, a much healthier alternative to dirt floors and a much more affordable than concrete alternatives. The venture first launched in Rwanda, and has a vision to provide floors for at least 1 million individuals by the end of 2015.

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              Miti Health
              Tammy Guo, Jessica Vernon, Benjamin Jenson

              Stanford and UC Berkeley students founded Miti Health. The venture is building an Android-based platform to help health care providers in East Africa streamline sales, inventory, and supply chains. In two years, they hope to support 1,200 providers serving over a million clients. Miti Health is launching in Kenya, and is being mentored by Pinterest marketing partnership lead John Yi.

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              Young 1ove
              Noam Angrist, Brenda Duverce

              Young 1ove founders are teaching a "sugar daddy awareness" class to young girls in Botswana. The class warns teens about the increased HIV and pregnancy risks that come with having older sexual partners. Within just a few years the Young 1ove team will reach every school in Botswana and avert thousands of unwanted teenage pregnancies. Young 1ove is being mentored by One Acre Fund founder Andrew Youn.

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              Pay2Africa
              Zacharias Teshome

              Zacharias is launching Pay2Africa, an online payment business that allows users to send money transfers from the US to Ethiopia. Money2Ethiopia.com will enable users to send more money to recipients and serve as a tool for economic growth. By 2015, Money2Ethiopia.com plans to send $300,000 in transfers and save customers $10,000 in fees. BitPesa COO Charlene Chen is serving as a mentor.

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              LiTeAfrica
              Alyse Daunis and Hashim Mutanje

              Alyse and Hashim are distributing energy efficient technologies to improve the health, income, and education of Africa’s low-income households. LiTeAfrica distributes solar lampsto mobile money and retail shops, trains retailers on marketing practices, and ensures warranty and after sales service. LiTeAfrica hopes to sell solar lamps and cook stoves to 66,000 households in two years. LiTeAfrica is being mentored by Sanergy co-founder Nathan Cooke.

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              Pulse
              Karl Teien, Niketa Malhotra, Saul Minkoff, Mandy Vidalis

              Launched by Hult International Business School graduates, Pulse is the world’s first mobile commitment saving service. It will give millions of unbanked people a safe and convenient way to save money, and then commit those savings toward smart purchases like healthy food and school fees. Pulse ran its first pilot in Ahmedabad, India, and is now scaling up with a goal to reach 1000 people in Pune, India by the end of 2014.

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              Clair de Lune
              Andrew Lala, Tommy Galloway

              Andrew and Tommy are launching Claire de Lune. They will distribute solar lighting to untapped markets in Burkina Faso. They reach rural families by leveraging bus routes and positioning solar lamps as a form of remittance payments. Claire de Lune will provide solar lighting to 400 families this summer, and will scale to 30,000 customers within two years. Andrew and Tommy won the “Poverty Solutions Venture” competition held at Fletcher.

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              SolarRoute
              Morgan Babbs

              Tufts University student Morgan is creating SolarRoute, which uses transnational bus routes to tackle the last mile distribution challenge. She is using existing transportation infrastructure to deliver sustainable energy solutions to off-grid areas of Latin America. She will pilot the project this summer in Nicaragua. She is being mentored by One Acre Fund team manager Jenya Shandina.

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              YouthGlobe
              Salathiel Ntakirutimana, Miles Graham, So Yeon Kwon, Ding Zhou

              Launched by a team from Harvard, YouthGlobe sponsors full secondary school scholarships to talented, low-income Burundian students by connecting them to donors in developed countries. YouthGlobe provides a cost-effective platform for donors to make a significant difference in scholars' lives for less than $30 a year. YouthGlobe currently supports 100 students and aims to change the lives of thousands more.

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              Social Cops
              Varun Banka, Prukalpa Sankar

              Social Cops is turning citizens into human sensors to aid decisions in civic, public health, and education issues. The organization is using citizen crowd-sourced data to bring improve services such as garbage collection, community toilets and mid-day meal schemes. The first pilot campaign increased garbage collection from 26 percent to 98 percent in one ward of Delhi.

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              Kuisi
              Dane Anderson, Bronwen Dromey, Ryan Thomas, and Spencer Anderson

              BYU students Dane, Bronwen, Ryan, and Spencer are working with Uganda's Minister of Health to improve praziquantel distribution, a deworming medicine. They will train teachers to provide medication in hard-to-reach communities around rural fishing villages. They hope to treat over 5 million people within two years. Kuisi won the inaugural “Y-Prize” challenge, a partnership competition run with BYU's Ballard Center.

                PayGo

                PayGo is a for-profit direct sales company that is distributing innovative and life changing products in Ghana. PayGo identifies and trains teams of sales representatives who sell solar lanterns directly to consumers. Sales reps are also the lending mechanism for PayGo’s “Hire-to-Own” model. PayGo is selling thousands of solar lanterns during its direct sales and Hire-to-Own pilot in Ghana and is now scaling its success.

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                Watch Me Go
                Katie Wood

                Katie launched Watch Me Go, a crowd-sourced funding platform to provide education scholarships for girls in Kenya. Watch Me Go will allow donors to build a virtual classroom of smart girls in need of secondary school scholarships, track progress online and send more girls to school. Within three months Katie will raise funds for 100 girls to attend school. Premal Shah, president of Kiva, is serving as a mentor.

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                Essmart
                Jackie Stenson & Diana Jue

                Jackie and Diana launched Essmart to connect local India retailers with manufacturers of solar lamps, home lighting systems, water filters and other essential products. They plan to support 5,000 local entrepreneurs and supply 500,000 households with development solutions within two years. Matt Flannery, co-founder and CEO of Kiva, is serving as a mentor.

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                Juabar
                Olivia Nava

                Olivia launched Juabar in Tanzania. Juabar kiosks use solar power to charge mobile phones and are also a point-of-sale for household solar lamps. Kiosks are run by local “jua-preneurs”. With support from D-Prize, Olivia will support 15 local jua-preneurs, and sell 400 solar lamps in three months; and scale to 32,000 products and 150 Juabar kiosks in two years. Ani Vallabhaneni, co-founder of Sanergy, is serving as a mentor.

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                Livelyhoods / iSmart
                Maria Springer

                Maria co-founded Livelyhoods in 2011, and will launch the iSmart network to distribute clean-burning cook stoves as replacements for dangerous and environmentally- damaging alternatives. She will also provide economic opportunities for local salesmen. By 2015, she hopes to reach 4 million residents in Nairobi slums who currently burn firewood, waste and charcoal for cooking.

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                Arvind Nagarajan

                Arvind piloted a new approach for improving education in resource-limited settings. He will rely on digital student assessments to increase transparency of education quality and drive improvements in school systems. He will pilot a tablet-based assessment in a low-cost center in Mumbai, and hopes to launch full time in 2014. Eric Pohlman, co-founder of One Acre Fund, is serving as a mentor.

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                    Mission

                    D-Prize is dedicated toward expanding access to poverty-alleviation solutions in the developing world. Many solutions to poverty already exist; the challenge is distributing these solutions to the people who need it most. We tackle this by challenging social entrepreneurs to develop better ways to distribute proven life-enhancing technologies, and funding early-stage startups that deliver the best results.

                    Goals

                    1. Significantly increase access to life-enhancing technologies in the developing world – and prove an impact in a measurable way.
                    2. Encourage young entrepreneurs to focus their talent on the developing world, pilot new solutions to distribution problems, and launch new social ventures.
                    3. Encourage a global dialogue on the importance of leveraging distribution solutions for development. We believe the path to development is through solving distribution.

                    Leadership Team

                    Nicholas Fusso

                    PROGRAM DIRECTOR

                    Nicholas directs D-Prize in San Francisco. He attended the University of Washington, and earned an MBA from Claremont. His background is in strategy and systems thinking, and he has been involved in several startups.

                    Nicholas sees entrepreneurship as the surest path to sustainable development.

                    Andrew Youn
                    BOARD MEMBER
                    Andrew started One Acre Fund, a social enterprise that distributes farm inputs and training to smallholder farmers, enabling them to double their income per acre. One Acre Fund has over 1,000 full-time staff and serves 130,000 families.

                    Andrew lives in rural Kenya and has personally seen the power of technology distribution to transform the lives of hard-working families.

                    Paul Youn
                    BOARD MEMBER
                    Paul lives in San Francisco, where he is a manager at a technology firm. Paul has been involved in early-stage talent screening at One Acre Fund since its inception.

                    Paul is passionate about empowering the world’s poor to reach their full human potential.

                    David Auerbach
                    ADVISOR
                    David is a co-founder of Sanergy, a social enterprise which makes hygienic sanitation sustainable in urban slums. David previously worked at Endeavor, a non-profit which helps for-profit entrepreneurs in the developing world scale, and at the Clinton Foundation.

                    David holds an MBA from MIT and BA from Yale University. He lives the social enterprise dream in Nairobi.

                    May Lim
                    BOARD MEMBER
                    May lives in San Francisco, where she is raising her daughter. She has worked in cancer research and as an electrical engineer, and graduated from MIT.

                    She is passionate about giving others the opportunity to thrive.

                    Cliff Frey
                    BOARD MEMBER
                    Cliff is a software architect working in San Francisco. He helped grow Meraki, Inc from 5 employees to over 300.

                    Cliff is excited about helping technology to reach the places where it can have the greatest benefit.

                    Nat Robinson
                    ADVISOR
                    Nat is the CEO of Juhudi Kilimo Company Limited, which provides micro-asset financing to thousands of rural Kenyan smallholder farmers. He led the transformation from a non-profit pilot program within KDA to a fully operational enterprise.

                    Nat is originally from the U.S. but has worked and traveled in over 40 countries. He is a Rainer Arnhold Fellow with the Mulago Foundation and has an MBA from Vanderbilt.

                    Eric Pohlman
                    ADVISOR
                    Eric co-founded One Acre Fund in Rwanda in 2007, which is doubling profitability for 130,000 East African farms. He has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tourou, Cameroon, and has founded an NGO that improves water availability and quality.

                    Eric's social enterprise passion developed while at Georgetown University, studying abroad in Dakar, Senegal, and working in Mbale, Uganda. Eric is greatly indebted to his colleagues and professors in supporting all his endeavors.

                    Barrett Prinz
                    ADVISOR
                    Barrett Prinz is One Acre Fund’s Chief People Officer. One Acre Fund currently serves 130,000 families in Africa by helping them double farm income per acre. Prior to joining One Acre Fund, Barrett was an attorney at Manhattan and Boston firms specializing in corporate, white collar defense and employment litigation matters.

                    Barrett graduated from the University of Vermont and received his law degree from Tulane Law School.