- Experiential Learning
- Social Ventures
- Faculty Viewpoints
- Case Studies
- 2019 Climate Science & Investment Conference
- Are Americans Primarily Suffering from Income Inequality or Lack of Opportunity? Diagnosing the Problem and Proposing Solutions
- Northeast Workshop on Energy Policy and Environmental Economics
- 2018 Climate Science & Investment Conference
- The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors
- Solutions to Post-Incarceration Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Fulfilling the Promise of Education Technology
- Managing Schools to Improve Teacher Performance
- The Economics and Psychology of Poverty
- Measuring and Creating Excellence in Schools
- The American Healthcare Landscape in 2014
- Microfinance Symposium
- Research Resources
Nonprofit and Public Management
Nicolas Barral, ’17BUS, interned with Malaak, a Lebanese nonprofit organization that provides education for Syrian refugees displaced in Lebanon. At their Academic Center in Akkar, in the north of Lebanon, Malaak provides a wide range of classes and activities led by volunteers. Nicolas set in place the tools to monitor performance and assess the impact of the organization. He worked on improving the internal structure of the organization to make it more efficient in delivering services to refugees and also helped in fundraising activities.
Eugenio Beccar Varela, ’18BUS, and Federico Martino, ’18BUS, interned with the Strategic Initiatives group at the MTA New York City Transit, one of the largest local transportation systems in the world providing services to more than 8 million passengers every day. The Strategic Initiatives group serves as an internal consulting group for the city’s high-priority projects. Eugenio worked mainly on a procurement engagement aiming to provide more opportunities for women and minorities, where he analyzed vast amounts of data, developed a tool for the procurement department, and presented a set of recommendations. Eugenio also worked across a different set of engagements and studies such as improving the bus service time performance and analyzing the metro construction costs relative to other big cities. Federico worked on a project to enhance performance reporting for NYC Transit’s $475 million+ Paratransit service operation. The goal was to review and modify existing reporting to better meet senior management requirements in a “dashboard” format. As a corollary project, Federico also worked with Paratransit on assessing and improving its customer service performance in terms of meeting customer assistance needs and timeliness of service.
Sean Campbell, ’17JRN, was the investigative reporting fellow with The Trace, a news media startup dedicated to coverage of guns and gun violence in the U.S. Through his fellowship, he gathered and analyzed data, assisted with research and reports for ongoing projects, and conceived, reported and delivered an investigative piece that expands the coverage of guns in the U.S. Sean helped produce quality journalism that exposed wrongdoing, rooted out injustices, and illuminated firearm issues that are in the public interest.
Taylor Eldridge, ’17JRN and Manuel Villa, ’17JRN, were fellows at The Marshall Project, a Pulitzer-winning, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. Taylor was responsible for pitching, reporting, and writing at least three of her own stories including a feature-length piece on the privatization of sending care packages to inmates and the fiscal burden it places on inmates and their families, and collected nationwide data to support an interactive graphic to accompany the story. She also assisted in gathering national statistics on the number of inmates who have their parental rights permanently terminated while incarcerated and gave an in-depth look at the practice of sending patients in a psychiatric crisis who are medically stable to the county jail to wait for a bed at a treatment facility. Taylor also attended various seminars and trainings over the course of the fellowship covering topics from digital security to public information requests. Manuel was the Data Journalism Fellow and utilized tools such as Python, Excel, GitHub, and SQL. Manuel focused on using data to search for stories on lingering repercussions of the war-on-crime policies from the 1980s and ‘90s. Manuel worked closely with the interactive reporter, designer, director of technology and deputy managing editor to visualize data for Stories and to do additional research for long-term projects.
Gabriel Gonzalez, ’18BUS, interned with Acumen Fund, a nonprofit that raises funds from charities to invest in companies, leaders, and ideas that are focused on alleviating poverty. Gabriel worked with the portfolio investment team based in New York and analyzed their portfolio companies to identify trends to better inform investment decisions and pinpoint best practices across industries, regions, and the size of companies.
Imani Gooden, ’18BUS, and Romain Prudhomme, ’18BUS, interned with Refoundry, an innovative nonprofit startup dedicated to improving the criminal justice system. By training formerly incarcerated people to repurpose discarded materials and incubating participants into their own independent businesses, Refoundry’s purpose is to ultimately reduce our nation’s 2.2 million prison population and 75% recidivism rate. Imani and Romain worked directly with Refoundry’s participants to help them establish their own enterprises, helping them build budgets, business and marketing plans, growth strategies, and operational processes. Additionally, they worked closely with the executive director to help expand organizational and financial capacity.
Elsbeth Grant, ’18BUS, interned with Columbia Law School’s Center for Public Research and Leadership, which provides consulting for organizations that are transforming K–12 education in either the public or social sector. Elsbeth worked with an organization to research the challenges of supporting military connected children in public schools and surface opportunities for collaboration among schools and other organizations. She conducted interviews with a variety of stakeholders, analyzed qualitative and quantitative data, and assisted in drafting the summative report of CPRL’s recommendations. CPRL is hoping that this project can be used as a model for future projects with similarly impacted groups of students.
Ian Krohn, ’17BUS, worked at Armadura Gym, a Mozambican nonprofit health and fitness company that works to rehabilitate and train former homeless youth. Armadura runs a vocational internship in partnership with a local center for homeless youth offering job training, scholarships, and profit sharing. Ian helped spearhead Armadura’s expansion plan including fundraising and developing the nonprofit’s strategic growth plan to expand the organization’s sustainable revenue sources and increase their vocational capacity amongst Maputo’s street population.
Jesse McCormick, ’18GSAPP, worked in the offices of One Architecture and Urbanism shadowing the multi-disciplinary team working on the BIG U: a rising sea level and storm surge contingency plan providing Manhattan with infrastructure to protect the island from climate danger while using natural and sustainable elements to make these spaces open public parks. These projects, along with other resiliency planning efforts One Architecture is engaged in for disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, rely on a community driven design process, giving voice and agency to local actors.
Sophia Mysel, ’18CSSW, worked at Step By Step Support, which provides counseling services and transitional housing to people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. She assessed clients’ histories of both their drug and alcohol use and exposure to trauma. Much of her work when creating treatment plans revolved around managing trauma symptoms without the use of drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. Sophia also conducted group therapy sessions. Finally, she created a resource guide about the social services in Pittsburgh to distribute at Step By Step’s transitional housing units to assist clients in meeting their biopsychosocial needs.
Katherine Proctor, ’17JRN, worked as the summer investigative fellow at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, a nonpartisan journalism nonprofit headquartered in Madison and devoted to dogged investigative reporting at the state level. The center is also a founding member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a group of nonprofit journalism organizations that conduct investigative reporting in the public interest. The center’s recent reporting includes stories on immigrants working in the state's dairy industry, the quality of the state's groundwater supply, and the state criminal justice system's changing methods of dealing with sex offenders. This summer, Katherine contributed to the center's investigation of DNA analysis of hair samples for federal criminal cases in Wisconsin.
Katie Pypes, ’18CSSW, was an intern with She’s The First (STF), an international nonprofit that fosters the next generation of female leadership by providing girls around the globe with scholarships for education. Katie worked to coordinate a partner conference for East and West Africa in addition to the development of an action network. By developing advocacy- and activism- focused tools, she extended the international STF network and promoted global awareness of the need for mentorship and support among young women. Her work to develop essential programming and supporting materials expanded the capacity of STF to help more girls become college graduates in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.
Katie Spradley, ’19BUS, spent the summer as a business plan consultant with the National Park Service. The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve the natural and cultural resources and values of the U.S. for the enjoyment and education of all people. Katie worked at Badlands National Park and Minuteman Missile Site in South Dakota to identify resource efficiencies, assess pricing strategies, and facilitate synergies with park operations and those of local tribal reservations. These efforts supported the goals of continuing to increase public interest, visitation, and support for the National Parks.
Trace Welch, ’17BUS, worked as a thought leadership fellow at the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, a nonprofit that brings together asset owners, managers, and creators of top global companies to make capitalism more equitable, sustainable, and inclusive through practices that extend the opportunities and benefits of our economic system to everyone. Trace worked on the thought leadership team to develop content and supported the Embankment Project, a pilot program that develops a framework for companies and investors to measure and report the impact and value created for all stakeholders.
Lorna Woodham, ’18CSSW / UTS, interned at S.O.U.L. (Sisters Organizing for Understanding & Leadership) Sisters Leadership Collective (SSLC), a groundbreaking leadership development nonprofit mobilizing vulnerable young women (including trans and gender nonconforming youth) in NYC and Miami to interrupt the cycle of poverty and violence. SSLC empowers young women to become agents of personal and community transformation, utilizing a four pillars model: leadership, social justice, healing, and the arts. As the parent and community outreach coordinator for the Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program, Lorna developed, piloted, and evaluated a weekly trauma-informed support group for caregivers, focusing on the best way to support the youth. She also coordinated “Leader Wednesday” luncheons for youth.
Zifan Yang, ’18BUS, interned with the Computer Science for All initiative within the NYC Department of Education. This initiative will allow all NYC public school students to receive a meaningful, high-quality Computer Science (CS) education at each school level: elementary, middle, and high school by 2025. Zifan sought to build systems for budgeting, purchasing, invoicing, and contracting, which streamlined processes to increase efficiency as well as assist with accurate tracking and program spending forecasting. The impact will be seen over the next eight years, as the DOE will train nearly 5,000 teachers who will bring CS education to the city's nearly 1.1 million public school students.
Angela Concha, ’18BUS, interned at InterAmerican Development Bank, the Latin American branch of the World Bank. She worked in the transportation division, which supports IDB member countries in the design of operations in transportation (roads, ports, airports, railways, etc.), in order to contribute to a more inclusive world and improve conditions for the mobility of people and cargo in rural and urban areas.
James Davis, ’18CC / ’19SIPA, interned with the Kuan-Lin Caring Association, a Taiwanese nonprofit that provides community-centered welfare assistance. The association operates schools in underserved areas, builds refrigeration and cooking infrastructure in underdeveloped villages, and tests innovative redistribution policies on behalf of city governments. Utilizing his background in economic research and community organizing, James led the NGO’s rollout of a universal basic income pilot program, hosted town halls to discuss the reform’s limitations and nuances, and helped prioritize the NGO’s anti-poverty initiatives.
Andrew Fixler, ’18SIPA, interned with Bancus, a digital marketplace that lets small business owners in emerging markets—critical growth and employment catalysts—easily access financing. Andrew drove growth in Bancus’ first target country, Ghana, by building partnerships with critical eco-system players in the delivery of financial services and engaging directly with entrepreneurs to drive adoption with Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Andrew was responsible for engaging with stakeholders across the MSME finance ecosystem via multiple channels to educate and relay critical information, helping ensure a large positive impact on financial inclusion for Accra-based MSMEs.
Thomas Frischknecht, ’18BUS, interned at Third Way Africa, a merchant bank firm that participates in the development of young African economies. Third Way Africa supports young economies being transformed into countries sustained by long-term economic growth, social responsibility, and natural conservation through the combination of advisory services and principal investments with a focus on development finance and impact investing opportunities. Thomas’ responsibilities included strategic advisory to clients and an assessment of principal investment opportunities with major economic impact in South Africa.
Cora Griffin, ’18SIPA; Zac Hoyer-Leitzel, ’18SIPA-MDP; and Michelle Joseph, ’18SIPA, worked with Kiron Open Higher Education, a social enterprise and the world's first university for refugees that provides online education for students in Jordan and Germany. Founded in 2014, Kiron uses an innovative combination of online and offline learning to provide accessible, sustainable, and cost-effective education. As the summer school fellow in Amman, Jordan, Cora supported Kiron in the development of their monitoring and evaluation system, led job skills trainings for students, and designed a recruiting framework to expand Kiron’s reach in Jordan. Zac planned and researched a multi-year international scale-up strategy for several countries in the MENA region. In addition to working with internal stakeholders to pitch a comprehensive strategy to executive-level decision makers, Zac remotely assisted Kiron Jordan’s academic partnership building and summer programming M&E implementation. As the international strategy and business development intern, Michelle worked with Kiron’s international team to define and develop a product localization strategy, support the strategy development of all offices, and develop a future expansion model.
Jade Luo, ’18SIPA / CSSW, interned with Megumi Project, a Japan-based social enterprise focused on generating income for women affected by the 2011 tsunami in Japan. The Megumi Project trains and equips local women with sewing and designs skills at a production site in Onagawa, Japan, and staff members use their skills to up-cycle kimonos into shawls, scarves, bags, journals, and accessories. Jade worked as a program officer for the partnership program. Her responsibilities included meeting with potential partners in the U.S. and developing a new wholesale partnership program.
Devansh Mehta, ’17SIPA, worked at CGNet Swara, an award-winning nonprofit community media outlet that hosts a toll-free telephone line that enables citizens in rural India to record and listen to stories of local interest. CGNet Swara has logged over one million phone calls and published about 10,000 reports, which have led to the resolution of more than 550 longstanding community problems. As executive assistant to the founder and president, Devansh helped draft external correspondence, prepared grant applications, and represented CGNet Swara at meetings with various stakeholders. He was also a part of their innovation team devoted to finding new revenue streams and making them organization financially self-sustainable.
Erin Mills, ’18CSSW, interned at Akany Avoko Faravohitra (AAF), a therapeutic group home for abused, neglected, and justice-involved girls that seeks to become a model for excellence in child welfare in Madagascar. In Antananarivo, Madagascar, AAF provides legal assistance, social work, and vocational services to girls and young women who reside at AAF, and family stabilization services in the community that help vulnerable children in Madagascar grow to their full potential. At AAF, Erin worked to establish financial sustainability for the organization by structuring a fundraising strategy and communications plans, beginning an organizational branding initiative, and identifying and developing partnerships with local and international donors.
Michele Panzeri, ’17BUS, and Tatiana Parilova, ’17BUS, were summer interns with Enko Education, a social venture that provides a high-quality and affordable secondary education in Africa. Michele worked directly with the CEO on business development, launching an international school in Mozambique and establishing relationships with investors to add several other schools to the network. He also supported Enko in developing school management services aimed at supporting other schools struggling to provide necessary quality at an accessible price point. Tatiana was based in Enko’s HQ in South Africa, Johannesburg, and was working together with the CEO to develop an optimal organizational model and incentive system, and selected processes.
Emma Ruskin, ’18BC, worked with La Esperanza Granada in Nicaragua. La Esperanza is a nonprofit organization that serves over 2,000 young children in Granada’s poorest neighborhood, by providing dental visits, classroom teaching assistance, and English instruction. Emma volunteered with La Esperanza two summers ago and was inspired to design a project based on her experience. She worked with the Danino Synthetic Biological Systems Laboratory at Columbia University to develop a curriculum that helps children within La Esperanza to better understand the importance of personal hygiene. Emma implemented this initiative by working directly with children in La Esperanza’s enrichment center to create an interactive public art piece about the human body and the critical role of bacteria in our everyday lives.
Anta Touray, ’18BC, worked at the Bureau d’Accueil et d’Accompagnement des Migrants (BAAM), a nonprofit organization that aims to meet the diverse needs of refugees in Paris fleeing social conflict in East Africa and the Middle East. BAAM connects refugees to lawyers to attain legal refugee status, to education professionals to teach French language courses, and to employment opportunities. As a part of the employment research team, she helped launched the Bienvenue à Paris program, which sought to change the social perception of refugees’ potential contributions to French society by connecting refugees to small French businesses. Additionally, Anta designed French lessons for English speaking refugees, developed a fundraising plan to extend BAAM’s services and outreach, and monitored and evaluated the success of BAAM’s initiatives.
Megumi Uchino, ’18CSSW, interned in at Arc Finance in its India office, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting access to finance for clean energy and water to build the income and assets of poor people around the world. As a gender project associate, Megumi conducted gender assessments on Arc’s existing projects and sector-wide progress through field research and interviews. In addition, she provided technical assistance to microfinance partners in their commitment to financing female entrepreneurs in sustainable energy. Her contribution allowed Arc to maximize their impact by providing financial and energy literacy training in a culturally sensitive manner to their female clients.
Sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility
Raul Arguedas, ’18BUS, and Joshua Newell, ’17BUS, worked in business development and strategic partnerships at SolarKal, the leading marketplace and brokerage for commercial solar. Raul helped expand the company's go-to-market strategy, and developed a financial model to calculate and communicate cost saving opportunities to customers. This model is flexible enough to evaluate SolarKal’s value proposition under different tax scenarios, and will also be used to monitor the actual savings once the panels are installed. During the internship, Raul honed his business development skills, and increased his knowledge of the renewable energy and solar landscapes. Josh assisted SolarKal with financial analysis for clients, RFP management, and building out strategic partnerships.
Junbo Chen, ’17SEAS, interned with Radiator Labs, which works to design and build radiator covers that allow users to control temperature in each room while saving money and reducing the energy waste of steam heat in New York City. Junbo assisted the team by writing software, which enabled network gateways to communicate data to BMS via BACnet protocol. He also helped the team identify and document the optimal failsafe methods for each BMS the system integrated with and outlined testing routines.
Hashim Ibrahim, ’18BUS, worked for SunCulture, a startup that provides solar irrigation solutions for small farmers across Africa. SunCulture designs and sells solar photovoltaic powered drip irrigation systems and agricultural extension services to smallholder farmers across East Africa. Hashim was responsible for reviewing investor materials, assisting in the rebuild of the operating model, and constructing the data room. This work was essential for SunCulture’s second round of fundraising, which will enable the startup to cover more smallholder farmers in Africa.
Prateek Jain, ’18BUS, worked with Watt Fuel Cell, a developer and manufacturer of environmentally responsible energy solutions. Prateek worked in partnership with Professor Travis Bradford, using a lean launch pad method taught in entrepreneurship courses at Columbia University to bring their Imperium Fuel cells to market. Prateek developed partnerships, sales channels and processes necessary to take the technology to market and help accomplish Watt’s ambitious goals to dramatically cut-down emissions in portable applications in North America and the rest of the world.
Kaitlin Silkowitz, ’18CSSW, worked at Enhanced Mood, LLC, which helps users positively shift emotional states through their signature application, “Check In,” and uses technology to reach at-risk populations as well as anyone who needs help managing their emotions. Enhanced Mood seeks to augment mental health services by providing high-quality care, increasing overall access to services, and raising awareness about mental health and stigma. As an intern, Kaitlin assisted in marketing, branding, and advertising “Check In” to various facilities, organizations, schools, and other potential users. Kaitlin also helped create therapeutic content through various multimedia platforms such as music, videos, and specialized modality content related to DBT, CBT, and EMDR.
Reile Slattery, ’20PS, interned at Kinnos Inc., a startup biotech and chemical company based in Brooklyn that seeks to raise standards for infectious disease control in numerous environments. The company’s first product, Highlight, is a bleach additive that enables users to visualize the appropriate contact time and coverage of bleach as a disinfectant. Reile researched and performed wet lab experiments to expand the Highlight technology into bleach wipes and hand sanitizer for use in hospital settings.
Ben Swanson, ’18CC, interned at Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), a social enterprise that leverages capital for social and environmental benefits through innovative financial mechanisms. Ben worked primarily with the impact assessment team, which analyzes the effects of potential impact investments, and with the business development team, which works to promote and grow the impact investment sector. Ben is studying economics and his interests include poverty alleviation and environmental conservation.
Grant van Wyngaarden, ’17BUS, interned with Advanced Energy Agency, a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) committed to developing and delivering advanced energy solutions to achieve a more affordable, cleaner, and reliable energy future. Advanced Energy Agency assists customers in their endeavors to assess, pursue, and implement advanced energy solutions that bring renewable energy and grid resiliency technologies to major cities. In addition to leading customer projects, Grant coordinated the New York stakeholder meeting. The event’s theme was smart buildings and grid modernization and contributors included the coordinator of the NYC Carbon Challenge at the NYC Mayor's Office and director of utility of the future at ConEdison.
Zeyu Ye, ’17SEAS, interned with Social Solar, a social enterprise that allows multiple businesses and individual participants to share in both the costs and benefits of a single larger solar energy system. The company provides a trusted third-party online platform that matches families and businesses seeking community solar opportunities with vetted community solar developers, positively impacting NYC environmentally and economically. Zeyu worked as a software engineer and was responsible for building the website, building an app for the platform, and developing an algorithm to utilize data for customer acquisition.
Anika Bahra, ’18SIPA, worked for Azimuth Solar, a social enterprise dedicated to solving Sierra Leone’s access to energy crisis. As a credit analyst intern, Anika worked directly with Azimuth’s client communities to develop credit scoring mechanisms. She evaluated eligibility for low-income households to access pay-as-you-go renewable energy assets. Ultimately, Anika changed access to energy opportunities for thousands of poor Sierra Leoneans while simultaneously improving Azimuth’s business operations. Founded in 2016, Azimuth Solar is a Columbia University-born social enterprise co-founded by three SIPA graduates. The startup has won numerous awards as a socially inclusive sustainability initiative including the D-Prize (2015), Columbia University’s Dean’s Challenge (2016), and Hult Prize (2016).
Pedro Barata, ’18BUS, and Stepheny Xiang,’18BUS, interned with Eat Offbeat, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures enterprise that delivers authentic ethnic meals made by refugees in New York City. Eat Offbeat celebrates cuisines from their chefs’ home countries, providing authentic cuisine to New Yorkers and job opportunities for talented cooks. Pedro assisted the founders in uplifting and streamlining current operations, assessing feasibility, and developing a market strategy for retail expansion. Stepheny worked in a business development capacity analyzing sales and operations data to identify actionable insights into growing the business, made recommendations for product development, and assisted the founding team in preparing for a fundraising round.
Nicholas Drayson, ’18BUS, worked with Accion Venture Lab in Washington, D.C. Accion Venture Lab is a nonprofit investment fund that provides patient seed capital and operating support to financial inclusion startups in emerging markets, improving financial access for people living in poverty. Nicholas worked with Venture Lab’s investment team to help source and evaluate new investment opportunities in early-stage financial inclusion startups. Nicholas performed financial and business analysis, using qualitative and quantitative data to prepare documents such as market overviews, screening memos, and investment memos.
William Gangware, ’19BUS, worked as a business development consultant for Citizen, a smartphone application that increases safety and community awareness of local crime and emergency incidents. William worked with the CEO to strategize and develop a new commercial product that leverages the Citizen platform and helps residential, commercial, and institutional clients improve safety and enhance their emergency responsiveness on their properties.
Ioto Iotov, ’18BUS, interned at AfricInvest, a Pan-African investment firm that assists African businesses to scale successfully. AfricInvest emphasizes and maintains the highest environmental, social, and governance practices at their portfolio companies, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable business landscape. Ioto focused on the financial services practices that assist in the development of the financial services industry and capital markets institutions on the African continent. AfricInvests partners with DFI to provide capital and expertise to increase economic activity and reduce poverty.
Philip Young-Jin Kang, ’17BUS, worked for Folia Water, a recently founded social venture that provides affordable water filters containing silver that kills bacteria and viruses to Base of Pyramid (BOP) consumers in developing countries. Philip’s project focused on developing a go-to-market and operational strategy for this early-stage venture. Additionally, Philip supported Folia Water’s fundraising effort by revising their business plan.
Eunice Lee, ’18BUS, interned at Agora Partnerships in the investor relations and financial innovation department. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in Mexico City, Mexico and Managua, Nicaragua, Agora is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs addressing social and environmental challenges in Latin America with the resources, knowledge, network, and access to capital they need to grow and scale. As an investment associate intern, Eunice helped prepare early-stage social enterprises become investment-ready and connected social entrepreneurs with impact investors. Eunice also assisted Agora in raising its own fund so that it can be a direct investment vehicle in social enterprises.
Anne McGrath, ’18BUS, interned with Inspiring Capital, a B Corp that pairs MBA students and talented business professionals with high potential, purpose-driven organizations. Anne worked with Perlman & Perlman, a law firm that serves as general counsel and provides legal services to individuals, nonprofits, and social enterprises in the field of tax exempt law. The project was to work with Perlman & Perlman on identifying areas of highest potential in the market and to build out a sustainable pricing structure.
Christopher Perkins, ’17BUS, worked for La Plataforma, a startup based in Santiago, Chile that provides mobile platforms for unbanked and underbanked migrants to transfer money cheaply across Latin America. His work focused on conducting an analysis of the Colombian remittance market, on providing a market entry strategy, and on updating the three to five year projections and ideal financing structure. This work informed La Plataforma’s expansion strategy to its second market allowing the company to expand its market and increase revenues. It also prepared La Plataforma to raise additional funding necessary to execute its expansion strategy.
Nick Pisacano, ’17BUS, worked for ServiceCorps, an applicant for the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. ServiceCorps builds a community of leaders by encouraging partner corporations to defer job offers to high potential college students for a year so the student can serve with a social sector partner. Nick worked with the CEO to develop a three-year strategy and business development plan to acquire new corporate partners and grow the base of fellows. He also coordinated with the Leadership Capital Institute and served as a speaker and breakout session facilitator.
Kathryn Ritter, ’18BUS, worked with the Acumen Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social venture fund that has raised over $90 million in funds to invest in social enterprises that offer goods and services targeting the 4 billion people living on less than $4 a day. Acumen is specifically focused on supporting companies that deliver critical products such as healthcare, water, housing, and energy. Her summer project included reviewing three business plans from prospects, drafting one investment, participating in one due diligence visit to an investee company, and supporting the portfolio manager in post-invest management of investee companies.
David Schreiber, ’18BUS, and Sarah Shenker, ’18BUS, interned at City Light Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to generating strong financial returns and measurable social impact. David’s work helped the firm identify and evaluate early-stage ventures with an impactful social mission. He assisted the firm to negotiate term sheets, structure cap tables, and manage relationships with limited partners. David performed detailed research to document and quantify the firm’s connectedness in the impact investing industry. Sarah’s work focused specifically on redefining the concept of place-based investing through the creation of an annual summit for impact entrepreneurs. This partnership will bring together city decision makers, local academic institutions, venture capital, and a set of startups offering innovative urban solutions in a new form of convening. Through this initiative, Sarah helped City Light Capital expand their reach and impact to cities traditionally underserved by the social entrepreneurial community.
Stephanie Shaw, ’17BUS, worked with Professors Bruce Usher and Ray Horton and the Chazen Institute to design a new immersion course titled Bridging the American Divide. The course will be taught in the fall of 2017, and aims to foster a better understanding of and response to the growing socio-economic and political divides in the U.S. She also worked with Professor Usher to research a book for the Earth Institute's Sustainability Primer Series about the shift away from fossil fuels to renewables.
Kruti Sheth, ’19SIPA, and Giovanni Zenteno, ’18SIPA, interned with Ashoka Social Financial Services (SFS) “Deep-Dive Masters” Program, which identifies leading social entrepreneurs with systems-changing new ideas that use the market to create social impact. The Ashoka SFS Team has embarked on a collaborative effort to understand and share with others the potential these innovations have to shape large-scale patterns of market activity to benefit everyone. As Deep Dive interns, Kruti and Gio both investigated cutting-edge structural innovations and social entrepreneurs and worked on identifying patterns to inform working hypothesis on trends and innovations driving social impacts. Additionally, Kruti used independent and team-oriented reflections to better understand broader implications of research for improving the quality and character of people’s lives by changing how markets work.
Hannah Siegelberg, ’18BUS, was a summer fellow at the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), which helps nonprofits run a business that drives positive change. NFF makes loans and other financing available to nonprofits to bring opportunities and hope to people in low-income communities and also consults social-sector leaders on how to make financial decisions that best serve their mission. Hannah was responsible for analyzing the feasibility of NFF entering a new sector—criminal justice—and determining whether the organization should invest in projects where payments are tied to outcomes.
Gabriella Stoudemire, ’18BUS, worked with IluMéxico, a social enterprise that provides affordable solar energy to off-grid rural communities. Gabriella was based in Mexico City and traveled significantly to rural communities in order to survey their needs, aspirations, and sources of income. Her goal with IluMéxico was to build a methodology for understanding the development of rural communities to help IluMéxico identify and catch growth waves as communities’ income and access to services, such as affordable energy, increase. This helped IluMéxico identify additional opportunities for scaling their business and better support rural communities in their long-term growth strategy.
Andrew Valerie, ’18BUS, interned at Social Sciences Innovations Corp., a company that creates unique educational programs and mental health screeners in the area of health / mental-skills and health / life-skills targeted to deaf and hard-of-hearing adults and students. Andrew was responsible for creating and presenting a full marketing plan for the company’s educational products designed to reach decision makers with regard to curriculum materials for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and for teachers and administrators of special education. Additionally, the marketing plan is designed to reach medical and social service providers who conduct or refer deaf individuals for mental health services.