6th Global Innovation Forum at the World Bank HQ
Build a Startup in 3 Days
Innovation needs proper assessment and planning to flourish. At Athgothon, you will learn and be guided by industry leaders on how to turn an innovative idea, a skill, or a passion into a commercially viable and socially impactful business.
Whether you are a recent graduate looking for a career or an advocate looking to make a difference, forming a startup team with peers from around the globe and face-to-face interaction with experts from Fortune 500 companies and prominent entrepreneurs at Athgothon will put you at a significant advantage.
Great ideas deserve to be rewarded! Every Forum selects 3 best startup ideas and rewards them with Innovation Grants. Bring your idea to the Athgothon and put it to the test. Demonstrate a value and get the seed funding to make it real!
What People Say About Forums
The Athgo Forum gave me the tools of putting a technical project in a business context. As an engineer I was only concerned about the technical aspect of a product design, however, working to put a project on a market made me realize how social, economic, and environmental factors play a role in making a successful project.Amal Kabalan
Thanks to Athgo programs I developed a broad network of potential business partners through North America and learned innovation lessons from many successful entrepreneurs who attended the forums as panelists. Athgo programs helped me improve my research skills and taught me creative thinking.Youmani Jérôme Lankoandé
At Athgo forum, I developed a more comprehensive understanding of sustainable development and how entrepreneurship can be a means to further international development while creating green jobs. Athgo helped cultivate a passion for social entrepreneurship and international affairs.Nicole Andrea Rapista
President and CEO, UN Foundation
Kathy Calvin is President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation. Her career has spanned work in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is a passionate advocate for multi-sector problem-solving, U.S. leadership on global issues, and the inclusion of women at all levels and in all sectors.
Kathy leads one of the most innovative organizations advocating for the UN and the creation of public-private partnerships. Her leadership brings together the largest network of supporters of UN issues in the United States and a global network of corporate, civil society and media partners. The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation advocates for the UN and connects people, ideas, and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. As a public charity with many partners, the UN Foundation’s work is focused on decreasing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a clean energy future, using mobile technology for development, and improving U.S.-UN relations.
In 2011, Kathy was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Rock the World,” and in 2012, she was listed in Fast Company’s “League of Extraordinary Women.” Her innovative work in the philanthropy and international NGO sector was featured by the New York Times in 2011. She has received numerous other awards for philanthropy and leadership.
Prior to joining the UN Foundation as Chief Operating Officer in 2003, Kathy served as President of the AOL Time Warner Foundation where she guided AOL Time Warner’s philanthropic activities and was the chief architect of the company’s corporate responsibility initiatives. She joined America Online in 1997 as Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, and was responsible for the company’s brand, social responsibility, and external relations.
Immediately prior to joining AOL, she was a Senior Managing Director at Hill and Knowlton, a global public relations company, where she led the U.S. Media Relations practice. For 12 years before that, she served as Director of Editorial Administration for U.S. News & World Report, overseeing budget, personnel, innovation and strategy. From 1976 through 1984, Kathy served as Senator Gary Hart’s press secretary in his Senate office and his 1984 Presidential campaign.
She was one of the first women to hold that title in American Presidential campaigns. Throughout her career, Kathy Calvin has taken an active role in a range of philanthropic activities, including the boards of the International Women’s Media Foundation, City Year, Internews, the Newseum, Share Our Strength, the United Nations Association of the United States of America, and the East-West Center. She is a frequent public speaker and commenter.
Kathy is a graduate of Purdue University.
Chairman and President, Dikembe Mutombo Foundation
NBA Legend DIKEMBE MUTOMBO was born in the capital city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mutombo is the seventh of ten children born to Samuel and Biamba Marie Mutombo. He arrived in the United States in 1987 on an academic scholarship to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In his second year, Coach John Thompson invited the 7’2″ Mutombo to try out for the university’s renowned basketball team. After joining the team, Mutombo re-directed his pre-med ambitions and graduated from Georgetown with dual degrees in Linguistics and Diplomacy. Mutombo is fluent in nine languages, including five African languages. He played professional basketball for 18 years before retiring from the Houston Rockets in 2009.
Giving back has always been a trademark of Mutombo ever since he entered the NBA in 1991. As a former spokesman for CARE, the international relief agency, Mutombo visited the Somali refugee camps in Northern Kenya in 1993 and traveled with NBA Commissioner David Stern and Georgetown colleagues Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning to Cape Town and Johannesburg.
In 1996, Mutombo paid for the Congo’s women’s basketball team’s trip to Atlanta for the Summer Olympics games and also picked up the tab for the track team’s uniforms and expenses. He is the first Youth Emissary for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and he also served on the Advisory Board for the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. Mutombo presently serves on the boards of the National Constitution Center, Special Olympics International, the CDC Foundation and on the National Board for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Mutombo has been named ABC’s Person of the Week, Essence Magazine’s 2001 Achiever, and Sporting News’ No. 1 Good Guy. He has been featured in Europe’s TIME magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Houston Chronicle and Forbes magazine.
In 2009, NBA Commissioner David Stern appointed Mutombo to the newly created position of NBA Global Ambassador where he works to grow and celebrate the game of basketball through international events while working with NBA Cares to bring attention to important social issues.
Honors and awards:
- Naismith Memorial Basketball HALL of FAME inductee – 2015
- World Economic Forum – Young Global Leader
- Wilt Chamberlain Award – Operation Smile
- Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters – SUNY/Cortland
- Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters – Georgetown University
- Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters – Haverford College
- NAACP Phoenix Award
- The Henry Iba Citizen Athlete Award
- 2000 – The President’s Service Award awarded by President Bill Clinton
- J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award – NBA
- Ernie Davis Humanitarian Award
- The Samuel J. Halsey Award – Georgetown University
- Constituency for Africa’s Trailblazer Award.
- 2007 – Mutombo was recognized by President George W. Bush during his State of the Union address.
- 2010 Laureus World Sports Award
- 2010 B.C. Forbes Peopling of America Award for Sports – Ellis Island Foundation
- 2010 Miracle Corners of the World Award
- January 2010, President Barack Obama served as a surprise guest at the eighth annual “Let Freedom Ring!” event celebrating of the life and legacy of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and honoring NBA great and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo who received the John Thompson, Jr. Legacy of a Dream award.
- 2010 Humanitarian in Sport Award during the Beyond Sport Summit, which was attended by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
- 2010 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy awarded to the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
- 2011 Goodermote Humanitarian Award – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- 2011 Public Service Award – Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City
- 2013 Congressional Humanitarian Award – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
- 2013 Gateway Award for Excellence in Humanitarian Service – Washington Adventist University
- 2013 Legacy Award – Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
- 2014 Global Leadership Award – Upwardly Global
- 2014 Global Leadership Award – The French-American Chamber of Commerce
- 2014 Chairman’s Award – 100 Black Men of America
Mutombo is the Chairman and President of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation which he created in 1997. Located in Atlanta, Georgia the Foundation’s mission is to improve the health, education and quality of life for the people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
One major project was the construction of a new general hospital in the capital city of Kinshasa, DR Congo.
In December 2007 and at a cost of $29 million, the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital opened in the DR Congo. Named in memory of Mutombo’s beloved mother, the hospital has treated over 100,000 men, women and children.
Dikembe Mutombo and his wife Rose live in Atlanta, Georgia with their 3 children.
Stephanie von Friedeburg
CIO and VP, IT Solutions, World Bank Group
Stephanie von Friedeburg was appointed World Bank Group Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Information and Technology Solutions in 2012. With over 20 years of investment and development experience within the World Bank Group, von Friedeburg is bridging the gap between the business and technology, transforming the role of IT at the World Bank Group into that of a strategic business partner.
Von Friedeburg is driving an IT strategy that leverages current technology trends, such as cloud computing and mobility, to enable to the organization’s diverse and decentralized workforce to more effectively communicate, collaborate, and connect with each other and with clients.
Von Friedeburg has been with the World Bank Group since 1992, serving in a wide variety of roles including CIO for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Senior Manager for IFC Global Information and Communication Technologies, Manager for IFC General Manufacturing Investments in Russia and the former Soviet republics, and Manager for IFC’s Global Telecommunications Portfolio.
Von Friedeburg is on the Advisory Board of Box.org, an organization helping nonprofits be more productive and collaborative in achieving their mission. She is also an advocate for the advancement of women in information and technology, serving as a leader of the International Finance Institutions Women in IT organization. Von Friedeburg also sits on the board of the Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union.
In addition to an MBA from the Wharton School, von Friedeburg holds a Masters of Arts from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Armen Orujyan, PhD
Founder and Chairman, Athgo
Armen Orujyan, PhD is an entrepreneur and innovator who is the Founder and CEO of Athgo, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurial platforms in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Department of Public Information. Armen established Athgo while in college as a stage for young people striving to make social impact through entrepreneurial engagements. Starting with a small program at UCLA in 2003, Athgo quickly evolved into a global organization establishing recurring Global Innovation Forums at the United Nations and World Bank headquarters as well as in Europe and Africa. Under Armen’s leadership, Athgo has since provided financial, intellectual, and networking opportunities to nearly 10,000 young innovators, entrepreneurs, and students from over 600 universities in 80 countries. Read more
Speakers and Mentors
Athgo invites world industry leaders and experts to guide teams through the startup development process. Here is the partial list of the speakers.
Innovation Evangelist, U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID
Alexis Bonnell is the Innovation Evangelist in the U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID. Over her career, Alexis has developed and delivered over a billion dollar of humanitarian and development programming in over 25 conflict, post-conflict, and emergency countries, in almost every sector from education to stabilization, for more than 30 International Bi-lateral donors, 10 UN agencies, the military, and private sector. She has held positions with every side of development including: implementers, donors, policy makers, and beneficiaries and is proud of her “360 degrees” of development experience. Her more than 20 years of experience in management and communications has provided her incredible opportunities to work on/with: Wall Street, “Dot.coms”, Middle East Peace Plan, Afghan and Iraq Elections, Tsunami Response, Pakistan Earthquake, Haiti Earthquake, over 500 construction projects, and major logistics operations.
After years of living and working overseas, Alexis returned to the USA with USAID as the Senior Advisor on Business Transformation and Knowledge Management. She then served as the Chief of Engagement for the Office of Education at USAID, where she helped shape the strategic communication and execution of the USAID Education Strategy. In 2013 she joined the leadership team of the new U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID as the Director of Engagement and Communications. Alexis’s is most excited about her new role as the Innovation Evangelist in the U.S. Global Development Lab, and the platform the Lab serves to bring new minds and ideas to the discovery and scale of solutions to humanity’s biggest challenges. Her focus at the Lab is to help convene and connect people and organizations around the world with the most innovative applications of science, technology, innovation, and partnership to accelerate the end to extreme poverty. Alexis is leading the team around the new Global Innovation Exchange, a industry level platform to share all globally relevant development innovation.
Alexis received a dual major in Advertising and Public Relations from Pepperdine University (where she later returned as a professor), a Global Executive MBA from Kellogg Northwestern, as well as a Masters in Direct and Interactive Media from NYU. She maintains a “CFRE” (Certified Fundraising Executive) as well as an “SAPM” (Advanced Project Management Accreditation) from Stanford University, and a Certificate in Non-profit Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Prior to her career in development, Alexis worked as the Director of Marketing for the Internet Trade Association, where her job was to help Wall Street and the corporate world understand the impact that the internet, innovation, and technology would have on business, customer experience, and society; as well as to match-make new innovative technologies to traditional business paradigms creating strategic change management models as well as major supply-chain and distribution reforms. Alexis is the co-author of the book “Get your Dream Job”. Alexis is an avid horsewoman, scuba diver, home renovator, and lives with her husband in Virginia.
CEO, Vanu Inc.
Dr. Bose is CEO of Vanu, Inc. Founded in 1998, Vanu, Inc. pioneered the commercialization of software-defined radio and was the first company to receive FCC certification of a software-defined radio in 2004. Vanu, Inc. has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Software-Defined Radio Forum Achievement Award, IEEE Spectrum Magazine’s Wireless Winner, and the GSM Association Technology Award for Most Innovative Infrastructure Product. Dr. Bose has been granted the personal distinctions of being named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and a ComputerWorld Honors Program Laureate. Dr. Bose is currently serving as a Commissioner to the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development, as a member of the Army Science Board, and as a member of the MIT Corporation. Dr. Bose was a technical expert for the President’s Council of Advisors (PCAST) report: “Realizing the full potential of government-held spectrum to spur economic growth”, and is the founder of the National Spectrum Consortium. Dr. Bose received his B.S, M.S. and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.
Chief Economist, SBA
Giuseppe’s academic research focused on how changes in the financial markets affect small business lending, and labor migration during periods of economic transition. He later worked in the Equity Research Department of a major investment bank, where he focused on natural resource industries.
At the SBA, Giuseppe advises the Agency on economic trends affecting small businesses, and leads research on economic impact evaluations and strategic planning. He serves as the Chair of the interagency Subcommittee on Evaluating Business Technical Assistance Programs (E-BTAP), a group responsible for developing best practices for implementing economic impact evaluations. He also serves as the U.S. Permanent Delegate to the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship. Giuseppe also works with international organizations such as APEC and ASEAN. He severs on the scientific committees of several academic institutions and publications, and is a frequent speaker on the domestic and international arena.
Before joining the U.S. Small Business Administration, Giuseppe headed the consulting firm, DASSI Corp. His other areas of interest include the construction industries, tourism, information services, and regional economic development. Giuseppe earned a graduate degree in economics from The New School For Social Research. During 1996 to 2001 Giuseppe served as vice president and then president of the SUNY Purchase College Alumni Association., He also served as Alumni Representative to the Purchase College Council, a gubernatorial appointed oversight body.
Senior Online Editor
In her six years at Forbes, senior editor Caroline Howard has tracked the rise of a new generation of education entrepreneurs, and is editor of the leading college ranking based specifically on outcome-based measures, America’s Top Colleges. She is also the editor of the site’s education channel, 30 Under 30, 100 Most Powerful Women and World’s Most Powerful People. Formerly a People correspondent and photo editor at Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, she has been invited to speak at key education summits such as SXSWedu, EdTech Europe, Council of Independent College’s College Media Conference, and Rethink Education.
Co-Founder, CEO, CoFoundersLab
Shahab is a social entrepreneur based in the DC area. He has over a decade of experience starting, scaling, and exiting companies. Shahab was most recently the co-founder and CEO of CoFoundersLab, which merged in 2014 to create Onevest – an equity crowdfunding platform headquartered in NYC. CoFoundersLab has become the largest community of entrepreneurs in the world with more than 75,000 members worldwide. Prior to CoFoundersLab, Shahab co-founded HyperOffice, where he led product and marketing; he operated the startup for over 7 years serving more than 400,000 customers worldwide, prior to its successful successful exit to Atlanta based Company.com. Shahab’s passion is in helping to build and foster the innovation economy, which he’s currently realizing through his efforts as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland teaching International Entrepreneurship, and as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Startup Maryland.
Shahab speaks around the world on the subjects of entrepreneurship, building startup teams, and fundraising. He earned his BA in Economics from University of Maryland, College Park.
Principal, Jamie Enterprises
Jamie McCourt is a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist whose proficiency in identifying talent and opportunity has been the foundation for an accomplished career spanning business and baseball. Her investment firm, Jamie Enterprises, principally invests in high-value real estate, biotechnology ventures, and technology start-ups. From 2004 to 2011, Jamie was Co-Owner, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers. She was the highest-ranking woman in baseball and one of the few female executives in all of professional sports. This past fall, Jamie celebrated the first harvest at her vineyard in Rutherford in Napa Valley, where she is committed to producing a world-class hillside Cabernet Sauvignon. Jamie graduated from Georgetown University. She also has a diploma from the Sorbonne in Paris, a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law, and an MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
H.E. Jean Philbert Nsengimana
Minister of ICT and Youth, Rwanda
Jean Philbert Nsengimana is the Minister of Youth and ICT of the Republic of Rwanda since 2011. He has spearheaded several initiatives including TransformAfrica Summit in 2013, that is the next generation of ICT4D agenda after Connect Africa. Before joining the Government of Rwanda, Honorable Jean Philbert Nsengimana worked for the Washington D.C-based interactive mobile health services company Voxiva Inc. as a Country Director for Rwanda. During his tenure, Voxiva won several awards and accolades including the African Technology in Government Award (TIGA) for best e-health and e-agriculture solutions. Prior to that, he worked as Regional Coordinator for Africa with the Development Gateway Foundation, advancing the use of modern technology in Aid Management, Public Procurement and Knowledge Sharing.
Jean Philbert Started his career at the National University of Rwanda as Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science. While the University, he initiated and Directed for 5 years the Rwanda Development Gateway, an organization that was instrumental in advancing Rwanda’s Government web presence.
He holds a Global Masters in Business from SP Jain School of Global Management in Singapore and a Masters of Information and Communication Technology from the National University of Rwanda.
Entrepreneur in Residence, Samsung Accelerator
Rao is an entrepreneur, technologist, and executive responsible for innovating and bringing products to market in areas including mobile, digital media, hardware (IOT), and e-Commerce. He has built companies, advised, and managed teams of various sizes including launching intrapreneurial projects at large companies. His involvement has been throughout all phases of a company’s life-cycle – pre-concept, early-stage, venture/angel financing, growth, and exits. Core areas are product, strategy, business modeling, and partnerships.
Eros has over 16 years of experience in Gaming and Digital Entertainment, focused on customer-facing roles in both small and large company settings. Most recently Eros ran Marketing and Developer Relations at GREE, a role he held through the acquisition of OpenFeint, where he was an early employee. Eros has held similar roles at Hewlett Packard and Real Arcade (GameHouse), and is a founding partner of San Francisco’s independent music label Los Kamikaze Records. Eros is currently Partner and Head of Marketing at Studio 9Plus, a YouWeb Incubator program.
Senior Editor, TechCrunch
Jonathan is a Senior Editor running the Contributors Network at TechCrunch. Previously he worked as a senior reporter for Dow Jones & Co. writing for its newswires, The Wall Street Journal, VentureWire and LBO Wire, covering venture capital and private equity investment from New York and Shanghai.
Head, Speakers Bureau, World Bank
Diplomatic Correspondent, Bloomberg
Sangwon Yoon is responsible for Bloomberg’s coverage of the United Nations and the State Department, as part of the National Security team that handles U.S. foreign policy and foreign affairs. Ms. Yoon is based in New York. She joined Bloomberg News in December 2011 from her former post in Doha, Qatar as a producer for Al Jazeera English, covering the Arab Spring, the Arab-Israeli conflict and Osama bin Laden’s death. Previously she has worked for the Associated Press in Seoul, covering North Korea and South Korean politics, economy and sports. She has also worked for Reuters in Jerusalem.
Ms. Yoon was a Presidential Honors Scholar at New York University where she graduated magna cum laude in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies with a minor in Politics. She also studied at Oxford University’s St. Catherine’s College as a Registered Visiting Student. There she read comparative modern Arabic and Hebrew literatures and political philosophy. She, a South Korean national, speaks fluent Korean, French and Hebrew as well as proficient Arabic.
Business Concept: Solar powered backpack
Prize: First – $3000
SolarBrite Solutions combats this problem by providing students with a solar panel-equipped backpack. Allowed to charge during the day, the attached LED light, battery, and battery charger would allow consumers to charge electronic devices and power their homes.
Business Concept: First Response UAV
Prize: First – $3000
The first place winning team presented a solid plan to utilize first response unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to provide emergency medical solutions to disaster prone areas. The team argued that such technology would assist emergency response teams by increasing their effectiveness and abilities to save lives.
Business Concept: Water Purification
Prize: Second – $2000
The team plans to partner with NGOs like Convoy of Hope and universities to help fund their project. Their plan is to purify water in unused shipping containers. Not only is the team reducing waste of unused shipping containers, but they are also providing clean, potable water to communities lacking such access.
Business Concept: Mobile Remote Appliances Control
Prize: Second – $2000
Drawing on the burgeoning app market for smart phones and utilizing existing technology, emPower would allow users to not only switch off appliances within their residence using their phones remotely, but also to assist them in tracking household energy consumption, making recommendations for more efficient products and practices where needed.
Business Concept: Regenerating Energy
Prize: Third – $1000
U-Power concept, consisting of a dynamo generator attached to an exercise treadmill or bicycle that converts wheel energy into electricity. This would allow the user to charge their electronic devices through their own power, with the additional option to store excess energy in a lithium battery attached to the generator.
Business Concept: Battery for Bicycle
Prize: Second – $1000
Momentum’s proposal was a biking program that will grant access to many in the developing world to electricity. A small, detachable battery device is connected to bicycles. The device is charged utilizing the kinetic energy of the bicyclist during its use. After it is charged, the battery can power small electronic devices such as cell phones or lamps.
World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC
Since 1944, the world bank has served as a symbol for reduction of poverty and commitment to the promotion of investment and trade. Two blocks away from the White House, its headquarters’ shimmering glass exterior wall canted toward Pennsylvania Avenue rises from the ground to reveal the open-plan lobby, its adjacent public spaces, and the large central room encouraging entrance and creating connection between interior and exterior. Establishing a dialogue between parts of great weight and great lightness, these elements create a strong urban presence, while symbolizing the institution’s desire for transparency and accessibility for its constituents and the public at large. (wikipedia)
Forum Internship Program
If you are interested in getting a hands-on experience in Program organization and maintenance, join the Forum as a Volunteer.