Breakout Sessions


Perihan Abou-Zeid
– Qabila Media Productions, Legatum Fellow 2013-2015

Perihan AbouZeid is the Co-Founder and CEO of Qabila Media Productions, a media content creator that capitalizes on crowdsourcing and digital media to provide clients with cost-effective content that reaches their target audience in the most engaging and effective way. Qabila bridges the gap between entertainment and the intellectual need of the target audience; from online videos to mass media content.

Prior to founding Qabila, Perihan worked with Google, the Canadian Embassy in Cairo, and Egypt's leading Internet service provider. She founded the first online supermarket in Egypt and has several years of experience in online marketing and communications.

Perihan is currently an MBA candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo.


Ali Kamil – CrowdSOS, Legatum Fellow 2013-2014

Ali S. Kamil was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. He is a dual degree candidate with the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Harvard Kennedy School. He previously attended Georgia Institute of Technology majoring in Computer Science and Economics.

crowdSOS is a social venture that aims to democratize safety and security by providing citizens of Pakistan a platform to report incidents of crime, corruption, and extremism within their vicinity while ensuring complete privacy and transparency of reports. Using predictive analytics, crowdSOS can identify trends in incident occurrence, create hot spots of crime, and make probabilistic predictions. Using crowdSOS, citizens are able to visualize incidents in the city in real-time, validate or invalidate them, and take strategic steps to counter them. With it, law enforcement agencies and citizen police committees can organize and deploy their limited resources effectively. crowdSOS is being piloted at the Roskilde Music Festival in Denmark in July 2013 with plans to conduct beta trials in Karachi starting from 2014. Ali spent nearly seven years working as a technology consultant for Deloitte Consulting in their Dallas Office. More recently he has served as an instructor and advisor with MIT organizations like The Charcoal Project through the D-Lab and the AITI Program in Sri Lanka.

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Yscaira Jimenez – Plexx, Legatum Fellow 2013-2014

Yscaira Jimenez, a Dominican immigrant, is a 2014 MIT MBA candidate who grew up attending public schools in the Bronx, taught English to students in a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, and has spent most of her professional career working for high impact tutoring. She also founded and ran La Pregunta Arts Cafe, an arts cafe in Harlem, for 5 years and worked for 3 NY education startups (Rocket Learning, Learn-It Systems, Platform Learning) in business development, operation, and corporate trainer roles bringing tutoring to more than 10,000 low-income students across the U.S. She graduated from Columbia University in 2003. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and conversational Italian.

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Tish Scolnik and Mario Bollini - Global Research Innovation & Technology

Global Research Innovation & Technology (GRIT)is a social enterprise startup based in Boston, Massachusetts. The company believes in a stakeholder driven design process, where the people who use a technology help to design it. GRIT started as the MIT Mobility Lab where it invented the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), a lever-powered all-terrain wheelchair. After four years of testing the LFC in the field, GRIT was founded in 2012 bring the LFC to market. The company help people with disabilities get off-road and on with their lives.

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Keith Hopper – The Awesome Foundation

We are an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe. Created in the long hot summer days of 2009 in Boston, the Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons. The chapters are autonomous and organized by the trustees around geographic areas or topics of interest.

The Foundation provides these grants with no strings attached and claims no ownership over the projects it supports. It is, in the words of one of our trustees, a micro-genius grant for flashes of micro-brilliance.

Since its humble beginnings, many Awesome Foundation chapters have sprung up globally to conserve, sustain, and support the worldwide ecosystem of awesomeness. Projects have included efforts in a wide range of areas including technology, arts, social good, and beyond.

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Nicolas Warren - Perfect Fuel Chocolate

Camping out the night before a triathlon in 2010, Nicolas Warren, CEO of Perfect Fuel Chocolate noticed he was missing his ginseng, an important part of his pre-race routine. He was taking ginseng regularly to support his endurance during training leading up to the race and always snacking on chocolate. He was prepared with tons of nutritious camping essentials like apples, raw vegetables, crackers and healthy dark chocolate, but simply forgot to bring ginseng. On a mission to find ginseng, Nicolas drove for three hours the night before the race, checking all the stores in the area and ginseng tea was all he could find.

On his way back to the campsite, he was wondering why he couldn’t mix his ginseng with his chocolate just like nuts, or into his trail mix just like chocolate. That would be one seriously healthy snack. Good dark chocolate is already a pure, delicious, super nutritious food for athletes. Adding ginseng for the extra health benefit would be…. Perfect. It seemed like everything in the snack bar aisle is relying on brown rice syrup, soy, or rice fillers to serve their purpose. Chocolate can deliver the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and taste without getting bored with another chewy power blob.

After a few test batches combining dark chocolate and other nutrient-packed ingredients, he realized how perfectly chocolate could deliver. Ever since, Perfect Fuel Chocolate is dedicated to sharing this ideally nutritious and functional food to people who like to eat healthy snacks.

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Quang Trong, Ravi Kaneriya and Michael Joyce - Evaptainer

In developing countries, inadequate chilling and refrigeration during various stages of agricultural supply chains result in disproportionate produce spoilage. Regions employing open-air non-refrigerated trucks can experience up to 45% spoilage in fruits and vegetables. Our team, made up of students from MIT, Fletcher and Wentworth, is developing a set of affordable cold chain solutions for fresh produce supply chains in developing countries. We use a modular container that allows for cooling along all points of the supply chain. Our device essentially consists of a breathable crate with a storage container nested inside. Between the crate and the container is an evaporative media that is supplied with water by a tank mounted at the top of the crate. When water is evaporated from the media into ambient air, latent heat is carried by evaporation from the reservoir into the surrounding environment, reducing temperatures in the reservoir. Evaporative cooling has been successfully employed throughout the world for centuries and we hope that our novel application of this phenomenon during transportation will significantly reduce post-harvest losses, improving both food supplies and livelihoods along the supply chain.

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Devi Murthy - Kamal Kisan: Simple Solutions for Smart Farmers

Kamal Kisan designs, manufactures, sources, and distributes a series of simple farm equipment specifically targeted for small farmers in order to: reduce labor dependence; reduce farming production costs; and reduce dependency on fuel. Our technology is simple, adaptable, and affordable. It is marketed through service centers in rural communities where farmers can subscribe to Kamal Kisan’s mechanized agricultural services at a reasonable price point.

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James Close - Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility

The Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) is a solution driven multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank. We focus on enhancing private sector participation in infrastructure investment in developing countries to help eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable development. We do this by providing technical assistance grants to governments in the development of the enabling environments to facilitate private investment in the water, transport, energy and telecom infrastructure sectors.

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Andrew Lala and Tommy Galloway - Clair de Lune Solar Light Distribution

Claire De LuneClair de Lune will establish a distribution platform in the heart of West Africa in Burkina Faso to sell Greenlight Planet’s award-winning solar lanterns. This social venture leverages existing private bus company supply chains and cultural norms of sending in-kind, in-country remittances from wealthier urban areas to poorer, un-electrified rural villages.