Cell Bazaar (www.cellbazaar.com): Provides localized eBay-type markets on cell phones in Bangladesh. The Econmist reported that “Cell Bazaar will have the effect of making price information more transparent and more widely available.
Way Systems (www.waysystems.com): Adding a card reader and banking network to convert existing cell phones into low-cost point-of-sale devices. Their goal is to enable the world’s 100M village entrepreneurs to participate in a credit economy and provide banking.
United Villages (www.unitedvillages.com) : Delivers voice messaging and email to rural areas using ultra-low-cost WiFi technology. Reports the Wall Street Journal: ‘The Village Area Networking Kit is a fraction of the cost of the electricity and communicatons infrastructure that would otherwise be necessary to deliver e-mail to the villages.
Dimagi (www.dimagi.com): Provider of health systems using PDAs and cellular phones to help deliver healthcare services around the world. Their product line provides rural healthcare workers with up-to-date medical information and creates aggregate databases to help in the management of global disease. (Vikram Kumar, co-founder of Dimagi recently was featured on Nature. Link to the article)
blueEnergy (www.blueEnergy.org) : Provider of low-cost, sustainable energy to underdeveloped communities in Central America using locally-made micro wind turbines. blueEnergy’s efforts provide local jobs, boost local economies and provide those in need with critical basic energy services.
EPROM (web.mit.edu/eprom): EPROM, part of the Program for Developmental Entrepreneurship within the MIT Design Laboratory, aims to foster mobile phone-related research and entrepreneurship. Key activities include: the development of new applications for mobile phone users worldwide, academic research using mobile phones and the creation of a widely applicable mobile phone programming curriculum.
Howtoons (www.howtoons.org) : Producer of cartoons that show kids of all ages ‘How To’ build things. These ‘Tools of Mass Construction’ inspire kids everywhere to think about hopeful futures while developing the practical skills and creative savvy to solve real problems.