Rob Katz

Leapfrog Fund Winners Announced by Schwab, Lemelson

Bill KramerGuest blogger Bill Kramer is principal of The Global Challenge Network, LLC, an executive education and training company. From 2001 through mid-2007, he worked on pro-poor business strategies with WRI. Previously, Bill founded a non-profit focusing on the relationship of knowledge to economic development and enjoyed a long career in the private sector, founding a dozen companies, most of which were in the book business.

By Bill Kramer

LeapfrogThe Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Lemelson Foundation announced the first winners of their Leapfrog Fund competition at the annual summit of Schwab social entrepreneurs on January 22 in Zurich, Switzerland.?The Leapfrog Fund supports the transfer and adaptation of technological innovations developed by social entrepreneurs.? Rob Katz discussed the Leapfrog Fund as part of his review of The Power of Unreasonable People, and asked me to look into the details on behalf of This year’s winners are:

The winners each receive a $75,000 grant to facilitate technology transfer over a 36 month period.? Eligibility is determined by technology’s ability to help “address basic human needs such as access to clear water, energy, sanitation and health services, and empower poor people to elevate their incomes and become entrepreneurs.”

I was invited to attend the Schwab summit as a resource to interact with social entrepreneurs. The 2-day event precedes the World Economic Forum in Davos (founded by Klaus Schwab) to which the Schwab social entrepreneurs are normally invited.? The event runs at breakneck speed, demanding continuous intensive engagement by “faculty” and entrepreneurs from early morning to after dinner.? It’s exhilarating and exhausting. ?

This year, the format included a new element–entrepreneurs put the resource faculty on the spot in sessions that required us to explain what we had to offer to the social entrepreneurs’ activities, rather than assuming that they needed us.? As you can imagine, it was both humbling and stimulating.? Congratulations to the winners.