At Invested Development, we recognize that innovation has the power to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty. The challenges in the developing world have created a unique opportunity for entrepreneurship and innovation. In Africa, entrepreneurs are proving that they can overcome roadblocks to success and create products that help local communities, and make a profit. Below are articles exploring entrepreneurship in Africa. Think Africa is no threat to Silicon Valley? read more

Financial inclusion is a key component in reducing poverty in emerging markets. To successfully provide financial services to all, it important to reflect on the performance of financial products and services, their impact to date, and to identify trends that will affect the future of the sector. Eight trends that will impact financial inclusion in 2015 by John Ownes on AFI The use of digital financial services has been, and will continue to be, one … read more

As the world population increases along with global incomes and standards of living, there will be over 9 million mouths to feed globally by 2050. This is a number we see, talk and read about often. To ensure food security for our future, changes must be made in the agriculture industry. Below are recent articles that innovation, progress in the sector and offer advice for continued development.

To feed the world, food and agriculture industry read more

You may have noticed over the last few months that we’ve expanded our focus to technology in agriculture. After years of investing and months of research, “ag tech” is now an active sector focus, but it’s always been an area of interest for us. In fact, two of our portfolio companies, SlimTrader and Promethean Power, deploy their technologies with farmers. Over the last few months, we’ve seen a flurry of activity in the ag … read more

This week’s articles cover news on technology innovation in Africa. There are many opportunities for organizations of all sizes, both public and private, to respond to the diverse needs on the African continent.

 “2013 and the Emerging Market Potential” on IT News Africa
The potential for growth in emerging markets is going to be driven by “fast-paced technological advancement.” In Africa in particular, we’re seeing the development of technological hubs and centers such … read more

This week we’re featuring news on energy, including breakthroughs from innovators and commentary on how this type of innovation is needed to meet the growing energy demand in Africa.

A quiet breakthrough in geothermal power tech” by Katie Fehrenbacher on GigaOM
As we frequently mention on this blog, we like to keep tabs on innovation breakthroughs in renewable energy. Although we haven’t invested in a geothermal tech, we like to learn about those … read more

Here’s our final weekly round up for 2012. This week, we are covering the way technology innovation and advances are setting up the potential for significant social and economic gains in Africa in 2013.

Charity:Water, Other Nonprofits Get Help from Tech Innovators to Inspire New Philanthropy” by Brett Zongker on The Huffington Post
Charity:Water, one of the most well-respected nonprofits out there, has funded 7,000 clean water projects to date. The organization … read more

Our December 12th post introduced the importance of energy storage; today, we take a deeper look at where innovation is needed and the technologies that make it all possible.

Energy storage technology: more than just batteries

When we mention energy storage, your phone and computer batteries are likely the first technologies to come to mind; AA batteries are probably a close second. This is because they’ve become such a daily part of our lives. In … read more

This week in the blogosphere, we found several stories that evidence exactly what makes Kenya so unique.

Connected tech communities and competitive advantage: the Kenyan way” by Erik Hersman on White African
Erik Hersman, one of the leaders in the Nairobi technology community, writes on the differences among the major technology hubs in Africa: Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. Each region is unique in its own way: Nigeria has the most people while … read more

Since we are always on the lookout for our next investment for the BSP Fund, we stay up-to-date on innovations, regulations, and investment (both public and private) in the alternative energy sector. Here’s what piqued our interest this week in alternative energy.

The next generation of air energy storage players” by Katie Fehrenbacher on GigaOM
Given how important energy storage is in both developed and developing markets, we’re always interested in new storage … read more

Technology innovation is emerging from all corners of the world, aided by an increasingly connected and growing youthful demographic. Read on for highlights on the latest opinions and news on technology innovation for development.

What will it take to unearth Africa’s next great innovator?” by Stuart Thomas on Memeburn
We know that Africa is full of eager entrepreneurs and innovators. To find them is often the hard part. We also know that the … read more

Several energy startups and entrepreneurial initiatives caught our attention this week. Here’s the round up of what we found intriguing and exciting.

Peter Thiel, Khosla, Bill Gates back air energy storage startup LightSail” by Katie Fehrenbacher on GigaOM
Several investors have backed LightSail in a $37.3 million series D round. LightSail has designed a next-gen compressed air energy storage technology, which is essentially an air-based battery with twice the efficiency of its predecessors. … read more

The growing adoption of mobile phones continues to spur innovation throughout Africa.

CCK Sector Statistics Report – 4th Quarter 2012” on iHub
The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) releases quarterly reports on the use and growth of information and communication technologies. iHub provides a short summary of the key statistics relating to mobile phone subscriptions and data and internet use. Now 75% of Kenyans have a mobile phone subscription; 36% have Internet … read more

The Economist, the International Energy Agency, and the World Economic Forum, and the Indian government each advocated for innovation in alternative energy technologies this week. Continue reading to find out what they said.… read more

Every week, we read dozens of articles on our favorite industry trends that relate to our investment thesis. We pick the most popular trend from the week and share the top articles along with our comments.

Continue reading to check out the news on mobile technology, including innovation in services and apps from students and young entrepreneurs in Africa to multinational telecoms.

You can also out this week’s articles on Pinterest:

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Over 70% of people in emerging markets do not have a formal bank account (Goss, Mas, Radcliffe, & Stark, 2011). Despite exclusion from what we consider formal banking, many people in emerging markets have figured out their own ways to save money. An increasing number of people are participating in informal savings groups.

Our goal in this series is to explore the effectiveness of savings groups. In this post, we’ll explain how they work and … read more

The technology sector in India, including all players from $5 billion USD Facebook to tiny startups in Bangalore, is growing and changing everyday. If investors can support continuous innovation, the sector will keep booming despite the many obstacles that exist for entrepreneurs in India.… read more

The idea that renewable energy can increasingly meet the energy requirements of emerging markets at grid-parity is a regular topic of discussion. Both the public sector and the private sectors are searching for ways to meet global energy requirements while decreasing dependence on unsustainable source of energy. Instead of the global oil markets, the usual suspects, now the radical advances in solar cell efficiency, declining costs of raw materials, and large-scale strategic initiatives from both … read more

This is the third installment in our series on mobile transaction systems and their contribution to the fight against poverty. First, we introduced this series with an overview of mobile penetration rates and the mobile phone’s power for impact. Then, last week, we highlighted the first transaction system– mobile money – and the benefits such transactions offer to users. This week, we will look at the different ways mobile phones facilitate exchanges of information … read more

A few months ago, we highlighted EGG-energy’s innovative pricing and distribution strategy for the Base of the Pyramid. If you like EGG-energy‘s business model or discussing BoP strategies in general, then we recommend attending EGG-energy’s upcoming brainstorm session in Cambridge, MA, hosted by the Development Innoventures Salon. The session will open the conversation around three main topics:

  1. Pricing Strategy
  2. Marketing and Sales Strategy
  3. Growth and Distribution Strategy
It’s important for EGG-energy to grow … read more
People often ask us why we chose technology as our investment focus. The answer is quite simple: technology has the greatest potential to create impact in the developing world. The following articles for this week share our sentiment and speak to mobile technology’s power for social impact (be sure to check out next week’s Review to see how alternative energy is creating impact).
Source
Mobile Broadband in Kenya” by Patrick Munyi on iHub read more

In a recent post, we discussed an innovative pricing model for the Base of the Pyramid with the example of Simpa Networks. This post introduces another innovative pricing model that demonstrates affordability a little differently, along with an innovative distribution model. EGG-energy, Simpa Networks, and the other companies in our portfolio understand that the customers they serve need basic affordability and accessibility.

EGG-energy has a growing number of charging stations and distribution

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