Weekly Review for January 24-28


Every week at Invested Development we scan the web for articles that relate to what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about… well, we read a lot.  

Greetings from Davos, Switzerland” by Neal Keny-Guyer
This week the World Economic Forum is meeting for the annual discussion of the world’s economy in Davos, Switzerland. There are a lot of issues on the agenda this year, but especially interesting are Environmental Sustainability and Social Development.  In the Mercy Corps Blog, CEO Neal Keny-Guyer writes from Davos about the necessity of investing in emerging markets. “Forward-thinking companies” can save and rebuild devastated communities like Haiti and South Sudan. Emerging markets, he says, are ideal for social innovation and calls for heightened investment, “especially in the use of mobile technology for development, energy, and water.”

SolarPrint combines solar energy and wireless sensors in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) technology. The Dublin-based photovoltaic tech company “allows electronics to gather power from any light sources.” Potentially reducing the need for batteries, SolarPrint’s new solar energy technology can be used in most electronic devices.

In Davos, Switzerland, the world’s most influential people are discussing world economic growth for 2011. The IMF predicts that African economic growth with be above average for 2011 and that Asia will continue to have an effect on African growth. Wallace at ONE hopes that those at Davos will discuss Africa’s potential and ways to end the widespread poverty.

The benefits of mobile technology are popping up all over the world. A social innovation, mobile payments in India allow users to manage their money. Moving forward, the key to a successfully functioning system will be interoperability and utilizing existing regulated systems.

Just like Invested Development, another early-stage funding firm called Northwest Energy Angels is investing in clean technology. Investing $1.3 million last year, Northwest Energy Angels contributed to the industry growth in the US, especially in the Northwestern region.  

Eight trends in social entrepreneurship to watch for in 2011” by Tamara Schweitzer
2011 is a promising year for social entrepreneurship. Schweitzer’s first point emphasizes the importance of seed funding and impact investments. Social entrepreneurship is finding its way into international and academic circles and is reaching younger generations.

As MIT celebrates its 150th anniversary, the MIT Global Challenge brings social innovators together here in Boston. 

Unreasonable Institute Challenges Its 45 Finalists to Raise $200,000 from 1 Million People in 50 Days
“Entrepreneurs from over 60 countries vied for the 25 slots available to attend the 2011 Unreasonable Institute. After conducting over 100 interviews, the Unreasonable team has narrowed it down to 45 exceptional finalists. Now, in a true test of their entrepreneurial mettle, each of these finalists face one final challenge before becoming Unreasonable Fellows: galvanizing the globe to raise the $8,000 it costs to attend the Unreasonable Institute. The first 25 finalists to raise $8,000 will be chosen to attend. And the decision lies in your hands. Head to the Unreasonable Institute’s Finalist Marketplace and join one million people across the globe and vote with your dollars for an entrepreneur you believe might change the course of history.”

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