A unique approach to the accelerator model
From 2018-2019, FHI Ventures conducted an intensive accelerator program with its initial two cohorts of social enterprises to help them increase their growth. The accelerator program featured:
Catalyst FundIn 2013, FHI 360 launched its Catalyst Fund, an early stage seed fund designed to incubate innovation among FHI 360 employees. The Catalyst Fund provided FHI 360 staff with grants to develop approaches, tools or products that addressed human development challenges and strengthened FHI 360’s competitive advantage. These investments included: M360 school information system mobile apps
The M360 school information system is a suite of mobile apps that collect health and education data from schools in remote areas or conflict zones. M360’s ability to send data without internet connectivity keeps information up-to-date and helps policymakers make informed decisions to support student success. The product consists of three applications that track students’ time spent learning, factors that influence students’ ability to learn to read, and whether students’ nutritional needs are being met, either at school or at home.Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, could become an important tool for international development. Although they have many humanitarian applications — including emergency food provision, disaster relief and health supply transport — the common use of UAVs for military operations could negatively affect public perceptions of their use for development. Some technological, regulatory and ethical issues must also be addressed before their commercial or humanitarian use becomes common. The Catalyst-funded “Health Service Delivery in the UAV Age” project examined the acceptability and feasibility of using UAVs to solve development challenges. The project conducted one study on citizen and government perceptions of UAVs uses for development in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and a second study to identify the current and potential role of UAVs in development, including main challenges and ethical considerations. These studies are among the first to explore perceptions of UAVs in developing countries.Attain DC postsecondary education resources mobile app
The Attain DC mobile app compiles and provides underserved youth with access to postsecondary education resources — including financial aid, housing, healthcare, childcare and other social services. The app helps low-income high school students on their journey to postsecondary education by linking them to resources that they may not otherwise find.mSavings financial literacy curriculum and app
The mSavings financial literacy curriculum for unbanked youth in Ghana is delivered via a digital app and in-person training. Digital content includes videos, quizzes and messages designed to build young people’s savings and financial management skills, and the curriculum is paired with a scalable Ecobank mobile money savings account.