October 5, 2010, SAN FRANCISCO — The winner of SOCAP10’s “Mobile Technology FastPitch Session,” Assured Labor, was announced at the conclusion of the first of the three-day conference in San Francisco. Sponsored by the philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network and a highlight of the conference’s “Mobile Technology” track, six early-stage mobile technology startups were selected via crowd sourcing for an opportunity to participate in a lightening round pitch to the Omidyar Network’s leadership and potential funders. Assured Labor was voted the winner via SMS voting by the SOCAP10 audience. Each participating company harnesses mobile technology to create social impact.
"We’re thrilled to receive this vote of confidence from the social capital community,” said Assured Labor Founder, David Reich. “The year ahead holds tremendous potential for Assured Labor and we’re excited to have accomplished partners like like SOCAP and Omidyar Network recognizing our work."
Assured Labor connects mid-to-low wage workers in emerging markets to economic opportunity by enabling them to find job opportunities via their mobile phones. EmpleoListo, Assured Labor’s service, is currently accessible in Latin America via a partnership with the region’s largest wireless carriers.
Today, over four billion people have cell phones while only one and a half billion people have consistent access to the Internet. Sixty-six percent of Internet users in emerging markets do not have computers at home, meaning they access the Internet sporadically from out-of-house locations, such as Internet cafés. As the primary source of communications, the link between communities and a means for transmitting information across the developing world, the growth of mobile innovation and its potential for social impact is undeniable.
“We are excited to support the efforts of social entrepreneurs using mobile for positive change and the quality of the FastPitch candidates was quite impressive,” said SOCAP’s ‘Mobile Technology’ track curator and mobile strategist, Alison Bloch. “We hope that the SOCAP10 audience has walked away with a view into the future of how mobile will catalyze social impact and we look forward to watching Assured Labor grow.”
Assured Labor was selected from a group of six entrepreneurs that pitched the SOCAP10 audience, representing a diverse set of mobile technologies, geographies and sectors. The labor-based startup’s peers included:
· Simpa Networks, a start-up that enables users to make mobile pre-payments for solar lighting.
· ClickDiagnostics, which uses mobile technology to facilitate global access to medical specialists and real-time health data.
· SlimTrader, a social enterprise that provides an affordable, easy-to-use mobile commerce service in Africa.
· mDhil, a social impact start-up which provides basic health information over mobile phones.
· Mobile Transactions Zambia, a company with a range of products to move money through mobile phones.
As the winner of the Fast Pitch, Assured Labor will be highlighted at the SOCAP10 conference and invited to further discussion with Omidyar Network’s investment team. Omidyar Network is actively seeking to invest in companies that harness the power of mobile technology to unleash positive social impact.
Now in its third year, SOCAP is the largest interdisciplinary gathering of individuals and institutions at the intersection of money and meaning. Impact Investors, social entrepreneurs, funders, and other innovators come to SOCAP to build a movement. SOCAP10 will seek to answer the question ‘What’s Next?’ for the social capital markets. Participants can dive into one of seven tracks to see where the money is moving, how deals are getting done and who is pushing boundaries across the landscape. To learn more about SOCAP, please visit www.socialcapitalmarkets.net.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $363 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, entrepreneurship, property rights, consumer Internet, mobile technology, and government transparency. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.