D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellows

 

The MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship offers one year of support to social entrepreneurs bringing tech-based, poverty alleviating products and services to market at scale. Alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the International Development Design Summit (IDDS) are eligible to apply.

MEET THE 2014 SCALE-UPS FELLOWS

ZEHRA ALI

GHONSLA - Effective insulation panels from recycled materials - Pakistan

Issue: Metal roofs contribute to extreme in-home temperature fluctuations in northern Pakistan, where households spend up to 30% of their disposable income on wood for heating, resulting in high levels of indoor air pollution and deforestation. 
Solution: Ghonsla provides sustainable, effective, and economical insulation to underserved markets in Pakistan. Ghonsla’s 2’x2’ insulation panels are made from recycled paper and board and can be retrofitted onto existing roofs and interior walls. 
Scale-Ups Fellow: Zehra Ali holds a SB in Mechanical Engineering and an SM in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was raised in Pakistan and founded Ghonsla (which means “nest” in Urdu) in order to address complex problems related to housing, energy, and the environment.

MATTHEW OROSZ

STG INTERNATIONAL - Mini-grid power stations for rural electrification - Lesotho and Tanzania

Issue: Nearly 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to reliable, modern sources of energy. Lack of reliable energy significantly impacts the quality and availability of education and health care, especially in rural areas.
Solution: STG International provides a complete technology and service model for low-cost micro-grids that provide rural households, health centers, and schools with access to affordable and sustainable energy.
Scale-Ups Fellow: Matthew Orosz is a founder of STG International and a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2012. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer, a Fulbright Fellow, and an Echoing Green Fellow.

SIDHANT PAI

PROTOPRINT - Converting waste plastic into 3D printer filament - India

Issue: An estimated 2 million waste pickers in India (and more than 15 million worldwide) suffer from economic marginalization and social stigma, despite their important work of processing waste plastics.
Solution: Protoprint provides affordable access to machinery which enables waste pickers to convert collected HDPE plastics into eco-friendly and price-competitive 3D printer filament, leveraging growing demand to empower waste pickers through significantly higher earnings.
Scale-Ups Fellow: Sidhant Pai will graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014 after studying Environmental Engineering and Developmental Economics. He is a 2014 Echoing Green finalist and a winner of the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge.

SUPRIO DAS

ZIMBAAn affordable chlorine doser for community water sources - India 

Issue: Both centralized and household-level approaches to water treatment have often failed to provide safe drinking water to people around the world.
Solution: Zimba automatically mixes chlorine into water in the correct proportions, regardless of the water flow rate. The device requires no behavior-change from users and can be fitted to an existing water source, such as a well hand-pump, the tap of a rainwater harvesting cistern, or the faucet of a piped water system. 
Scale-Ups fellow: Suprio Das left a 20-year career as corporate electrical engineer to found numerous ventures focused on the needs of the very poor. Suprio is four-time attendee of IDDS.

ZUBAIDA BAI 

CLEAN BIRTH KIT IN A PURSE - An affordable clean birth kit - India & expanding

Issue: Approximately one million mothers and newborns die annually from infections linked to unhygienic birth practices.
Solution: JANMA: Clean Birth Kit in a Purse contains the essential tools required to ensure safe and sterile conditions at the time of childbirth. ayzh (eyes) has sold over 50,000 kits in India, Haiti, Laos, Afghanistan, and Africa, with demand from other countries continuing to grow.
Scale-Ups fellow: Zubaida Bai is a three-time participant at IDDS. She holds a Master’s degree in Engineering (product development and design) from Dalarna University, Sweden, and an MBA from Colorado State University.

ALEX HORNSTEIN

TINYPIPES Cell-phone enabled solar panel - Philippines

Issue: Four-million near-grid households with home cellular connectivity who have started to incorporate electricity into their lives could benefit from uniquely appropriate energy solutions.
Solution: tinyPipes is an off-grid electrical utility installing solar panels that can be monitored and controlled over a cellular network. The panels can be connected to and charge a user’s 12V car battery. Users pre-pay for energy via mobile money or in cash until the panel is paid for.
Scale-Ups fellow: Alex Hornstein holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. Since graduating he has focused on solar energy and is currently living in China and the Philippines.

DANIELLE ZUROVCIK

WOUND-PUMP - Simplified negative pressure wound therapy (NWPT) device  - Multiple Markets 

Issue: The treatment of approximately 200 million open wounds daily, drains significant resources in all healthcare systems.
Solution: The WiCare Wound-Pump provides a means to offer NPWT around the world. This patent-pending technology was developed to meet global customer needs in all targeted markets and the functional parameters necessary for successful therapy.
Scale-Ups fellow: Danielle Zurovcik completed a PhD at MIT in Mechanical Engineering in 2012. While still a student, she founded WiCare to develop innovative medical devices that are clinically effective and affordable worldwide.

MEET THE 2013 SCALE-UPS FELLOWS

BILIKISS ADEBIYI 

WECYCLERS - An incentive-based recycling venture - Nigeria

Issue: About 60 percent of the 12 million people living in the slums of Lagos do not have access to reliable municipal trash collection and are left to deal with waste disposal on their own. 
Solution: A fleet of low-cost cargo bicycles and an SMS-based incentives platform offering convenient household recycling services in densely populated, low-income neighborhoods. 
Scale-Ups fellow: Bilikiss holds an MBA from MIT. She worked at IBM for five years where she developed social networking software that served thousands of users at Fortune 500 companies. 

HALLIE SUE CHO

OTTOCLAVE An affordable "talking" sterilization system for medical instruments - Nepal & India

Issue: Up to one in three patients receiving treatment at remote clinics become infected from unsterilized medical instruments resulting in over 20 million preventable infections each year.
Solution: OttoClave’s innovative cycle monitor talks to users in their native language, standardizes training and provides continued education. OttoClave gives users confirmation of successful sterilization, a feature that was previously only available with high-end autoclaves. 
Scale-Ups fellow: Hallie Sue received degrees in mechanical engineering and management science from MIT. She is currently pursuing a PhD at INSEAD.

KWAMI WILLIAMS

MORINGACONNECT - Connecting farmers to the global Moringa oil market - Ghana

Issue: There are an estimated 25,000 farmers in Ghana growing Moringa but little has been invested in Moringa oil extraction despite the high demand for the oil.
Solution: MoringaConnect sources organically cultivated seeds from smallholder farmers in Ghana to produce cold-pressed Moringa oil to formulators of hair and skincare products worldwide.
Scale-Ups fellow: Kwami Williams, originally from Ghana, holds an SB in Aerospace Engineering from MIT. Since graduating, he has devoted his life to developing MoringaConnect with cofounder Emily Cunningham.

JODIE WU

MULTICROP THRESHER - An efficient, affordable thresher - Tanzania

Issue: In Tanzania, where over 70-percent of both the economy and the workforce rely upon small-scale agriculture, farmers are still using arduous and unsanitary traditional methods of threshing.
Solution: The MultiCrop Thresher is an affordable, high-impact multi-crop agricultural processing machine. The thresher is locally repairable, possibly locally manufactured, but, most important, at a price that makes is accessible to smallholder farmer in Tanzania.
Scale-Ups fellow: Jodi Wu holds an SB in Mechancial Engineering from MIT and Is CEO of Global Cycle Solutions based in Tanzania. She was a 2010 Echoing Green Fellow and 2011 TED Global Fellow.

KEVIN CEDRONE

AUGMENTED INFANT RESUSCITATOR - A device to monitor and provide feedback on use of resuscitation equipment - Uganda

Issue: At least one million babies die each year due to breathing trouble. And no reliable data exists to explain whether these babies die due to equipment malfunction, user error or some other underlying cause.
Solution: AIR is an add-on for existing resuscitation equipment and training. It monitors resuscitation performance, and provides feedback on technique. It allows trainees to learn by doing, rather than learn by seeing or reading. 
Scale-Ups fellow: Kevin holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from MIT. Kevin became involved in global health and development at a H@cking Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in October 2012 where he developed a prototype of the AIR in less than 24 hours. 

SHAWN WEN

PORTATHERM - An electricity-free typhoid & paratyphoid diagnostic system - Nepal

Issue: There are 27 million cases and over 200,000 deaths every year from typhoid and paratyphoid. Without a reliable electricity supply in rural areas, health facilities are unable to perform blood cultures for diagnosis.
Solution: PortaTherm combines a low-cost, electricity-free incubator, invented by MIT D-Lab's Amy Smith, and a simple-to-read, blood culture-based diagnostic test developed by Dr. Jason Andrews of Massachusetts General Hospital.
Scale-Ups fellow: Shawn holds an SB from MIT in Brain and Cognitive Sciences with a concentration in Science, Technology and Society. An aspiring physician, Shawn has a particular interest in the use of innovative, simple, low-cost technologies in rural, resource-limited settings.

MEET THE INNAUGURAL SCALE-UPS FELLOWS

ANNA YOUNG 

SOLARCLAVE - A solar-powered autoclave for off-grid health clinics - Nicaragua

Issue: Fifty-percent of rural health clinics, serving three billion people operate without electricity. Without electricity, these clinics have no hope of sterilizing medical instruments adequately to safely treat wounds, for gynecological examinations, prenatal care, and emergency births.  
Solution: The Solarclave sterilizes medical instruments to the CDC standard using sunlight, and was designed using commonly available materials and requiring minimal technical expertise. 
Scale-Ups fellow: An economist turned designer, Anna is a researcher at the D-Lab affiliated Little Devices group, and is the instructor of D-Lab: Health. Anna has developed partnerships in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.

JACKIE LINNES

SOLAR WATER PURIFIER - A device indicating when solar water disinfection is complete - Zambia

Issue: Solar disinfection (SODIS) could be the lowest-cost household water treatment method, requiring only PET bottles and sunlight. However, it’s not possible to tell when the process is done.
Solution:The PotaVida monitor measures sunlight and shows the user when the water is disinfected and runs on solar power. The monitor will last for at least 5 years and costs less than $5 in large volumes.
Scale-Ups fellow: Jackie holds a PhD in Bioengineering and a certificate in Global Health from the University of Washington. She is an expert in bacterial pathogens and implementing engineering solutions that improve global health. 

TISH SCOLNIK

LEVERAGED FREEDOM CHAIR An innovative lever-powered wheelchair for developing countries. - India, Haiti

Issue: There are 20 million people in need of an appropriate wheelchair - regular wheelchairs are designed for hospitals not the rough terrain of both urban and rural areas in developing countries.
Solution: LFC riders push on efficient levers and "shift gears" by sliding their hands up and down the levers. Riders can travel 80% faster and achieve 50% more torque for power than a regular wheelchair. And, unlike other wheelchairs, it is built from standard bicycle parts and can be easily maintained anywhere in the world.
Scale-Ups fellow: Tish holds an SB from MIT in mechanical engineering and a minor in applied international studies. She is currently CEO of Global Research Innovation & Technology which is bringing the LFC to market.