As the Monterey Institute's Frontier Market Scouts program continues to develop and grow in scope, so does its appeal. This June, 43 people with very different backgrounds participated in the summer training and are off to placements in 15 countries ranging from two to six months. The group consists of seven Monterey Institute students, 32 professionals from various fields such as medicine, engineering and investment banking, as well as two Harvard undergraduates and one from Northeastern University. All share a burning desire to make a difference through promoting social impact investing and helping budding entrepreneurs in developing countries move forward with their project.
The following is a snapshot of several program participants:
- Neil Shah is an entrepreneur himself, having co-founded a digital music start-up to help struggling artists and led a competitive team to formulate a social venture to combat global food security issues for the Clinton Global Initiative. His professional background is in real estate and development in Southern California, with experience from the non-profit world in San Francisco and New Orleans. Neil is fluent in Spanish, which will be very useful in his assignment with Pomona Impact, a Village Capital partner in Nicaragua and Colombia.
- Karthik Devarajan is a third year MD/MBA candidate at Tufts University and Brandeis University. During his time in Boston, he has worked with various organizations and hospital departments to help improve patient outcomes at lower costs. Karthik is currently researching healthcare payment reform and operations management and hopes to apply his skills to improve health care delivery in developing countries. As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, he studied neuroscience and music and served on the executive board of a science-tutoring program. Karthik has traveled extensively and volunteered most recently in Peru. He will be working with the Village Capital partner Unitus Seed Fund in Bangalore, India.
- Yassine El Mansouri is an undergraduate student at Northeastern University. He is originally from Morocco, and won a lottery to attend a private high school and pursue higher education in the United States. He has traveled a lot and loves to take the time to get to know different people and their cultures. He is fluent in French and Arabic, and will be working with the Village Capital partner VilCap Singapore in Singapore.
- Anu Keshavan is working on her Ph.D. at the International School of Management in Paris, France. Her research interests are in the field of social innovation and social business, and when she spoke to some colleagues at Stanford University, they told her the Monterey Institute and its Frontier Market Scouts program was where she needed to be. “It is a very exciting opportunity to learn from the thought-leaders in the field,” she says. Anu’s assignment is with the Village Capital partner the William James Foundation in San Francisco.