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Solver Teams Represent the Spirit of MIT on Pi Day π

MIT has always been an engine for innovation. And at Solve, we recognize there are innovators all over the globe, with great solutions to problems in their community and the world. Over the last two years, Solve and its partners have committed over $7 million to 99 Solver teams developing technology-driven solutions to the world's most pressing problems. All of this has been made possible by the generous support of our community, including MIT alumni, faculty, students, supporters, and friends.

By giving to Solve as part of the MIT 24-Hour Challenge this Pi Day (March 14, 2019), you’ll help us continue this progress. Pi Day is a 24-hour giving challenge at MIT held annually on March 14—also known as a celebration of the world-famous mathematical constant (π). If we receive 50 gifts by 11:59pm ET on March 14, Solve members Putnam Associates, Red Carpet Capital Limited UK, and Kevin Xu will make a generous donation of $15,000 to MIT Solve. Together, we can open the doors of a world-class institution to entrepreneurs from all corners of the world who represent the spirit of MIT.

Keep reading to hear from a few of the inspirational Solver teams from the 2018 Solver Class who are working to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow.


Q&A with Karen Naimer, Director of Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones for Physicians for Human Rights, a 2018 Frontlines of Health Solver

How has Solve shaped your work?

At Physicians for Human Rights, we have been working with medical partners in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to design, develop, and field test MediCapt—a mobile app that transforms the way clinicians collect, document, and preserve digital forensic medical evidence of sexual violence. This evidence helps to strengthen accountability for sexual violence and access to justice for survivors of these crimes. We are at a pivotal moment of growth for MediCapt as we contemplate taking the app to scale. Solve has connected us with public and private sector colleagues, global thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, and funders in the fields of technology and human rights, who have helped us to clarify our vision and navigate a strategic way forward.

What are you most proud of being affiliated with MIT Solve?

Being a Solver has given us crucial validation for our proof of concept and has provided an enormous boost of intellectual support, collaboration, and access to key partnerships and resources. We are incredibly proud to partner with the Solve team and its inspiring networks—so together we can address some of the world’s most enduring challenges.

What have you gained from the Solve community?

As a Solver, we have benefited considerably from the strategic engagement and support of the Solve team to help us advance the work on our forensic app. Through generous introductions and targeted connections, the Solve team has welcomed Physicians for Human Rights into an outstanding network of changemakers working hard to make an impact in the world. We feel privileged to be in the Solve community and we are eager to contribute our part to strengthen and energize these collaborations to meet our collective goals.

Learn more about MediCapt

Marauder Robotics

Q&A with Dr. Dennis Yancey Jr. (BS ‘97), Co-founder and CEO of Marauder Robotics, a 2018 Coastal Communities Solver

How has Solve shaped your work?

Solve has connected our team to resources and support (human, institutional, and capital) to realize our mission. They are helping connect the dots as we cross the chasm from an idea to a product, a stage where many startups are the most vulnerable.

What are you most proud of being affiliated with MIT Solve?  

My team loves that MIT Solve is using all of its resources and efforts to bring high impact, transformational technologies to markets that need them most. We want to build technologies that will save our planet and leave a positive impact, and Solve is the forum that will enable Marauder Robotics to realize our vision. Solve focuses much of its attention on positive global socioeconomic outcomes and intangibles that are often lost in a capitalist world.

Tell us something interesting about your time at MIT, and what did you take away from your MIT experience?

Wow! I graduated from MIT 22 years ago. I lived in Chocolate City. I was a double major in course 5 and 10. At one time, I worked three jobs (secretary, tutor, and copy center dock worker) while being on the finance board and playing football. MIT continues to shape every aspect of my life through friends, mentors, and champions. The one person that had the most impact on my adult life is Dean Isaac Colbert [former Dean for Graduate Students at MIT]. He's a father figure to me. The many lessons and conversations I’ve had with him shape how I look at the world, how I build and manage teams, and my vision of how technology can be used to help the world.

Learn more about Marauder Robotics


Q&A with Ifeoluwa Olokode, Partnerships and Growth Lead of LifeBank, a 2018 Frontlines of Health Solver

How has Solve shaped LifeBank’s work?

Being part of the 2018 Frontlines of Health Solver Class has provided incredible validation for the importance of our work and the feasibility of our ambitions. LifeBank’s vision is to build a smart healthcare system for the developing world. Having the support of a prestigious social impact incubator like MIT Solve signals to the rest of the world that we are a company to look out for. Solve has also helped us accelerate our work on SmartBag, our essential medical product integrity solution that will improve the safety standards of blood and other cold chain dependent medicines.

What are you most proud of being affiliated with MIT Solve?

We are most proud to be part of the MIT Solve legacy of thoughtful, brilliant, diverse, and visionary problem solvers dedicated to changing the world.

What have you gained from the Solve community?

It has been energizing to be the company of inspiring people with whom we can expand our impact. For example, we have developed a relationship with fellow Nigerian 2018 Solver ColdHubs and are exploring how we can collaborate to improve vaccine delivery in Nigeria. In addition to sharing knowledge and collaborating with the Solve community, we have also gained access to opportunities that range from pro-bono legal and consulting services to free software licenses. These opportunities are life-lines for companies like ours who have to do more with less to scale up our impact.

Learn more about LifeBank


Q&A with Alice Little, Head of Strategic Operations and Senior Cognitive Neuroscientist for CENTURY Tech, a 2018 Teachers and Educators Solver

How has Solve shaped your work?

MIT Solve has enabled CENTURY to be even more international in our outlook and has extended our ability to work with schools across the world. We were already active in the Middle East, but working with Solve has allowed us to look more broadly and consider how our product can bring benefits across the globe. We have signed deals with our first educational institutions in the US (a community college and two high schools, all based in California) and our first Ministry of Education deal (in Europe); we have users in the Indian Subcontinent and are in discussion with Ministries of Education in Africa and East Asia; and we have schools using the platform in the Indian subcontinent as well.

What are you most proud of being affiliated with MIT Solve?

We are increasing the scope of our solution by providing education to Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, which we announced as part of our application to become a Solver. Being part of the 2018 Solver Class has been hugely impactful in extending our reach into this region. Our affiliation with Solve is allowing us to reach more students in need of innovative educational solutions to learn and grow.

What have you gained from the Solve Community?

The proactivity of the Solve team to organize meetings, work with us, and promote us has been fantastic. We are keen to be part of an educational ecosystem that utilizes the best of technology, but educational organizations can often be distrustful of the private sector. Solve has helped us to overcome these barriers within the community and focus on making the world a better place.

Learn more about CENTURY Tech

We hope you’ll support current and future Solver teams by giving to Solve this Pi Day.

Photo courtesy of CENTURY Tech.

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