NYU/D-Prize Social Venture Competition

Venture Teams

Congratulations from the NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program, NYU Office of Sustainability and D-Prize to Sanya Sareen, Nishchala Bhandari, and Arushi Gupta of Sehak, and Ana Jerolamon of Lights for Everyone (L4E), for being selected as the two winners of the 2018 NYU/D-Prize Social Venture Competition!


The word Sehak is a combination of the Hindi words ‘Sehat’ (Health) and ‘Hak’ (Right) and literally translates into “the Right to Health.” It is a healthcare tool designed to connect low-income residents to free or low-cost healthcare in their vicinity using a mobile diagnostic helpline. The service is currently focused on urban slums in India where residents face difficulties in finding reliable or affordable healthcare despite living less than a mile away from hundreds of clinics and hospitals. The Sehak team will generate accessibility by locating and partnering with healthcare facilities to provide a guaranteed standard of service and cost for the treatment of certain diseases, which can then be dispersed to its users.

Sehak is based around simple mobile calling and texting technologies in order to make the service accessible to the most people. This will also allow Sehak to scale up to more cities and generate partnerships for more diseases in the future. Ultimately, Sehak envisions a world in which everyone has easy access to quality healthcare.

Meet the Sehak Team: Team Photo

Sanya Sareen Sanya is currently pursuing her BA in Economics & Psychology at NYU. Her research focus is on the field of behavioral economics and its relevance to the nonprofit sector. In the past she had interned as a Partnerships and Development Intern at the Desai Foundation, an international nonprofit, where she focused on the formation of strategic partnerships with corporates for funding and outreach purposes. She currently works with a research group at NYU Langone where she studies the behavioral processes of teenagers in dating relationships that indicate future domestic violence issues. She has also worked as a Sales and Marketing intern at Starwood Hotels and the news agency NDTV.

Nishchala Bhandari Nishchala is also currently doing her BA in Economics & Psychology at NYU. She took a gap year after high school to serve as an Education Fellow for the nonprofit Make A Difference (MAD) in India. She recruited and managed a team of 68 volunteers from 850 applicants to provide after-school education support to 150 vulnerable children living in shelter homes in Pune. During her fellowship, she ran a series of 5 annual teacher training workshops and oversaw the running of 40 weekly classes by the volunteers. She then worked as National Design Strategist, wherein she worked with MAD’s national team in Bangalore to help strategize long term ideas for meeting MAD’s vision of removing vulnerable children living in Indian shelter homes from the vicious cycle of poverty and evaluated the role of education in meeting this target.

Arushi Gupta Arushi is currently doing her BA in Computer Science at NYU. She has worked on various projects involved in technology and social impact. She was recently a fellow of The Impact Fellowship, a selective computer programming fellowship for aspiring social entrepreneurs. Arushi was a Research Intern at the nonprofit Charity Science Health, which runs a children’s vaccination program in India, sending vaccination reminders by text to mothers with young children. A large part of her internship role involved researching global health interventions, especially mHealth and text-based interventions, which has provided key insight into structuring the Sehak program. In the field of technology, Arushi has conducted various practical projects: she learned SQL while interning at PwC, and was a Web Development Intern at Rethink Charity.

Lights for Everyone (L4E)

L4E’s mission is to bring solar lamps to those who don’t have access to electricity.

In many parts of the world, access to electricity is limited. Households mostly resort to the use of kerosene lamps, which are detrimental to both the users’ health and the environment. L4E will bring solar lamps to these areas to improve the wellbeing of the purchasers and their families. In the coming months, L4E will launch its pilot phase in Ghana. Its success will be based on a centralized distribution system, where lamps will be stored in warehouses of cities near the target areas and distributed by the sales team through the use of bike carts.

Meet the L4E Team:
Ana Jerolamon

Ana Jerolamon Ana is a recent graduate of NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she received her MPA with a concentration in Financial Management and Public Finance. Ana was born and raised in Valencia, Spain and moved to the United States to pursue her bachelor’s at the University of Rhode Island. She obtained her undergraduate degree in political science, economics, and French.

Ana believes the internships she’s had throughout her graduate studies have truly enriched and complemented her courses at Wagner. Ana interned at the Greenwall Foundation and the United Nations Global Compact; the experience at the Foundation strengthened her financial skills, and the Global Compact showed her how the private sector can be a driver of change.

Ana is eager to apply her MPA knowledge in her new venture and is ready to keep on learning.

Past NYU/D-Prize Grand Prize Winners:

Qantab Light Cube (May 2017)

Qantab Light Cube is a renewable energy company based in Nigeria with a focus on the deployment of stand-alone portable and rooftop solar units to rural and urban homes, and solar PV micro grids systems to rural communities. The company's primary objective is to join a growing ensemble of solution providers who proactively engage vision, expertise and action in becoming an indispensable energy provider. They also provide before and after sales service to customers as well information regarding their electricity consumption. With the competition grant, Qantab will sell and distribute solar lamps across Nigeria, while establishing sustainable business models with microfinance banks to finance small and medium solar systems for rural and urban customers.

We are also thrilled to congratulate Ijeoma Ozoma (NYU Law 2019) and E-Squared, another NYU finalist from the 2017 competition, who will receive an independent $15,000 grant from D-Prize. E-Squared will use school-based distribution and novel payment options to eliminate many of the barriers preventing the distribution and adoption of solar power lamps in Uganda.

Meet the Qantab Light Cube Team:

Qantab Light Cube From left: Chukwuka Madumelu, Samuel Sofela, and Oghare Victor Ogidiama

Samuel Sofela (NYU Tandon 2020) Samuel Sofela, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development, has diverse work experience across the agricultural, beverage, oil and gas industries, in project, engineering and marketing units. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in engineering, Samuel worked as a market analyst and subsequently a business consultant in the commercial and industrial arm of the marketing department of MRS Oil Nigeria. He has a master&39;s degree in Microsystems Engineering from Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi where his research work was based on energy-efficient carbon nanomaterial-based devices for application in energy systems to reduce energy consumption. His knowledge mix has driven him to be part of the progressive change in resolving the lingering energy crisis in Nigeria. He is currently a PhD student at New York University where he is designing low-energy devices for biomedical applications and also a cofounder of Nigeria Future Energy Group (NiFEG).

Chukwuka Madumelu Chukwuka Madumelu, Co-Founder and Managing Director, has a Master's degree in Materials Science and Engineering, from Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi. During his M.Sc. research, he was involved in the design and development of Hetero-junction with Intrinsic Thin layer (HITTM) solar cell. This research ignited his interest in applying PV technology to solve the energy crisis in Nigeria. Prior to this, he worked in First Bank of Nigeria PLC, where he led a team of about 80 persons. He was the project manager in the development of an application within his team that made accounts processing 7 times faster, thereby enabling his team to process over 5,000 new accounts daily. He is a founding member of the Nigerian Future Energy Group (NiFEG). Chuwkuka works full time in Nigeria with Qantab.

Oghare Victor Ogidiama Oghare Victor Ogidiama, Co-Founder and Head of Logistics, is a passionate believer in sustainable development and climate change mitigation. He is a professional with about a decade of experience in the energy industry. Within this period, Oghare has played various roles in procurement and research in multiple international organizations including Saipem and Chevron. He is proficient in the use of SAP for logistics and supply chain management. Oghare has initiated several endeavors aimed at ensuring that people get access to cleantech energy sources at affordable prices as well as working on emissions (NOx and CO2) reduction. He is a founding member of the Nigerian future energy group (NiFEG) and a sustainability consultant at Handasa, UAE. He is currently a doctoral (Ph.D.) candidate at Masdar Institute Abu Dhabi, UAE and recently joined a team of other Nigerians to draft the Climate Change Mitigation Bill, which has passed its second reading at the floor of the Nigerian senate.

REACH Uganda (May 2016)
Angelina Micha Djaja (NYU Abu Dhabi 2016)
Clara Bicalho (NYU Abu Dhabi 2016)
Eduardo Campillo (NYU Abu Dhabi 2017)
David Kafambe (Cavendish University 2016)

Goal: REACH Uganda aims to empower teachers in Uganda and promote creative learning tolls in primary scholls in order to enable all students to attain basic quantitative skills. Their educational model brings the "flip the classroom" intervention to the Ugandan context by providing schools with low-cost and sustainable learning materials and innovative methods to tackle the issue of limited resources. Ultimately, REACH envisions every primary school student in Uganda graduating with the skills they need to pursue higher education and realize their goals.

Jeunes Braves (May 2015)
Som Tang'ma Kpante (NYU GSAS 2016)
Komi Begedou (University of Lome 2015)

Goal: Jeunes Braves strives to improve the health and educational opportunities of girls in Togo, Africa by empowering them to make healthy choices in their relationships. The ultimate goal is to decrease incidence of HIV and unwanted pregnancies, and increase the number of girls who are able to complete secondary school and attend university.

Stay Up to Date with NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program

Receive updates on NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program news, updates, and event information.