Since 2004, I have led technology-based social ventures in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, India, China and other countries. These ventures are very tightly integrated with HESE courses that I have developed and taught over these years. These are all multi-year academic ventures with  student teams rotating in and out of the program. Scholarly papers related to most of these ventures can be found on the Publications tab. While some venture teams engage 4-6 students, some others like Mashavu involve hundreds of students. A few of the ventures are presented here. More information on HESE Website. All the current ventures fall under the umbrella of Food Value Chains and Pre-primary Healthcare in developing communities.

Mashavu: Networked Health Solutions

Design and Commercialization of a telemedicine system operated by Community Health Workers (CHWs) in East Africa. Collaborators include Safaricom, United Nations Industrial Development Office (UNIDO) and Children and Youth Empowerment Center (CYEC), Kenya. Mashavu currently has six social franchisees in Central Kenya and has a sustainable cash-positive technology and business model.

Affordable Greenhouses

Greenhouses enable farmers to grow year-round with higher yields and lower water consumption. Our modular greenhouses are designed for East Africa – they are robust, affordable and sustainable. This technology was developed over three years and licensed to Mavuuno Greenhouses in Kenya and The Greenhouse Center in Cameroon. HESE Teams are working with World Hope International and other organizations to disseminate them widely in Sierra Leone, Mozambique and other countries.

WishVast: Building Trust and Social Capital using Cellphones

WishVast is a cell-phone-based business networking system that harnesses the pervasiveness of cellphones in developing countries to optimize resource utilization and facilitate people-to-people trade, with the ultimate goal of alleviating poverty. People First Tourism evolved from Wishvast and is championed by Duarte Morais from NCSU. It has been deployed in the US, Brazil and other countries.

Low-cost Solar Food Dryers

The Sun Catcher is a small-scale solar food dryer that dries fruits and vegetable to extend their shelf life from a few days to a few months. Prototyping and field-testing is in progress.

iSPACES: Innovation Spaces

Design of an affordable and sustainable Innovation Space where people from various walks of life can converge to rapidly prototype innovative products that meet their unique needs and preferences.

Project Prerana: Rural Supply Chains + Educational Systems to Empower Women

Prerana leverages opportunities for social innovation that emerge at the dynamic intersection of informal education systems and rural supply chains in the developing world.