Announcing our 2014 Fellows

May 20, 2014

Since we launched the program April 1st, the Significance Labs Fellowship has had over 10,000 visitors and 150 applicants, and we’re proud to be able to announce our 2014 fellows.

These five entrepreneurs have an amazing collective background – with experience at Facebook, LinkedIn, YCombinator & FastCompany, who’ve built and sold three very successful businesses.

They are building their new teams to take on the Significance Labs challenge:  three months to design and build a product addressing a need of a low-income user group  (and we have a pool of 200+ potential users for interviews, focus groups and product testing).

At the end of the summer there’s a pitch day attended by leading VCs with a chance for the good ideas to keep going.

Introducing Significance Labs’ 2014 Fellows…

Ciara Byrne  (Profile)
Ciara studied computer science in Ireland in the 1990s and took a series of increasingly senior roles in software development before moving over to journalism, where she writes for Fast Company, Forbes, Tech Crunch and others about start-up culture and technology. She’s been a mentor at number of accelerators (including Red Bull Academy) before coming across Significance Labs and deciding to return to her love of building products and companies herself.
Jimmy Chen  (Profile)  
Jimmy was most recently Product Manager at Facebook and one of the leads for FB Groups, which reaches  7% of the world’s population every month. Before Groups he worked on Facebook messaging, and before that he was at LinkedIn working on Events, Polls and LinkedIn Today. Jimmy’s family came to the US from China when he was two, and he is imaging how technology could help new immigrants navigate their initial years in a new country.
Avi Karnani & Stephanie Raill Jayanandhan
Avi (profile) has worked on a number of projects that bring technology together with social science research to help people make better financial decisions. He’s built and sold a startup that helped people save more and spend less, launched a service that helps address the gender-wage gap, and designed an asset building program for a US state.    
Stephanie (profile) has been applying her background in research and education to guide scalable solutions to underserved populations. She has developed partnerships to connect financial education and home internet access, led research for an upcoming documentary on the underbanked, and founded a social justice theatre company.  
Together, Avi and Stephanie run Hazards & Compass, a product development and digital strategy consultancy.  At Significance, they’re working on bringing better services to people the financial system leaves behind.  
Shazad Mohamed  (Profile)  
Shazad started his first software company at the age of 12. In grade nine he dropped out of school to go full time building the company in the  health care software sector. He later attended Stanford University and subsequently started a Y Combinator backed company building privacy software for mobile devices. Most recently Shazad worked at Facebook as Product Manager on the Growth Team,  before seeing Significance Labs as a chance to return to entrepreneurship.
Margo Wright  (Profile)  
Margo began exploring products and technology at About.com, back before it became About.com. She then moved over to understanding the youth job market, starting and running a social enterprise and then becoming a Senior Manager at the Harlem Children’s Zone. She recently made the transition back into the tech world, founding a company using technology to address college completion, and will be deepening that idea through Significance Labs.
We hope you are as excited as we are about the fellows, and we’ll keep you up to date about opportunities to join us over the next months.    

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