Social Entrepreneur Showcase, hosted by Akhtar Badshah .
Akhtar is senior director of Microsoft Community Affairs, where he administers the companyâ€™s global community investment and employee programs. Among his responsibilities, Akhtar manages Unlimited Potential, a global initiative to promote digital inclusion and increased access to technology skills training in underserved communities.
Akhtar also oversees programs aimed at helping nonprofit organizations improve their effectiveness through increased technology capacity. This includes Microsoftâ€™s signature relationships with organizations such as NPower and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Prior to joining Microsoft, Akhtar was the CEO and president of Digital Partners Foundation, a Seattle-area nonprofit organization whose mission is to utilize the digital economy to benefit the poor. At Digital Partners, he established the organizationâ€™s core programs in India, Africa and Latin America. His work included development of the Digital Partners Social Venture Fund, designed to support the expansion of IT-based anti-poverty efforts around the world, and the Digital Partners Social Enterprise Laboratory (SEL), an initiative that provides mentorship and seed money to entrepreneurs whose vision and business models use ICT to empower the poor and their underserved communities. Akhtar serves on the Advisory Board for the Development Gateway Project of the World Bank, World Links India, World Corp., Teachers without Borders and Datamation Foundation India. He has co-edited â€œConnected for Developmentâ€”Information Kiosks for Sustainability,â€ and authored â€œOur Urban Future: New Paradigms for Equity and Sustainabilityâ€ and several articles in international journals on ICT4D, megacities and sustainability, urban and community development, and housing.
Akhtar is a doctoral graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the former president of the Lambda Alpha International New Jersey Chapter, an honorary land economic society. He is very active in the Seattle area community and serves on various local committees.
Melissa Kushner is the Founder and Executive Director of goods for good, an innovative nonprofit organization using excess goods to create educational and economic opportunities for the people of Malawi, Africa. Currently over 67,000 children and their caregivers are benefiting from goods for goods programs.
Based on her experience over the last decade, Melissa is now setting her sites on addressing the inefficiencies across the nonprofit sector. She is currently building Nonprofit-share, the first online tool dedicated to enabling nonprofits to operate as partners in a greater system of social change. Nonprofit-share aims to redefine how nonprofits engage, communicate and collaborate with each other.
Melissa received the Torch Award and Distinguished Young Alumna Award from New York University, has been featured on NBCâ€™s Nightly News and presented at the TEDx Atlanta Conference in 2010. Melissa earned her Masters in Public Administration from New York University, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Wilson To is a third year doctoral student at the University of California - Davis studying Comparative Pathology. He has extensive clinical research experience in microangiopathy -â€“ serving first as an Edmondson Research Fellow in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, then continuing his research at the UC San Diego Bioengineering Department. Wilson has a deep understanding of technology, and has been heavily involved with the development of different award-winning healthcare technologies, serving as the project manager for different mobile healthcare technology development teams. His scientific background is coupled with his previous undergraduate coursework at the Rady School of Management and work as a Microsoft Senior Student Partner. Wilson has been recognized by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and President Barack Obama for his projects and thought leadership in the mobile healthcare field. Wilson is also the recipient of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Millennium Fellowship.
Andrew Yang is the Founder and President of Venture for America, a fellowship program that sends top college graduates to work in start-ups in low-cost U.S. cities (e.g. Detroit) with the dual goals of generating U.S. jobs and training the next generation of entrepreneurs. Andrew was previously the President and CEO of Manhattan GMAT, an industry-leading test preparation firm that was acquired by Kaplan/the Washington Post in 2009. Prior to Manhattan GMAT, Andrew served as executive or co-founder of several Internet and software companies. He is on the Board of Directors of ProPhase, a rater training company serving the pharmaceutical industry, and of Roundhouse, an outsourcing service provider to the fashion and retail industries. Andrew began his career as an Associate at the law firm Davis Polk and Wardwell. Andrew graduated from Columbia Law School, where he was an Editor of the Law Review, and has an Economics degree from Brown University.