D-Lab Scale-Ups awards $100,000 to five social entrepreneurs
Monday, June 22, 2015
2015 fellows include MIT alumni and members of the International Development Innovation Network working in Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Tanzania, and Uganda
The MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship program — which offers one year of support to social entrepreneurs bringing technology-based, poverty-alleviating products to market at scale — has announced its 2015 fellows.
The new D-Lab Scale-Ups fellows are MIT alumni Elliot Avila ’14, Kristin Kagetsu ’12, Sidhanth Kamath MBA ’15, and two members of the International Development Innovation Network(IDIN), Betty Ikalany and Julio Lavalle. Each social entrepreneur will receive a $20,000 grant; tailored mentoring, skills-building, and networking opportunities; a fellows’ retreat; and an invitation to the MIT Scaling Development Ventures conference. “D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowships fund a critical stage in the inventor and entrepreneur’s journey,” says Jennifer Keller Jackson, senior program officer at VentureWell. During the 12-month fellowship, these entrepreneurs will work to retire risk in technical feasibility and market viability in order to position their ventures for investment, partnership, and growth.
Since the fellowship program’s launch in 2012, D-Lab Scale-Ups has sponsored 23 fellows working on four continents in sectors including agriculture, energy, water, healthcare, housing, mobility, recycling, and personal finance. This year’s fellows’ ventures cover a wide gamut of sectors. “From commercial permaculture to sanitary pads to an app that promotes financial inclusion, we’re delighted to support these five new entrepreneurs and their ventures,” said Eric Reynolds, who manages the fellowship program at D-Lab.