MIT Solve 2018 Challenges Finals in NYC!

We pitched at MIT Solve!

In late September, cofounders Samson Wambuzi and Erin Fitzgerald met in New York City during UN General Assembly week to pitch Yiya at the MIT Solve 2018 Global Challenge Finals! Yiya was among 15 finalists working in the field of education who were selected to pitch before a panel of experts in international education and the impact sector. It was such an exciting event!

You can watch our Yiya pitch at this premier social impact event here.

NOTE: Our pitch is in the Teachers and Educators video (the second video on the page), and the clip starts at 9:49 in the video.

Although we were not ultimately selected to be part of this year’s MIT Solve cohort, the MIT Solve Challenges Finals were an amazing opportunity to debut Yiya on the world stage! We’ve greatly expanded the Yiya network through the connections we made at this event and the interesting and influential people we met while there! In addition, it was a highly impactful learning opportunity for our team.

Positive feedback from judges:

We received detailed and constructive feedback from the panel of judges after our pitch. The judges felt that the Yiya program has a very inspiring and impactful model, with both an innovative approach to teacher trainings AND innovative content offered in those trainings. They appreciated our efforts to recruit and support more female students in STEM as well as our continued focus on gender balance in all our program components.

Judges’ recommendations:

The judges said they were impressed with the progress Yiya has made in only 2 years of operation and they highly encouraged us to apply next year! For 2019, they recommended that we work on defining very specific impact indicators to prove our program is achieving the results that we are aiming for, and then collect data on those indicators. They also recommended we think about what Yiya will look like at scale, and build systems now to support our eventual scale later.

This was all really exciting and helpful feedback from a panel of very experienced and knowledgeable judges. We are super excited to put it into practice and come back even stronger to the MIT Solve 2019 Challenges!

Thanks for the advice and support!

Many, many thanks to all the friends and family who supported us through this thrilling experience, including ResilientAfrica Network, Natembea Foundation, Thin Void Ltd, Unreasonable East Africa, Impact Business Leaders, Oysters & Pearls, Hridaya Yoga & Wholehearted Health, and Fundibots. We are so grateful for your support and guidance!