Produce Pay – the brainchild of Borquez – is a new web-based financing solution for farmers who supply the United States with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Johnson team takes home D-Prize for ‘Eduquer’
Sid Kannan, MBA ’15, and Murali Kumar, MBA’15, have been awarded the D-Prize for their social venture, Eduquer. The prize includes a grant of $12,000 and a mentorship. Tapping into their passion for education, Kannan and Kumar entered the D-Prize competition with a social venture plan based on idea that a family benefits most if the daughters are educated. Their challenge: ‘Fewer than 50 percent of young women in developing countries will finish high school because they cannot afford fees. A $250 scholarship can quickly change a girl's life. Create a fundraising website and raise money from industrialized nation donors.
Their venture, Eduquer, plans to raise funds from developed countries to provide scholarships to girls attending schools in less privileged nations. The venture initially plans to focus on high school education to girls in poor, urban regions of countries like India. Eventually, the base will be spread across genders, age and nations. Their prize money will mainly be used towards marketing and brand building.
While Eduquer raises money here, Kannan and Kumar hope to collaborate with NGOs and government organizations at the grassroots level in developing or under-developed countries that are already involved in education – to insure quick delivery of funds. They also have a pilot in Kenya, Africa with the NGO “Watch Me Go,” which was started by a D-Prize winner Katie Wood last year. “We want to partner with organizations which already have a system for identifying girls,” Kumar said.
Eduquer is essentially a crowd-sourced funding platform with a twist. The team’s first step is to make Johnson the fund raising epicenter. The nucleus of Eduquer starts with student ambassadors and is based on the notion that students are already enthusiastic about education. “Starting with Johnson at Cornell, student ambassadors will use social interaction to influence students around the world to contribute a nominal amount of say $20. These students will in turn influence other students to contribute and so on. Once these students graduate and have higher disposable income, they are likely to donate larger sums of money. The fact that they have donated previously will significantly increase the likelihood of larger donations,” they said.
Harnessing social media is at the heart of this venture. What would start with student ambassadors spreading the word among their peers and network will in due course form a large network of students and professionals. “We want Eduquer to function beyond us,” said Kumar. Eduquer aims to open chapters in various schools and universities across the United States and recruit ambassadors. The goal is to spread such chapters across other developed country universities. The target of Eduquer is to be a self-functioning organization, which with time, grows bigger organically – through ambassadors. “We wanted to start a social movement, rather than a social venture,” said Kannan.
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. D-Prize tackles 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.
For more information about the competition and previous winners, please visit: http://www.d-prize.org/
- Pallavi Rao
Get the Boss to Buy In: Prof. Jim Detert in Harvard Business Reivew
Expert research-based advice from Professor Jim Detert on selling your ideas to managers at the top
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Johnson Club of the Finger Lakes Predictions Dinner
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Johnson Club of Detroit Alumni Holiday Party
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Johnson Club of Boston Annual Predictions Dinner
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Johnson Club of Southern California Annual Predictions Dinner