Acumen Blog

IAVI: accelerating the search for an HIV/AIDS vaccine

Acumen Fund Advisory Council Member, Dr. Seth Berkley is President and founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).  IAVI is a global non-profit organization focused on accelerating the search for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. Their biennial flagship publication, AIDS Vaccine Blueprint 2006: Actions to Strengthen Global Research and Development, was released last week at the XIV International AIDS Conference in Toronto.  We are proud to know Seth and his team. [Read More]

Calling for creative partnerships

Acumen Fund and IDEO have developed a partnership over the last two years to explore how Acumen Fund’s focus on using entrepreneurial approaches to address the problems of poverty, coupled with IDEO’s human-centered approach to design, could create synergy and help both organizations achieve their broader goals. [Read More]

The power of the internet, the reach of the cellphone

Voxiva, one of our health investments, was recently profiled in this Wall Street Journal article. The company, which offers disease surveillance and disease management platforms for national or regional health systems, is building a brand around technology that uses SMS messaging for real time data collection and dissemination (“the power of the internet with the reach of the cellphone” as their management team likes to say). [Read More]

Ringing the NASDAQ bell from India

Infosys is celebrating its 25th anniversary – a long journey from their beginnings with 250 dollars and a single room. To mark the occasion, they rang the NASDAQ opening bell on Monday, becoming the first company to do so from India. As Infosys CEO – and Acumen Fund partner – Nandan Nilekani says, “This event is yet another example of how the world is becoming flat.” [Read More]

Celebrating success, collectively

Check out this piece on Venture Philanthropy Partners that highlights six years of hard earned successes in building local community institutions in Washington, DC using a venture capital-like approach. Mario Morino is a friend of Acumen Fund and an extraordinary leader. I share the article with you because it captures so many lessons that are relevant to building and scaling nonprofit institutions. I share Mario’s letter to his community because it reflects the kind of leader that he is – one who moves from a place of humility and inclusion and is always asking questions rather than believing he has all the answers. We need more leaders like him at all levels of society. Our hat is off to Mario and his entire team and there is much to learn from the work of VPP. [Read More]

Voices from the slums

As the Housing Portfolio manager, I am constantly excited to see the entrepreneurialism of residents of slums, who are taking initiative to improve their own lives. A case in point was the striking presence of residents of slums themselves at this year’s World Urban Forum III, sharing their success stories in their own voices. The power of their attendance was notable – whereas the discussion rooms were often full, they were more than overflowing for those panels on the plight of the residents of slums and their new ideas for change. [Read More]