“I felt confident enough to quit my job and become a full-time entrepreneur because I had learned so much through CGI U already.”
Meet five CGI U changemakers who have now become social entrepreneurs changing the world
The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) — which engages the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world in making commitments to address pressing societal and environmental issues, recently held its first-ever “Marketplace” event at the Clinton Foundation’s Midtown offices in New York City. It was an opportunity for innovative CGI U alums and entrepreneurs to showcase the progress of their social impact projects and prototypes that are making a difference.
Clinton Foundation vice chair Chelsea Clinton and CEO Kevin Thurm welcomed alums and kicked off the event with a roundtable discussion. During the Marketplace, alums networked with each other, sold their products and met potential partners. The event also included breakout sessions with prominent business leaders and an impact investing panel on best practices for how social ventures can be both highly impactful and financially sustainable.
Here are just a few of the amazing CGI U alums that were in attendance:
Christine Schindler, CGI U ’12 PathSpot
Christine studied at Duke University and is an engineer and entrepreneur passionate about utilizing technology to overcome gaps in healthcare. Witnessing the gap in gender representation in STEM fields, she founded the nonprofit organization Girls Engineering Change (GEC), of which she now serves on the board of directors. She then founded PathSpot Technologies, which protects food service companies from the threat of foodborne illness by scanning employees’ hands to see if they have harmful contamination that could make someone sick in less than two seconds.
“The reason why I felt confident enough to quit my job and become a full-time entrepreneur is because I had learned so much through CGI U already, and I already knew how to balance a budget, already had so much of a support network, etc. CGI U made it so much less scary.”
Gavin Armstrong, CGI U ’14 Lucky Iron Fish
Dr. Gavin Armstrong is a committed social impact entrepreneur and was a Fulbright Scholar at Auburn University. The Lucky Iron Fish is a simple solution to combat the global problem of iron deficiency by adding natural and healthy iron to your food. It is clinically proven, does not cause any side effects, and can be reused by the entire household for 5 years. Lucky Iron Fish is currently operating in Peru, India, Guatemala, Tanzania, and Benin, and through its “Buy-One-Give-One” program, they donate a fish to a family in need with every purchase.
Ruchi Shah, CGI U ’15 Mosquitoes Be Gone
Ruchi Shah is a medical student at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in the Scholars for Medicine program and came up with her idea at just 15 years old. Mosquitoes Be Gone is an all-natural, inexpensive mosquito repellent that is the first to work by neutralizing attractive compounds in human sweat and masking the scent from mosquitoes. Profits will go to bringing their repellent and information about mosquito-transmitted diseases to rural areas in India to decrease the prevalence of these diseases and increase access to preventative measures.
Maria-Luiza Popescu CGI U ’10 Music is Our Weapon
A current CGI U Alumni Ambassador, Maria-Luiza has partnered with Dallas-based Music Is Our Weapon in benefiting Alzheimer’s patients through volunteer-led music outings and by refurbishing discarded devices with extensive music collections. Music Is Our Weapon collects discarded iPods, smartphones, and media players and repurposes them with a variety of playlists for Alzheimer’s patients using the regenerative power of music.
Arnav Dalmia, CGI U ’13; Cubii
Arnav grew up in India and moved to Chicago in 2009 to pursue economics at the University of Chicago. During his college years, he was exposed to the growing obesity epidemic in the U.S., but what he didn’t see were accessible solutions that gave people a way to stay active and be healthier in their daily lives. Thus, Cubii was born. Cubii is the original compact elliptical with a patented ergonomic design to fit easily into office or home spaces, allowing users to get fit while they sit and lead healthier, happier, and more balanced lives. Cubii has helped close to 100,000 individuals and produced life changing experiences for many people, particularly those with limited mobility or range of motion.
“Our mantra is do good by doing well. For us, the key to unlock our spirit of giving back has been building a sustainable enterprise.”
See the full directory of Marketplace participants and learn more about CGI U and how to get involved here.