Convergences Summit 10 May 2014

Convergences Case Studies http://legatum.mit.edu/our-programs/case-studies

:

·      Ashish Rajpal, Founder, iDiscoveri in India; Education

·      Alberto Osio, Founder, Yolia in Mexico; Medical Devices 

·      Austin Okere, Founder, Computer Warehouse Group in Nigeria; Information and Communication Technology

·      Alexandra Graham, Founder, LaGray Chemical Company in Ghana; Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

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Abstract:  The iDiscoveri case provides a background for discussion of several issues encountered by many start-ups and early stage companies:  learning from early mistakes, the importance of a competent and committed team, scaling up to service a huge market, possibilities of technology to enhance the product/service, and the challenge an entrepreneur faces in redefining his role as the business grows.

Since its founding in 2002, iDiscoveri had developed a progressive system of teaching methods and classroom materials that was markedly improving elementary school education for children in India.  By mid-2012, more than 650 public and private schools had adopted the system; some 400,000 K-7 students were using iDiscoveri’s materials.  Equally important, the fast-growing business had demonstrated scalability, was cash-flow positive, and was nearly profitable.

Looking forward, founder Ashish Rajpal saw no impediment to his intermediate goal of reaching one million students.  But one million was a tiny fraction of India’s 300 million elementary school students. There were millions more in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Could the company scale up to the point of meeting the needs of these larger populations? 

Rajpal also wondered about his future role at iDiscoveri.  He had been deeply involved in every aspect of the business since its founding.  He knew this would have to change, but who had the ability and sense of mission to carry the company to a higher level?

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Case # 1-13-001
Publication date:  July 1, 2012
17 pages
Teaching note and videos available
 
We are currently building a platform to host the Legatum Case Studies library, to be launched in Spring 2014.  Until then, kindly contact Anna Omura,amomura@mit.edu, if you are interested in obtaining our current cases.
 Iqbal and Naila 2 1  have been exploring how mobile telecoms changes the world of the poorest women - or least connected families  -as long as anyone (1996) so it is worth searching both's maps of africa, asia, or by practice areas such as legatum cases (though sadly their cashless banking networks are there yet)
 
Sadly there is a gap (especially where I have mainly lived in washington dc and london) between the PR stories that the friends of Dr Yunus tell and youth action learning from the open digital experiments that youth around Iqbal or Naila know deepest. The only space I have so far found happy to mediate this is the japan embassy in dhaka when it hosts dinners with sir fazle abed and wizard youth technologists.  Has anyone else found other spaces?
 
If anyone has any other clues on how to bridge this gap, please say: when you search conversations circulating around Jim Kim you can see that thousands or millions of youth ask this question every day  -and I keep on having to say I dunno
 
chris macrae bethesda 301 881 1655 skype chrismacraedc

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Legatum change the world conference has been announced for 10 May 
MIT remains the most revolutionary space youth can study in usa- it celebrates open education; it houses the father of the web tim berners lee; a square mile walk from kendall metro is the most futuristic imagination tour I know of in the west (though I would love to join in celebrating any square mile tour you recommend for changing the world) 

and through Legatum it hosts annual conferences by the digital wizards who first brought mobile telecoms to the world poorest village mothers and their communities with the greatest sustainability crises; I guess but I dont know that the most futuristic square mile tour in the middle east is located in Dubai (the twin capital of Legatum with Boston)

hottest youth-spring question of our life and times-can online education end youth unemployment for ever ? yes but only if you help map how!

 

Resources

 

Yunus Boston Commencement speech

 

2010s most exciting job creation survey?

 

Yunus invites sustainability world trades with china

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