Last updated: Oct 16, 2012
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (2006â€“2008): Technology and Policy SM (GPA 4.9/5.0) â€“ Thesis: A Cognitive Approach to Entrepreneurship Policy â€“ policy options for fostering entrepreneurship from the perspective of individual entrepreneurs, with applications in developed and developing countries. Case studies and field work in Pakistan and Portugal. Other subjects: Macro and Micro-economics; Science, Technology and Public Policy; Supply Chain and Logistics; Marketing Management and Strategy.
Cambridge University, (2000â€“2004): Mechanical Engineering MEng, MA, BA (Hons) â€“ Thesis on humanitarian de-mining. Subjects taken include Design, Materials Engineering, Sustainable Development, Appropriate Technologies, International Law,Â French, as well as basic courses in all engineering disciplines: Electrical, Civil, Aero, Mechanical, Computing and Maths.
Product Manager, openXdata (August 2010 to Present)
openXdata is free and open software (web application and mobile phone client) designed to support data collection in resource-constrained environments such as rural health workers in developing countries. openXdata developers and users are spread across the world from Peru to Pakistan. My varied work includes:
- Quality: automated and manual testing, bug filing, QA review
- Implementation: technical assistance for openXdata implementations
- Community Support: supporting users on the openXdata mailing lists, writing documentation and managing the public websites
- Management committee: defining organizational roadmap, engaging openXdata stakeholders, grant writing, and representing openXdata at public forums
Co-Founder, Coho Solar (March 2011 to Present)
Coho Solar is developing low-cost energy solutions for communities in developing countries. Our first product Button Solar is a modular mobile-phone charger currently available in Guatemala, South Africa, Bhutan and the Philippines.
CTO, Interactive Research and Development (IRD), Pakistan (December 2009 to February 2011)
IRD conducts large-scale research studies across Pakistan and, in partnership with Indus Hospital, delivers community-based health services. They are a global leader in public-health informatics making innovative use of technology such as RFID, mobile devices, data visualization tools, and health management information systems. Examples of their work can be seen at www.youtube.com/irdresearch. My role at IRD included:
- Supporting internal projects by advising on technology choice, implementation strategy, and defining infrastructure requirements
- Participating in external informatics implementations such as a WHO-funded assessment of Nepal’s National MDRTB informatics capabilities
- Growing the IT & informatics team from 3 to 7 people
- Enhancing IT systems, including switching to a Linux-based infrastructure
- Maintaining relationships with international partners, such as the openXdata and openMRS consortia, including presenting internationally
- Contributing to grant-writing, producing & maintaining budgets
CEO & Founder, SaafWater (Pvt) Ltd, Pakistan (June 2007 â€“ November 2009)
SaafWater was a for-profit, social enterprise dedicated to reducing the burden of diarrheal disease in low-income communities. Our goal was to extend the reach of clean water technologies by building a scalable distribution channel that used door-to-door sales to build demand and create behavioral change. SaafWater closed in November 2009 after a series of setbacks. Growing from an idea to a 26 person company over two and a half years, my roles included:
- Developing original business plan and assembling team that won $10k seed capital in MIT Entrepreneurship Competition and secured $50k seed investment. Building Pakistani team that launched in Karachi, Nov â€˜07.
- Securing national distribution rights for Pakistan to Aquatabs (the worldâ€™s largest brand of water purification tablet) against competing bids from GlaxoSmithKline and Greenstar (Pakistanâ€™s largest social marketing NGO)
- Overseeing finance & administration, wholesale sales, communications and external relations, technology implementation and strategic planning.
Research Assistant, MIT, US (September 2006 â€“ May 2008)
- Funded through the Deshpande Center for Innovation, an MIT entity that provides technologies that are promising in the lab with the funds to develop commercial applications.
- Developed recommendations for MIT-Portugal Program to foster entrepreneurship within Portugal with a focus on the entrepreneurial environment around universities.
- Researched the commercialization of technologies in developing countries, focusing on PortaTherm, a low-cost incubator that operates without electricity (www.portatherm.com).
- Helped create a new MIT program, Innovations for International Health (iih.mit.edu).
Project Manager, Aptivate, UK (June 2004 â€“ June 2006)
Aptivate is a non-profit that builds IT solutions to improve information & communication access in the developing world. I joined Aptivate soon after they were founded and:
- Recruited and managed non-technical volunteers.
- Â Developed and implemented our assessment, monitoring and evaluation tools in Kenya, Haiti and Ethiopia.
- Worked with the CEO to raise over $500,000 and build key donor relationships.
- Produced financial reports and budgets for directors. Responsible for all organizational forecasting. Developed and implemented a new accounting system.
- Learned the agile development process
- Discovered linux & had my passion for open-source software ignited
Sales and Engineering, Martin-Baker Aircraft Co, UK (1999â€“2003)
Martin-Baker is the worldâ€™s leading ejection seat manufacturer. As an undergraduate trainee, from 1999-2000 I spent 1 yr in the Systems Engineering department modeling the performance of ejection seats.
The following three summers I spent in:
– test engineering, where I designed and executed a test program for the seat gun and developed software to transform co-ordinates from 2D test videos into the 3D trajectory of the ejection seat
– design support, working with technicians to facilitate the maintenance of parts in service over their product life
– sales, assisting in contract negotiations
Since my first Spectrum ZX81, I’ve always loved computers. After graduating from university, I worked for Aptivate where I discovered Linux and open-source software. Thanks to the internet and the myriad of open-source projects, I have continued to build my knowledge, helping out on side projects where I can, and taking online and open-courseware courses. Happily, I am now increasingly able to use these skills in my professional work.
- Java – Writing Selenium Web Driver tests for openXdata
- PHP – I have customized multiple WordPress sites & written two WordPress plugins.
- Linux – I have been using Linux since 2004, mostly Ubuntu
- Systems Administration – I am comfortable with setting up and maintaining LAMP & Tomcat servers in standard & virtualized environments and writing basic bash scripts for systems administration tasks.
- Python – I am comfortable reading python, and have done minor tweaks to existing pieces of code
Engineering Consultant for CE Solutions (February 2012 – Present)
Providing technical support to set up an appropriate technology workshop in Nebaj, Guatemala. The workshop will complement CE Solutions existing work bringing access to essential goods and services to rural Guatemalan communities.
Implementing large-scale mobile data collection in Lima, Peru (August 2010 – August 2011)
Socios en Salud, PIH, and Brigham’s and Women’s are conducting a large, NIH-funded, research study to follow 4,000 TB patients and their 20,000 contacts for 2-4 years. Having started on paper-based data collection, I worked with the team in Peru and the US as well as the software developer in Pakistan to facilitate the transition to mobile phone-based data collection. This included developing a custom module integrating data between openXdata and openMRS. The system went live in August 2011 collecting ~10,000 forms per month.
AHAN, Pakistan (March – June 2010)
AHAN is a fantastic organization who have trained over 8,000 artisans across rural Pakistan. Their artisans are truly gifted crafts-women and -men working in everything from ceramics to patchwork quilts. I worked on a short-term consultancy to help them develop a business plan for a new retail outlet and their private-label business. The objective was to enhance their social impact by building new reliable sources of income for their artisans
Medentech, Ireland (May 2008)
2 day market assessment of community-based water treatment systems suitable for developing countries
IdeaSmith & MIT D-Lab, Haiti (2003â€“2005)
4.5 months in Haiti over 5 visits, working in partnership with Haitian NGOs and local communities to:
- Train 3 communities on low-cost water quality testing, and performing water quality surveys.
- Develop and test appropriate technologies including a small-scale corn mill & non-wood charcoal.
Mentor, MITEF & OPEN Business Acceleration Program Competition, Pakistan (2008 – 2010)
The BAP Competition is a business plan competition targeting small-medium sized IT companies in Pakistan with revenues of $100k – $3m. The prize is for the best acceleration strategy for growing their company by, e.g., expanding to international markets or introducing new products. Coached over 20 companies on their business plans, growth strategies, presentation and pitching skills.
Public speaking and lectures
Paid public speaking engagements
- International Womenâ€™s Forum, World Leadership Conference (www.iwforum.org) â€“ Part of a panel discussing social entrepreneurship and water to a room of ~800 Senior Female Executives (Montreal, Canada, Oct 2010)
- State Farm Executive Development Roundtable – Panelist in session Thriving on Change in an Increasing Complex Environment (Montreal, Canada, Oct 2010)
- Universidade Nova de Lisboa and MIT Global Startup Workshop Conference â€“ spoke to over 500 students on founding a social enterprise (Lisbon, Portugal, Oct 2009)
- Women in Technology Workshop at EmTech 2008 â€“ MIT Technology Reviewâ€™s annual flagship conference, spoke on social entrepreneurship, technology, and women in Pakistan (Boston, USA, Sep 2008)
- MIT, Design to Scale Series, Panel Participant (May, 2012)
- MIT, D-Lab Design, Guest Lecturer â€“ Turning your idea into reality (Spring, 2010)
- SZABIST MBA Entrepreneurship Class â€“ The rise and fall of a social enterprise (Spring, 2010)
- MIT, Wheelchair Design for Developing Countries, Guest Lecturer â€“Social Enterprise (Spring, 2008)
- MIT, D-Lab , Guest Lecturer â€“ Business Approaches to Poverty Reduction (Fall, 2007)
Awards and Training: MIT Visiting Practitioner (May, 2012), Runner-up in MIT 100k Entrepreneurship Competition (2007), REDR Essentials of Humanitarian Practice (Jun, 2005), UK Finalist – Stockholm Junior Water Prize (1998).
Languages: English â€“ Fluent, French, Urdu/Hindi â€“ Basic (can also read & write Urdu and Hindi scripts), Haitian Creole â€“ Basic, Spanish – Basic.
Personal: Married to Mason Inman, a science journalist writing for the Economist, Scientific American, Nature, National Geographic online news and others (www.failinggracefully.com). Ran London Marathon to raise $3,000 for Red Cross. Shaved my head to raise $1,000 for Cancer Research UK. Captain of Cambridge University Womenâ€™s Ice Hockey Team (2004). Enjoy playing Rugby and my French Horn, Kickboxing, and Ubuntu.