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GoMango team members and the judging panel

Congratulations to GoMango, winners of SAI’s Seed for Change Competition!

On May 6, each of the three final teams gave a 10-minute presentation, and fielded questions from a judging panel made up of interdisciplinary faculty and entrepreneurs.

Earlier this year, SAI invited students from across Harvard to submit ideas that positively impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India.

SAI received 21 applications for the chance at the grand prize of $40,000. In the first round, applicants presented their ideas in March to a panel comprised of three faculty members and a senior administrator.

Three finalists were short-listed to present to the SAI community in the final round::

  • GoMango: provides low-cost refrigerated transport to food producers in India.
  • Torr Energy: for-profit company that uses a series of technologies and a unique model to produce and sell low-cost waste-derived solid fuel in remote areas.
  • The Craftsmen: small forest enterprise facilitator that creates new value chains, provides year-round employment, and trains communities in sustainable harvesting practices.

GoMango was chosen as the winning team, and will receive a grand prize of $40,000 to work on their project in the coming year. Each of the runner-ups will receive $5,000.

Finalists field questions from the judges and audience

Finalists field questions from the judges and audience

GoMango team members include Naren Tallapragada, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, class of 2018, and Francesco Wiedemann, MIT; Member Harvard i-Lab Venture Incubation Program. GoMango addresses this problem: India is the world’s second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables, but every year 40% of that produce – over $8 billion worth – goes to waste before it ever reaches the market. Food waste has had profound consequences for India,including malnutrition, economic volatility, and political unrest.India wastes food because it lacks the “cold chain” infrastructure – refrigerated trucks and cold storage – to protect perishable food from tropical heat on its journey from farm to market

The goal of GoMango is to develop a low-cost rental network of refrigerated boxes that will enable farmers and wholesalers to keep their goods cold both en route to market and while waiting to be sold at the market – reducing food waste while creating tremendous social and economic value for India.

This was the inaugural year for the Seed for Change Program. Through a University-wide competition, this program aims to develop a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India by connecting intellectual resources at Harvard with talent in India. The program is made possible by a generous grant from KP Balaraj MBA ’97 and Sumir Chadha MBA ‘97.

Stay tuned for updates from GoMango as they work throughout the next year on their project.