Quarterly Reflections – Q1 2016

At Jeeon, the day-to-day often feels like a steep uphill climb, and sometimes we hit a wall and are forced to sit and wonder whether we really are making any headway. But then, almost absent-mindedly, we look back and are jerked with surprise, to realize just how fast we have been moving! At that point, it seems almost crazy to imagine how far behind we were even 3 months ago. At the end of 2015, we were still…

Seven Lessons from Silicon Valley for Social Entrepreneurs Globally

This post was originally published on Unreasonable.is on 2 March 2016: http://unreasonable.is/seven-lessons-from-silicon-valley-for-entrepreneurs-globally/ ****** As an entrepreneur based in Bangladesh, having worked at the intersection of technology and development on a range of issues over the last eight years (first at mPower and now at Jeeon), I have constantly been surprised how much we as social entrepreneurs try to box ourselves in a category of our own. Yet, there are a lot of best practices in entrepreneurship,…

Let the Universe Conspire

When I made the decision of giving up my position at mPower last September and switching full-time to mDoc (now jeeon), little did I know that we were going to be having a one-on-one meeting with Bill Gates about our work in less than 6 months’ time! On the surface, it was not an easy choice. I was comfortable at mPower – an exciting and challenging set of roles, a joint-CEO level of authority, a team of…

Early signs of a dream team…

I had interviewed just about every possible candidate for the job. After several weeks of desperately searching LinkedIn, and sending emails to all relevant professional contacts, I had come out empty handed. Until finally I found the perfect candidate – competent, young and confident, he had the exact set of skills I was looking for. I was excited at the possibility that finally the team would be whole. Several interviews later, however, something did not…

In the aftermath of a truly Unreasonable Experience

This August (2015), I had the extraordinary experience of being part of the Unreasonable Institute (UI). The UI is an accelerator program for early stage social ventures, operating out of Boulder Colorado. Their recipe is simple. They scour the globe to find promising social ventures, working on some of the world’s biggest challenges and bring them to Boulder, Colorado, for five weeks. Entrepreneurs get, among many other things, access to and lessons from world class…

Mobile penetration in rural Bangladesh, and its possibilities

Chikitsha’s “deep dive” to the north was my first long stay in rural Bangladesh after several years, primarily due to a study break abroad. Because of the long break in between, however, this trip showed me a lot of stark contrasts against my last visit memories that I might not otherwise have noticed. Among other things, this trip showed me how fast rural Bangladesh has embraced some new technologies, and I began wondering about all…