Amazing news, friends! Essmart wins its largest check to date – $10k in the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge! This is hugely encouraging to us, as we’ve come close to winning competitions but fall just short of the monetary prize. We’re entirely thankful to the MIT community that has supported Essmart since its humble beginnings: Kate Mytty and Bina Choi who run the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge, Alison Hynd and Sally Susnowitz who work for the MIT Public Service Center, Laura Sampath from the MIT International Development Initiative who spends hours talking with us, Joost Bonsen from the MIT Media Lab who not only introduced me and Jackie but also gave us the name Essmart, Amy Smith and Saida Benhayoune and others from MIT D-Lab, and everyone else we’ve met along the way. MIT is a fantastic environment to start something in, and Essmart is a proud member of that ecosystem.
After the awards ceremony, one of our poster session judges approached us to chat. Something that I’ve been learning throughout this entire process of fundraising is that investors actually invest more in people than in ideas. The people sell the idea. Essmart has been blessed with a wonderful, well-balanced team that works together incredibly well. I am definitely thankful for my teammates and the unique talents yet united passion that they bring to Essmart.
I don’t have any pictures of the team from tonight, but I will put them up when they come in. In the meantime, high fives all around, and go Essmart!