Vibrant Gujarat 2013 Day #1 – Perspective in 12 Tweets

Madhu Kishwar shared a dozen tweets which summed up her takeaways from the first day of Vibrant Gujarat 2013. My personal favorites are #5, #6, and #9. 16 Even at risk of being damned for life by my secularist leftist friends, can't help but say Gujarat Summit very impressive. Had heard… — MadhuPurnima Kishwar (@madhukishwar) …

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Indian Social Enterprises Getting a Silicon Valley Makeover

TechCrunch reports that Bangalore/Seattle-based Unitus Seed Fund got a fresh infusion of $8 million from a bevy of A-list investors – from Silicon Valley and Bangalore. I believe the entry of the Silicon Valley investors represents a major inflection point for the Indian social enterprise ecosystem. A major inflection point — not because there’s an …

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Announcing Tata Social Enterprise Challenge

  2012 has been the year of social enterprise challenges and social enterprise incubators in India. The exciting addition to the former is  Tata Group’s announcement of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, a joint initiative with IIM Calcutta. Details below. TATA Social Enterprise Challenge – A Joint Initiative with IIM Calcutta aims to be India’s …

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Most Indian men are Cambridge Men

At some point in your school (or college) years, you might have heard of this joke. Following the annual debate competition between Oxford University and Cambridge University, a few male members of both contingents were ‘cracking the porcelain’ at the restroom. The Oxford man finished first. As he meticulously washed his hands, he noticed the Cambridge …

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Meet the Indian Howard Lutnick: actually you know him well

If this is the first time you’ve heard of Howard Lutnick (or Cantor Fitzgerald), do read this, this, and this. Yesterday, I came across a FUCCHA post that listed out a long list of wonderfully humanitarian things that Ratan Tata did after 26/11 – not just for the Taj employees but for a veritable ecosystem of people/establishments around …

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Siemens Stiftung announces the Empowering People Award

[Update: The deadline for the award application has been extended to Jan 31, 2013.] Munich-based Siemens Stiftung (“foundation” in German) wants to identify efficient technical solutions which empower people in developing and emerging countries to independently combat existential problems through the empowering people. Award (yeah – that’s exactly how the award is named). The Siemens …

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Once upon a time in Seattle

B was born into an upper middle class family in Seattle. Born in the mid 1950s, B had two  sisters and showed early signs of competitiveness when he organized family athletic games at their summer house. B was a voracious reader as a child, spending many hours poring over reference books, and also relished playing board …

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Justrojgar – India’s newest BOP employment exchange

Seattle and Bangalore-based Upaya Social Ventures alerted me about their recent investment into Justrojgar.com. While terms of the deal are not disclosed, Upaya has previously announced that their seed investments are in the $25,000 to $75,000 so Justrojgar is likely within that range. The press release blurb sets the context for Justrojgar thus: Justrojgar was designed as …

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Rockefeller Innovation Challenge Winners

Back in May, I wrote about Rockefeller Foundation’s Innovation Challenge 2012 – a call for ideas in three key areas (Farming, Irrigation and Decoding Data). The panel of judges selected fifteen finalists (of which eight were invited to make grant applications) from a wide global pool of applicants. This was announced four months ago but, …

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Intuit Fasal quietly disrupting the farm market intelligence space

What happens when you breed JustDial and ZipDial with a Nasdaq 100 software company in the Indian rural countryside? You get Intuit Fasal – a powerful agtech platform with a mission to help farmers make more money! For my non-Indian readers, I should mention that  JustDial is India’s leading voice-based local search engine and ZipDial is one of the …

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