VAF Celebrates the 2015 WIP Finalists

WIP Finalists eventOn Wednesday, April 29, Vodafone Americas Foundation opened the doors of its Redwood City office to the eight finalists for the 2015 Wireless Innovation Project. It was an exciting evening having all the talented finalists together celebrating their accomplishments thus far. The finalists networked with fellow innovators, comparing notes on common challenges and ways to integrate or connect their work. More

Bug-Sens(ing) the Next Steps

Since winning the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project (WIP) back in 2012, the Bug-Sensor team, led by Eamonn Keogh, is seeing much success with their project. Bug-Sensor’s project continues to flourish, from tackling computer science and entomological obstacles to seeing these strides published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals. In addition, their progress led to further use of the team’s sensors in labs and in the field in seven different countries. More

Soko Reaches More than 500 Artisans, Improves Incomes by More than 50%

According to The Aspen Institute, the artisan and crafts industry is the second largest employer in the developing world. When Ella Peinovich-Griffith, Gwendolyn Floyd and Catherine Mahugu completed the application for the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project in 2014, they believed in the potential of their mobile-based enterprise tool to endow rural artisans with equitable, sustainable livelihoods. And soon after, Soko upped their efforts to reach the next phase: a “women-run and operated e-commerce marketplace for the developing world.” More

Creating a Mobile App? 6 Privacy and Ethics Points to Discuss with Your Developer

Mobile innovation for social good takes many forms—and one that the Vodafone Americas Foundation has supported since its creation is the development of mobile apps. But there’s much more to developing an app then putting code to computer. In partnership with VAF, YTH (Youth Tech Health) developed critical guidelines to help developers keep in mind important security factors to help safeguard their users information. More

Two Years After Winning WIP MoboSens Continues to Excite Scientists Around the World Adapting its Mobile Phone Sensor Technology for Multiple Uses

Since MoboSens won the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project (WIP) in 2013, the startup has made huge progress developing its mobile phone sensor technology for water testing and expanding its uses even further. Mobosens has also partnered with major environmental organizations to apply its technology not only in the developing world, but also in the U.S. Midwest. Our blog post in August of 2014 detailed how far the company had come in only a year.

MoboSensAs we head into 2015, the company continues to make great strides to help enable citizen scientists around the world in their efforts for cleaner water. In the past six months, MoboSens designed, manufactured and tested its multiplexed water sensors for nitrate, nitride, ammonia and phosphate for mobile phones. The company also worked on improving the sensor storage condition in the sensor to prolong the sensor’s lifetime. In addition to these technology developments, MoboSens is gaining traction in mobile phone sensor use in the U.S. Midwest and is exploring the application of the company’s technology in the medical field. More

Paving the Entrepreneurial Path: from Soft-sounding to Seed Funding

My business partner, Rick Moss, and I started our venture firm, Better Ventures, in 2011 as a three-month accelerator program (then called Hub Ventures). With our combined experience in customer development, network building, and fundraising, we recently envisioned an open source model that could engage the wider entrepreneurial community. We felt that setting up shop in Oakland was a natural fit, given the burgeoning community of impact-minded founders in the East Bay. Oakland is the center of an emerging clustering of mission-oriented companies, such as Sungevity and Revolution Foods. In addition, renowned institutions like UC Berkeley have a community stronghold here. The soulfulness, diversity, and sense of social and environmental justice make it a unique entrepreneurial hot spot. More

MobileODT Continues its Campaign to Save Lives with Mobile, Digital Imaging

When they entered the Vodafone Americas Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project last year, the goal of the team behind MobileODT was to eradicate cervical cancer through an application that turns any digital camera, whether on a smartphone or endoscope, into a device capable of detecting early signs of cancer. Since winning first place in the 2014 competition, it has strengthen the company’s goal to continue to be help to save lives and help medical programs become more efficient. More