4th Annual Global Innovation Forum at the World Bank HQ
Climate Change and Constructive Entrepreneurship
August 10-12, 2011
Startup Concepts Established
A Keynote to Remember
Dr. Muhammad Yunus
The excitement created by the innovation panels continued with the delivery of the concluding keynote speech by Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Drawing from his own experiences pioneering the groundbreaking Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Dr. Yunus emphasized the invaluable role that social businesses can play in delivering goods to communities and improving their overall welfare. Social businesses are not charities and the goods they deliver are not free. “A charity dollar never comes back; a social business dollar has an endless life,” said Dr. Yunus, because the profit that the business makes is ultimately re-invested back into the company whereas the purchasing power derived from charity money can only be used once.
First Prize: SolarBrite - $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.
Second Prize:emPower - $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.
Third Prize: UPower - $1000
Third place was awarded to Team Momentum. The motto was “Bike, Light, Live.” 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. Their program provides a small-scale solution to the lack of access to electricity in the developing world.
by Rebecca Kaisler
Athgo held its 4th Global Innovation Forum on “Climate Change and Constructive Entrepreneurship” at the World Bank on August 10-12th, 2011, attracting over 100 students and young professionals from around the world. Utilizing Athgo’s innovative networking program and Athgo Founder and Chairman Dr. Armen Orujyan’s “4-Pillars to Success,” participants were challenged with developing innovative business models that were environmentally sustainable, financially profitable, and socially beneficial. These concepts were presented before a panel of experienced judges, with the top three proposals being awarded venture development grants to further their growth and make their implementation a reality. Participants also benefited from the experience and advice of senior professionals from private and public industry who addressed the forum’s themes of constructive enterprise and social entrepreneurship during formal panels and informal discussions. In a surprise appearance, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank, delivered the forum’s keynote speech on the importance of social businesses, embodying the forum’s central themes…
I had a tremendous time at the conference and look forward to continued contact with Athgo in the future. I think the creation of an alumni database would be a great addition to your organization.
Washington — To Amal Kabalan and her fellow entrepreneurs, the plight of schoolchildren in Guinea presents a fairly basic need that inspired a simple but creative business response. Guineans don’t have much access to energy for light. Kids wear backpacks. Why not attach a solar-powered device to the backpacks, collect energy on the walk to school, and then use the stored energy to power lamps so the children could study at night?
Thank you for such a TRULY incredible experience! I will never forget my time at the UN in NYC, and I only hope to participate with Athgo in the future.