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Bluelight, a social enterprise startup created by graduate students from HKS and other schools, was recently awarded third place ($1,000) in the MIT $100K Pitch Contest.
The Pitch Contest is the first of three contests hosted by the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition aimed at promoting idea generation, networking and presentations skills. Contestants were given 60 seconds to pitch ideas to a panel of judges on October 22. None were aware of the presentation until the night of the competition.
Manoah Koletty, HKS MPA/ID '13, delivered the "Pitch" for Bluelight.
The two additional phases to the contest; Accelerate and Launch, will take place over the coming months.
Bluelight is an innovative consumer finance platform for the developing world that helps households in the developing world acquire the things they need without going into debt. Bluelight will be starting its initial pilot tests in Colombia this winter.
Bluelight's management team includes graduate students from Harvard Kennedy School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Babson Business School. Together, the team has expertise in microfinance, information and communications technologies, strategy and technology consulting, logistics, private equity and entrepreneurship, and has work experience in more than 30 countries.
Manoah Koletty, MIT Sloan '13 and HKS MPA/ID '13, is an expert in the provision of early stage finance to new enterprises in the developing world, with five years of investment experience covering both Latin America and Asia. Additionally, while with the World Bank, Manoah evaluated and advised on the design of community-driven antipoverty programs in Indonesia.
John Ikeda, HKS MPA/ID '13, is an expert in microfinance and consumer finance in the developing world with more than 8 years international management experience in 25 countries. He has advised some of the world's leading microfinance institutions on strategies for developing savings programs. Additionally he is a skilled business development professional and has raised nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in funding.
Cassandre Pignon, HKS MPA '13, is an Arthur Sachs Fellow focusing on Social and Economic Development in the MENA region. A french citizen and a graduate from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées ('05), Cassandre worked for four years with McKinsey Casablanca focusing on Public Sector reforms in North and West Africa, and three years setting-up and managing Public Private Partnership in the utility sector.