Come join Rising Pyramid and Vittana on March 4th, 2010 at 8pm and learn about Social Entrepreneurship! Kushal Chakrabarti, Co-Founder and CEO of Vittana will be sharing his experiences starting up a company and about the successes and challenges he has faced in the microfinance industry. Much like Kiva.org, Vittana allows anyone (including you) to help fund an education loan for a student in a developing country. If you have an interest in education, entrepreneurship, international development or philanthropy, you wouldn’t want to miss this talk. Kushal is the co-founder and CEO of Vittana. Vittana partners with microfinance institutions around the world to develop student micro- loan programs, oftentimes providing the first and only access to college loans in those countries, and makes it possible for those students to receive loans from people around the world through vittana.org. Vittana is currently working in 6 different countries, has a 97% repayment rate on its loans, and loan dollars to students are increasing at double-digit rates every month. Vittana was recently featured in the New York Times, voted by 1.7 million readers as the #1 “Ultimate Game-Changer in Philanthropy” on Huffington Post, and named by Fast Company as one of “5 Social Capitalists Who Will Change the World in 2010.”
In past lives, Kushal was a computational biologist (we couldn’t make that up if we tried) and an artificial intelligence scientist. Most recently, he ran the multi-hundred million dollar personalized recommendations team at Amazon.com (“You might be interested in X because you bought A, B, and C”) and is the author of 20+ patents, papers and talks. In his (copious) free time, he runs Ironman triathlons and trains guide dogs for the blind. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in computer science and B.A. in molecular biology.
Rising Pyramid was started to educate people about the fast-paced growing industry of Social Entreprneurship and to spark interest in the concept of market-based solutions at the Bottom of the Pyramid. We aim to discuss the fundamentals of the industry and facilitate a discussion with you about your interests and ideas!
“How You Can Change the World: Solving Global Poverty Through Social Entrepreneurship” will take place on March 4th, 2010 at 8pm at the University of California at Berkeley at Andersen Auditorium in the Haas School of Business. Several on-campus groups and professors are involved in marketing and supporting this event, including: Asian Business Association, Berkeley Group, Berkeley Consulting, Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, Lester Center For Entrepreneurship, Microfinance DeCal, Net Impact Berkeley, Social Entrepreneurship DeCal, and the Taiwanese American Professionals, among others.
About Vittana: Vittana is an early-stage non-profit startup bringing student loans to the developing world through the power of person-to-person microfinance. We are a different kind of non-profit: we are designed from the ground up to be scalable, cost-effective, and just get things done. We are an Internet startup, we just happen to be in the business of creating good instead of creating money. Vittana is headquartered in the historic Pioneer Square district of Seattle, WA.
About Rising Pyramid: Rising Pyramid is about the gradual improvement of life for the world’s poorest, living at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP). Despite setbacks, social entrepreneurs who set goals on hitting the triple bottom line have been challenging global poverty head on and have succeeded in many cases. We believe that both the successes and challenges faced by these entrepreneurs are leading to the rise of those at the bottom of the pyramid.