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NEW YORK — To help advance causes like childhood education and waste management, four entrepreneurs received $25,000 for their ventures in the latest round of funding from the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. In addition to funding, these entrepreneurs also gain access to the social enterprise resources the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School provides.
Bruce Usher, co-director of the Tamer Center and chair of the investment board for the Tamer Social Venture Fund, is extremely proud of the diversity in the ventures throughout the entire Columbia community. “These enterprises are all working to transform communities on a global scale, combating social and environmental issues, which aligns tremendously with our mission. We are thrilled to help support these young entrepreneurs and look forward to supporting their future successes.”
The ventures each take a unique approach to realizing social impact, with causes ranging from early childhood education and poverty to urban planning and water conservation. The newest additions to the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio are:
- Kidogo, co-founded by Sabrina Natasha Premji SIPA '16 and Afzal Habib, seeks to transform the trajectory of families living in poverty through high-quality, affordable early childhood care and education.
- Kheyti, co-founded by Kaushik Kappagantulu BUS '17, Saumya Sahay, Sathya Raghu, and Akhil Naru, offers smallholder farmers in India a “Greenhouse-in-a-Box” (GIB), an affordable 1,000 sq. ft. greenhouse integrated with end-to-end services that can increase farm yields and help ensure a dependable monthly income to farmers, giving them a path out of poverty.
- Dechets a l’Or, founded by Cuthbert A. Onikute GSAPP '13 (Urban Planning), provides solid waste management solutions for rapidly growing secondary cities in West Africa. Dechets a l’Or collects and processes waste to produce fertilizer, supplies manufacturers with recyclable plastics, and provides households with renewable energy in the form of paper briquettes.
- Change:WATER Labs, founded by Diana Yousef BUS ’03/SIPA'04, is developing frugal water technologies, including a portable, low-cost, and stand-alone evaporative toilet to clean up off-grid and non-sewered communities by passively shrinking daily sewage volumes onsite.
These four ventures were selected after participating in an application screening round, a due diligence process with student teams as part of Columbia Business School’s “Investing in Social Ventures” graduate course, and a final pitch to the Fund’s Investment Board.
“It is a huge boost for Change:WATER Labs to be selected for this award and to have the confidence and support of the Tamer Social Venture Fund Investment Board in our vision, and, in a way, to be ‘coming back’ into the Columbia ecosystem,” said Diana Yousef.
To learn more about the social ventures and their founders, as well as the initial five ventures that were funded in Fall ’15, please visit: http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/socialenterprise/socialventures/portfolio
More information and the online application are available at: http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/socialenterprise/socialventures/apply
Application Deadline: August 15, 2016
About the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures
Established in 2015, the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures provides seed grants of up to $25,000 to early stage nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid social ventures. The ventures gain access and support from the Center’s Social Venture Advisory Network and/or Columbia student pro bono consulting teams (e.g. Pangea Advisors, Columbia Impact Investing Initiative (CI3), and Small Business Consulting Program), as well as the opportunity to hire university students to work full-time through the summer as Social Enterprise Summer Fellows. The Tamer Fund for Social Ventures was made possible by a generous donation by Tony and Sandra Tamer.
About Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is the only world-class, Ivy League business school that delivers a learning experience where academic excellence meets with real-time exposure to the pulse of global business. Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the School’s transformative curriculum bridges academic theory with unparalleled exposure to real-world business practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to recognize, capture, and create opportunity in any business environment. The thought leadership of the School’s faculty and staff members, combined with the accomplishments of its distinguished alumni and position in the center of global business, means that the School’s efforts have an immediate, measurable impact on the forces shaping business every day. To learn more about Columbia Business School’s position at the very center of business, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu.