FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.
My Aha! moment came when I was sitting in an Economics class at New York University, back in October 2010. We were talking about Chile’s Pinochet and how he hired the “Chicago Boys” – young Chilean economists who studied at the University of Chicago – to reform the economy. Now I don’t really know what it was about the Chicago Boys that triggered my Aha! moment. Maybe it was the thought of sending students to schools abroad, but an idea just hit me and I wrote down three lines on my notepad:
Access to students’ applications, grades, future endeavors
Not spec[ific] to one student sponsored like World [Vision]
It’s not entirely explainable, but right there I thought of combining two of our current core values – crowdsourcing and transparency – for the benefit of students. When I got home I drew website drafts all night like a madman, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date
We have registered MySkolar as a non-profit org in the Philippines and in Hong Kong. Our impact for our 1st year will be limited by the # of partners and Skolars that get invited. We are currently in talks with several potential partners in Pakistan and in the Philippines.
Moving forward, we will measure our social impact as:
Net impact of MySkolar = Increase in Skolar’s income + Savings in Social Welfare + Benefit to future generations
a) Increase in Skolar's Income: difference between the income of a college and a non-college graduate;
b) Savings in social welfare: what the government and community would have paid to support a non-college graduate, including unemployment and social security benefits;
c) Benefit to future generations: studies show that children of college graduates are more likely to go to college compared to kids of non-college grads; thus helping Skolars will lead to better quality of life for the entire family and their generations, not just the Skolar.
Ultimately, we hope to quantify the net impact of MySkolar for every peso spent in creating this impact. Thus,
Net impact per every peso spent = Net impact of MySkolar / Operating expenses
What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?
The model is highly scalable, with the expansion limited only by how well and how fast we can get field partners to sign up and select Skolars. The model can be easily applied in another developing country once suitable partners are identified.
At the end of 5 years, we conservatively estimate having 20 field partners from 5 countries and 130 Skolars in total.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
We would have launched the full site, announced our first batch of Skolars, and started raising donations.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
We would have fully funded our first batch of Skolars, sent them to school, and signed up more partners.