Tracy Saville, founder of My Swirl by Queentia, is a social entrepreneur who has completely bought in to the idea that the best way to see the future is to create it. She offers three keys to living in the future:
On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Tracy will join me for a live discussion about her three predictions for living in the future she envisions. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about My Swirl by Queentia:
My Swirl by Queentia, LLC, a disruptive, global and emotionally intelligent technology platform that converges Community, Collaboration, and Productivity for the first time; designed the way women want their digital and online experiences to be, built to unlock the global women-based economy. Building 3 product editions – a Personal, Business, and Group Edition – My Swirl is set to roll out their products in beta and GS editions between Q3 2016 and Q1 2018 post closing their Series A round of financing in early 2016. With a three-fold business model including re-occurring subscription, product and service, and transaction revenue My Swirl has a highly experienced, women-founded and co-founding team of 6, using a human centric design ethos that respects the one woman, and the cultural, gender, and geographic uniqueness of all people’s real time desires and expectations about their online experiences and what they want out of their lives – personally and professionally. For the first time, her social, business, and productivity will be inside one “mother of all app” artificially intelligent ecosystem that asks us all to meet her where she lives and works, that offers experiences of collaboration, community, and productivity with her and for her connections – male and female – that respect who they are.
Tracy Saville is the ‘imagineer’ at the heart of My Swirl and sets the vision and strategic goals for the company. She directs the My Swirl management team with great energy and passion, committed to operating under an enlightened management model with a triple-bottom line (people, planet, profit) approach. Her fellow co-founders possess a strong social impact vision for improving lives and economic outcomes for their customers, employees, partners, and the communities they serve and collaborate with.
She leads a team dedicated to building a new, mindful corporate culture that is in the service of helping people to achieve their goals and aspirations, that helps people live lives of wellness, and helps them fulfill their human purpose, while delivering more relevant and efficient productivity, powering others to do the same in their own companies, families, and communities.
Prior to My Swirl, Tracy served as a key member of the management team for CleanWorld, a leader in anaerobic digestion technology and remains an advising CFO, shareholder of a building products company she owns with her husband. As a lifelong entrepreneur and policy leader, she also served in key influence roles for women, energy, and children during the administrations of California Governors Pete Wilson and Gray Davis. She subsequently founded and developed companies in leadership development, entertainment, publishing, renewable energy technology, and mobile software. In 2015, she was the recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owners “Outstanding Women’s Leader” award for her pioneering entrepreneurship of MySwirl.
Tracy holds a BA in Management, an MFA, a Negotiations Certificate for Senior Executives from the joint certificate program administered by Harvard Law School, MIT, and Tufts University, and was a participant of West Point Military Academy’s Global Leadership summit in 2011. She has advised for Angel Hack, Social Venture Partners, Women’s Start-up Weekend, and is a member of the board for TEDx Sacramento. She also advises for California State University Continuing Education programs and teaches as a passion. Mentoring other women will always be a lifelong pursuit.
Her goal is to make My Swirl the most powerful and relevant woman’s brand in the world.
Pierre Hines recently won a $20,000 grant from the Atlantic Council in recognition of his remarkable nonprofit startup, Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, which he joined to support economic development in Caribbean countries. The organization was founded by Arlene Graham.
“‘Brain drain,’ the process by which a country loses skilled labor through emigration to developed countries, is a significant challenge for Caribbean countries. Many countries have lost more than 70 percent of their educated workforce,” Pierre explains.
For Pierre, this is a personal cause. “I am one of 1.2 million children in the United States with at least one Caribbean-born parent. My Jamaican father and his entire family immigrated to the United States in the 1970’s, and that decision is one the reasons I’ve had world-class educational and professional opportunities.”
“However,” he continues, “I understand that the migration of skilled labor creates challenges for local governments because they lose tax revenue that emigrants would have generated and human capital that emigrants would have contributed.”
Those who return to the Caribbean with quality education from the US or other more developed countries also face challenges. He notes, “It is problematic to have persons with MBAs working as bank tellers. And, for example, I have met a promising person with a master’s degree in engineering who took a job as a locksmith upon returning to the Caribbean.”
With 3.5 million immigrants from the Caribbean living in the U.S., Pierre hopes to tap into that Caribbean diaspora to foster economic development in the region. They are working on two specific initiatives now.
First, he says, “CRN recognizes that Caribbean countries must diversify their economies—particularly because of their heavy reliance on tourism—and recognizes that creating entrepreneur opportunities is a tried-and-true method of bridging the gap between the developing and developed countries. Through the ‘Challenge Cup-Caribbean‘ and related activities, CRN is expanding opportunities for startups to seek international investments and business relationships. CRN’s entrepreneur initiative also allows those with expertise in the diaspora to participate in skills-based volunteering by mentoring startups in their area of expertise—turning the ‘brain drain’ into a ‘brain gain.'”
“Another way that CRN is working to solve the problem is through youth empowerment initiatives. CRN formed the ‘Students for Students Initiative,’ which connects students and young professionals through social media into a support network that facilitates their professional development and enhances cultural awareness,” Pierre continued. “One of CRN’s immediate goals is to establish a physical Caribbean Coworking Campus for entrepreneurs and young people to work, connect, and learn.”
Pierre has a big dreams for CRN, “Our vision for the Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation is for it to become a trusted gateway for the Caribbean Diaspora to connect with and contribute to their home region. We also want it to serve as a gateway for those living in the Caribbean to obtain educational and professional opportunities in the global marketplace. Ultimately our goal is for a tech entrepreneur in Kingston, a product manufacturer in Port of Spain, and a service provider in St. Lucia, to have the same educational and professional opportunities as their counterparts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.”
On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at noon Eastern, Pierre will join me for a live discussion about CRN. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation:
The Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation is a grassroots non-profit that supports economic development in the Caribbean to reverse the effects of the “brain drain.” It connects financial and intellectual capital from the Caribbean Diaspora back into the region.
Pierre Hines was born in the United States and is of Jamaican heritage. He is a Board Member of the Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, a non-profit that connects financial and intellectual capital from the Caribbean Diaspora back into the region. Pierre is also a corporate attorney based in the Washington, D.C. office of global law firm Jones Day. Prior to joining the legal and non-profit sectors, Pierre served as a Captain in the intelligence branch of the U.S. Army, where he served in a tactical unit and on an IT program. He is also a Fellow with the Atlantic Council, through its Millennium Leadership initiative for veterans under age 35. Pierre received his B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
There are more and more people doing impact investing in Africa, seeking both to be of help to the people there and to take advantage of the rapidly growing economies there. Matt Davis of RENEW LLC is one of this breed of impact investors.
Davis says, “There is both a development challenge and a market challenge in Africa that we are addressing.”
“The development challenge is that the financial systems in many countries in Africa are fragmented, and little to no capital is available to finance the growth of small and mid-size businesses (SMEs),” he explains. “At the top of the economic pyramid, bank and institutional financiers tend to back large multinationals. At the bottom, microfinance institutions lend only small amounts at high rates to micro-enterprises. But there is nothing to finance small and growing businesses. Thus, we have what is called the ‘missing middle’ in these economies, and SMEs are inhibited from growing into large companies, creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and stabilizing the economy along the way.”
Moving to the second challenge, Davis says, “The market challenge is related to supply and demand. The supply of private equity is growing across Africa, as international investors move in seeking higher risk adjusted returns. Yet these investors are not able to find enough companies able absorb the minimum investments they are willing or able to make. Addressing both challenges requires a new financial actor and intermediary to stimulate financing and growth for SMEs.”
Davis led the creation of the Impact Angel Network (IAN) to invest in Africa, with an initial focus on Ethiopia. “The IAN addresses the problem of the ‘missing middle’ by being a source of financing for SMEs. The IAN invests in professionally vetted and managed companies in Africa that are led by strong management teams looking to scale. RENEW manages the IAN’s portfolio in-country and addresses a trust and skill gap that has kept many U.S. investors from being active on the continent of Africa.”
RENEW is operating at a relatively small scale, filling the gap in the missing middle. This space is thinly populated in part because the administrative and logistical costs of running a small fund making six-figure investments overwhelms returns. Grants from development agencies make the economics work for RENEW.
Davis says, “And the development community (organizations like USAID), makes these investments economically feasible by lowering the transaction and management costs that would normally be borne by the investors. This model, or public private partnership between the IAN, RENEW, and the development community, is working, and the IAN is now one of the most active and largest investors in Ethiopia on a transaction basis.”
Davis sees their role in Africa as a catalyst to help struggling countries there gain greater independence from multi-lateral and other aid organizations. “RENEW intends to scale our model and implement it in other countries across the continent. Over time we would like to see offices in 20 countries, and professional teams in each country managing hundreds of companies that are creating thousands of jobs. As the companies that the IAN invests in grow, they will provide jobs and taxable revenue to the government, which can then finance the programs that are currently being covered by international aid organizations,” Davis concludes.
On Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Davis will join me here for a live discussion about their work in Africa. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about RENEW LLC:
RENEW LLC founded and manages the Impact Angel Network (IAN); the largest U.S. angel network for Africa. The IAN’s mission is to invest in high quality, high potential companies in Africa, support their growth, and achieve attractive financial returns and sustainable social impact from their investments. RENEW is a U.S. investment adviser that manages the IAN’s portfolio from its office in Africa. RENEW’s team of lawyers, financial analysts, and business consultants find and vet promising businesses in Africa, present them to the IAN, and grow them into world-class companies. The IAN and RENEW believe that many growing businesses, together, can create the engine that lifts entire nations out of poverty.
Matthew Davis is founder and partner at RENEW LLC. Mr. Davis has extensive experience working with U.S. and African government leaders, and structuring and facilitating international private equity investments. Mr. Davis is a founding member of RENEW’s Impact Angel Network. Prior to founding RENEW, Mr. Davis worked as a principal consultant at the Touchstone Consulting Group, a strategy and management consulting firm. As a consultant he advised executives and government leaders on strategies for environmental sustainability, international development, health policy, information technology, and finance. Mr. Davis has an undergraduate degree in physics and a master’s of science in physics and business from the University of Utah, and is a CFA charterholder.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Dr. Andrew Weil is the Harvard-trained physician who led the holistic health revolution of the last fifty years. Whatever you think of alternative medicine, he has been successful at building a following and a community.
Recently, Dr. Weil created The Weil Foundation to fund educational programs at medical schools around the country, teaching integrative medicine.
Dr. Weil explains the healthcare problems we face today, “We are all suffering from a broken health care system and medicine that is too dependent on expensive technology and pharmaceutical drugs that often cause as much harm as benefit.”
As a solution to this broken healthcare system, Dr. Weil is funding education of alternatives. “I am training physicians and allied health professionals in Integrative Medicine, which emphasizes prevention, self-care, reliance on the body’s innate healing capacity, and low-tech, low-cost interventions along with judicious use of conventional medicine,” he says.
Dr. Weil seeks to create a new model for healthcare with an emphasis on health. “It will result in a transformation of medical education and a new generation of health professionals knowledgeable about nutrition, lifestyle influences on health, mind/body interactions, natural remedies, other systems of medicine (like Chinese medicine). These doctors of the future will create a functional system of health care for our population,” Dr. Weil concludes.
On Thursday, January 14, 2016 at noon Eastern, Dr. Weil will join me for a live discussion about his efforts to improve the healthcare system. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about The Weil Foundation:
Founded on the belief that patients feel lost in the high-tech, less personalized healthcare landscape, Weil’s mission is to change the face of traditional medicine by creating, educating, and actively supporting the next generation of medical professionals who embody the philosophy and practice of personalized prevention and integrative medicine. Through extensive training, research and education, The Weil Foundation seeks to:
- Improve the way physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals treat clients through extensive training procedures
- Educate the public about health, healing, and lifestyle
- Reform public policies governing health care and the practice of medicine
- Expand and deepen research in integrative medicine
Since its inception in 2005, the foundation recently announced that it has awarded more than $5 million in grants to medical centers and other non-profits nationwide to make a difference in patient-centered care. Dr. Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from royalties from sales of Weil Lifestyle licensed products to make grants to advance the healthcare space through the practice and education of Integrative Medicine, primarily to medical schools and other non-profit organizations. The Weil Foundation has given grants to medical schools and residency programs so that new graduates will have additional training in nutrition and prevention and non-traditional therapies that are not included in the traditional medical school programs.
To date, the organization has awarded 139 grants to more than 2000 physicians in 23 states with a program that features a broad range of comprehensive fellowship training programs, online educational courses on specific topics, an integrative clinic, and an NIH-supported research group. As a founding member of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, which was founded by eight US medical schools including the University of Arizona in 1999, he’s now expanded to 63 medical schools in the US and Canada. Dr. Weil can discuss his plans for expanding and strengthening the integrative medicine field to help transform health care in North America and the world.
Dr. Weil’s bio:
Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, Dr. Weil is Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where he also holds the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology and is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health. The Center is the leading effort in the world to develop a comprehensive curriculum in integrative medicine. Graduates serve as directors of integrative medicine programs throughout the United States, and through its Fellowship, the Center is now training doctors and nurse practitioners around the world.
Dr. Weil is an internationally-recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging, and his critique of the future of medicine and health care.
Dr. Weil is the editorial director of the popular website, DrWeil.com, and appears in video programs featured on PBS. He can be found on Facebook FB -4.21% and Twitter. Dr. Weil is the founder and Chairman of The Weil Foundation, and the Chairman of Weil Lifestyle. He is also a founder and co-owner of the growing group of True Food Kitchen restaurants. Dr. Weil writes a monthly column for Prevention magazine. A frequent lecturer and guest on talk shows, Dr. Weil is an internationally recognized expert on medicinal plants, alternative medicine, and the reform of medical education. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
CES, that is, nerd heaven, 2016 just wrapped in Vegas. Over 6,000 members of the media attended. More than 170,000 people were at the event that covered over 2 million square feet of exhibition space. It was huge.
Now, I want you to imagine cleaning up that mess. Think about all the waste going to the landfill. My eco-friends are crying as they think about the environmental impact.
This is where Jeff Chase , V.P. of Sustainability for Freeman, the event planning organization that supports CES for the Consumer Technology Association, enters the picture. Chase explains, “Working with CTA, Freeman helped to create and manage a waste/recycling plan to help reduce the footprint of the event. Working with several recycling vendors and partners of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo Center we help find new ways to reduce the amount of items going to the landfill by working on an awareness campaign to exhibitors on how to reuse or repurpose left over materials.”
Chase says they even found ways to benefit local charities with their environmental programs. “Furniture, flooring, fixtures and building materials were all given to several different charities,” he says.
Some of the milestones reported this year include recycling half a million square feet of carpet, up 70 percent from the previous year. The balance over 1.1 million square feet was reused. Almost 28,000 square feet of vinyl banner materials were repurposed into tarps, hockey rink liners and outdoor movie screens.
The effort extended community-wide. “The Consumer Technology Assocation held a wonderful E-Waste program on Sunday at the Las Vegas convention center for the local residences to bring their old electronics to be recycled. This is the first year to offer this service and will continue next year,” Chase says.
On Thursday, January 14, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Chase will join me here for a live discussion about the efforts to reduce the environmental impact of CES. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Freeman:
Founded in 1927, Freeman is the leading global partner for integrated experiential marketing solutions for live engagements including expositions, conventions, corporate events, and exhibits. Headquartered in Dallas, with over 70 offices in North America and the U.K., Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually, including 135 of the 250 largest U.S. trade shows, and 11,000 other events worldwide. Customer-driven, Freeman offers a total package of solutions, with a scope of products and services unmatched by the competition. An employee-owned company, Freeman places an emphasis on respect for people and providing unparalleled customer service. Freeman has received numerous trade show industry awards for excellence in leadership, creative design, community service, innovation and customer-driven partnerships.
Jeff has been a passionate driving force on many sides of the trade show / event industry for 28 years. He spend his first 5 years as a General Services Contractor working in Nashville/Washington DC, and then got a job in California to take the position of Show Director for one of the largest tradeshows in the industry, and over the next 8 years he helped grow that show in the United States and launched it in Europe and Asia. Then he started his own event production agency which he ran successfully for 10 years and worked with clients such as eBay EBAY -4.00%, PayPal, Visa, Google and many others, then sold it to FreemanXP, the premier Experiential Marketing Agency. His current focus and passion is working as the Vice President of Sustainability. He works closely with many Fortune 100 companies like McDonalds, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Autodesk to help them meet their goals for green/sustainable events. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC)
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Water.org is leading a revolution in the provision of clean drinking water in the developing world, turning the recipients of charity into regular water customers through microloans funded by impact investments.
Gary White, CEO of Water.org, explains the problem, noting, “The poor are not a problem to be solved, they are the solution. I see constant innovation in the financial sector—new models, new products. Water.org is applying that kind of thinking to the philanthropic sector—creating new opportunities for private and philanthropic capital to make systemic change. Access to water and sanitation has been the focus of charity. But there’s a market-based solution. We realized that if we could provide the poor with access to small loans at reasonable rates, we could get them into the water system. And not as charity, but as customers.”
White explains further, “Changes in the water supply & sanitation (WSS) market at the Base of the Economic Pyramid (BOP) have unleashed significant new demand for WSS services. There have been significant gains in reducing poverty over the last two decades, and the trend will continue with support from the international community to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. These socioeconomic changes are driving an increased willingness and ability to pay for improved water access and water quality as well as improved sanitation.”
“We created WaterCredit to unleash the power of the poor. By enabling the poor to finance toilets and taps in their own homes, we’re spreading capital costs across a broader swath of stakeholders,” he adds.
While these are still early days, Water.org is past the pilot phase and is scaling up its WaterCredit initiative. White explains the progress and impact:
Evidence from Water.org’s and WSP’S existing programs in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and the Philippines demonstrate that a viable market can be made for financing water and sanitation improvements. MFIs have developed and launched water and sanitation lending programs that have disbursed over $120 million in loans. A conclusion from the programs have shown that as access to water and sanitation credit became available, low-income clients chose to take out loans and were able to repay those loans.
Water and sanitation lending programs have demonstrated benefits for financial institutions, development partners and most importantly clients and their households. These findings indicate that microfinance principles can be successfully applied to the water and sanitation sector and leverage funding to achieve greater reach than traditional subsidy based models. Governments and NGOs can work with MFIs, as both demand generators and financiers, to help accelerate access to safe water and sanitation.
On Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, White will join me here for a live discussion about WaterCredit. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Water.org:
For more than twenty years, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to the water crisis. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based initiatives to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation; giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed the lives of more than three million people living around the world.
Gary White is Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Water.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people in the developing world to gain access to safe water and sanitation. (Water.org is the resulting organization of the July 2009 merger between WaterPartners, co-founded by White in 1990, and H2O Africa, co-founded by actor Matt Damon). White’s entrepreneurial vision has driven innovations in the way water and sanitation projects are delivered and financed, and these innovations now serve as a model in the sector.
White has led Water.org during a period of rapid expansion, growing revenue by an average annual rate of 50 percent since 1994 and positioning Water.org as an innovative leader in the global water supply and sanitation space. He developed the organization’s WaterCredit Initiative, creating new financing options for poor populations to meet their water supply and sanitation needs.
White is a leading advisor in the water and sanitation space, counseling organizations such as the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and Diageo on responses to the global water crisis. White is a founding board member of the Millennium Water Alliance and Water Advocates.
In 2002 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the School of Public Health at the University of NC-Chapel Hill. In 2003, he was named a fellow of the British American Project. In 2008, he was inducted into the Philanthropy World Hall of Fame. In March 2009, WaterPartners received the Skoll Foundation’s Award for Social Entrepreneurship and White was inducted into the community of Skoll Social Entrepreneurs. In October 2009, White received the ONEXONE Difference Award for his work over the past two decades in addressing the global water crisis. In 2009, he was named an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2010, he was named the Kansas City Global Citizen of the Year by the mayor of Kansas City, MO. In 2011 he was named to the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. Also in 2011 he was named one of 28 Alumni of Distinction among a pool of more than 50,000 living graduates of Missouri University of Science and Technology. In 2012 White received the World Social Impact Award from the World Policy Institute as well as being named one of the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of 2012. Most recently Gary was invited to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water.
White’s educational credentials include three degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Missouri University of Science & Technology.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Franky Imbesi and Nissan Bahar, social entrepreneurs working in Africa, have created a new app that will pay you to walk. Rather that use computing power to “mine” bitcoin, the app allows you to generate Bitwalking Dollars by walking.
The practical limit to earnings is about $3 per day. That probably won’t motivate many people in the U.S. to walk more, but for people living on a few dollars per day and walking and hour or more to and from work each day in the developing world, this could be life changing.
Bahar notes that problems go beyond not just having money, but access to the banking system. “Large populations in the developing world are still left unbanked. They don’t have the opportunity to access currency and take part of the global economy.”
“Inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will,’ we created a technology to allow anyone to generate currency by basic human movement – walking,” Bahar adds.
The potential of the new app to change lives is compelling. “Leveraging and combining digital currency technologies with mobile diffusion will allow us to create financial network accessible to anyone,” Bahar concludes.
On Thursday, January 7, 2015 at 2:00 Eastern, Bahar and Imbesi will join me for a live discussion here about the potential of the app to change lives in the developing world. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Bitwalking:
Bitwalking gives you the freedom and opportunity to make money by walking.
We believe that everyone should have the freedom, and ability, to make money. Bitwalking empowers each individual by converting steps into digital currency. A step is worth the same value for everyone – no matter who you are, or where you are. What matters is how much you walk.
Most people are unable to generate and benefit from digital currencies, and large populations in the developing world are still left unbanked. We’re inviting everyone to take the next step.
Bitwalking allows everyone not only to generate money, but to manage and use it as well.
The money you generate accumulates each day, and remains in your account until transferred or spent. Users have equal opportunity to trade money with each other, to make purchases at Bitwalking’s marketplace, and to connect with our third party partners – local businesses, online retailers, brands, charities and local governments – that share our belief in an economy for all.
Bahar, Nissan | Cofounder & CEO Prior to Bitwalking, Nissan co-founded Keepod in 2011 and directed the company as chief executive officer.
Imbesi, Franky | Cofounder & CMO Prior to Bitwalking, Franky co-founded Keepod in 2011 and directed the company’s strategy as chief of marketing.
Steve Grizzell, one of the most experienced venture capitalists in Utah is heading to Egypt to help create an ecosystem for entrepreneurship to provide more jobs for young, educated people. He hopes that the model they create in Egypt can be exported to other developing countries.
Steve, who runs InnoVentures Capital, says, “Traditional businesses are not creating enough jobs anywhere in the world. This is particularly true in developing countries with a large population of young educated people. The solution being pushed is entrepreneurship. But entrepreneurship occurs within a much larger system. How do you create the system?”
He says he’s designing a system to fund entrepreneurs. “I’m attempting to create a funding structure from seed to private equity. I am also trying to put in place the components necessary to mentor entrepreneurs to build significant companies.”
Steve, who has lived and worked around the world, makes the case that solving this problem is vital for the future of the world. “Much of the unrest in the world is caused by the lack of opportunity and the subsequent loss of faith that your life will ever get better. Hopelessness leads to revolution which is usually violent like we see in the Middle East today,” he says.
On Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Steve will join me for a live discussion about his upcoming trip and his mission to develop the systems necessary for entrepreneurs to succeed. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about InnoVentures Capital:
InnoVentures manages funds to provide loans and venture debt. The capital is used for growth by innovative businesses that can’t get loans from conventional sources.
Steve has worked on the issues of creating an entrepreneur focused economy in the United States and internationally in countries including Indonesia, Romania, Morocco, Norway and Trinidad. Steve manages two funds in Utah and has made dozens of investments over the last twenty years. He is leaving for Egypt in January 2016 as a consultant for moving the Egyptian venture industry forward. Steve’s goal is to figure out how to create success in a developing economy.
Steve is a member of the Social Venture Network.
Earlier, I posted a ranking of the top five interviews I did during 2015 based on YouTube minutes watched. This, by contrast, is a ranking of the top five most popular interviews based on the number of downloads of the podcast from iTunes, Stitcher and elsewhere using data from my podcast host Podomatic.
There is only one (read on to find out which one) of the top five from YouTube that landed on the top five podcast list. This is an important insight for me because it confirms my theory that while I’m posting the same interviews in both places, there are different audiences for podcasts, which people often consume while doing other things, especially driving and running, than for video content, which people must consume in front of a device.
5. The fifth most popular podcast of 2015 was my interview with Christian Busch of Indiegogo and Jake Kirsch of Shock Top. Originally, I posted this interview to GoodCrowd.info here. We talked about the Shock Top CSR program that incorporates crowdfunding on Indiegogo to fight the effects of drought in California.
4. The fourth most popular podcast of 2015 was my interview with Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork of Luminaid. Originally, I posted this interview to Forbes here. Luminaid produces solar lights at low prices. The lights are particularly useful in the developing world following a natural disaster; they are also popular with campers. The women pitched successfully on Shark Tank and shared their experience with us.
3. The third most popular podcast of 2015 was my interview with Amanda Mukwashi, the Chief of the Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation Section at United Nations Volunteers. Originally, I posted the interview to Forbes here. Amanda was the chief author of a UN Report on volunteering and activism that documents the tremendous, positive impact of volunteers.
2. The second most popular podcast of 2015 was John Goldstein of Imprint Capital. Originally, I posted the interview to Forbes here. Shortly after the interview, Imprint Capital was acquired by Goldman Sachs for an undisclosed amount.
1. The most popular podcast of 2015 was my interview with Ron Miller of StartEngine and Paul Elio of Elio Motors. Originally, I posted the interview on Forbes here. Elio Motors is working to produce a $6,800 three-wheeled car that gets 83 miles per gallon. We talked about their efforts to raise money with the help of StartEngine. This was the only podcast that also ranked among the top five interviews according to YouTube.
In 2015, I recorded 149 live video interviews with changemakers from around the world. I laughed, cried and learned a lot along the way.
While there are lots of ways to identify the “best” or most “popular” episodes of my Your Mark on the World show, this post will recap the five most viewed as measured by YouTube analytics using the measure of total minutes watched.
5. The fifth most viewed interview, with 6,917 minutes watched as of this writing, was with Jean Oelwang of Virgin Unite. Originally, I shared this episode on Forbes here. Jean works closely with Richard Branson and leads Virgin’s extensive charitable activities.
4. The fourth most viewed interview, with 7,135 minutes watched, was with Tony Robbins. Originally, I shared this episode on Forbes here. Tony set a goal in 2015 to provide 100 million meals to people in need through Feeding America. At the time of the interview, he’d reached 91 million and hoped to reach his goal by year-end.
3. The third most viewed interview, with 11,458 minutes watched, was with three crowdfunding experts, Sara Hanks, Richard Swart and Sam Guzik, who explained the new SEC Regulation A+ regulations. Originally, I shared this episode on Forbes here. The three experts explained how entrepreneurs can use Regulation A+ to raise up to $50 million.
2. The second most viewed interview, with 68,830 minutes watched, was with Ron Miller and Paul Elio. Originally, I shared this episode on Forbes here. Ron Miller, CEO of crowdfunding site Start Engine and Paul Elio, the founder and CEO of Elio motors, a startup auto manufacturer that has designed a $6,500 car that gets 83 miles per gallon, discussed the Regulation A+ offering of Elio motors stock.
1. The most viewed interview, with 84,242 minutes watched, was with Dr. Julian Maha. Originally, I shared this episode here on GoodCrowd.info. Julian has a son with autism and created a nonprofit organization to support young people with autism, especially to help them get jobs.