Technology Exchange Lab

The fight against poverty starts with satisfying basic human needs.

aka TEL   |   Cambridge, MA   |  http://www.techxlab.org

Mission

TEL is dedicated to bringing communities out of poverty by fostering the exchange of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions that improve the lives of people at the bottom of the pyramid. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, TEL was founded in 2009 by two alumni from the MIT Sloan School of Management, whose shared vision of bottom-up poverty alleviation was inspired by their collective years of experience in introducing technology-based innovations to improve the lives of people around the world.

TEL hosts a crowdsourced database of over 600 innovative solutions to problems of poverty. Through its Project Accelerator service, TEL helps NGOs and communities leverage appropriate technology solutions to maximize the impact of last-mile development.

Ruling year info

2010

President

Karen von Bismarck

Main address

1 Broadway, 14th Floor

Cambridge, MA 02142 USA

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EIN

26-3414936

NTEE code info

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-PF.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Developing communities across the world face stubborn yet solvable challenges, such as lack of access to clean water, sustainable energy, adequate healthcare and agricultural productivity. While myriad products, technologies and solutions are proven to solve such challenges at the point of use, many community-based organizations lack the time and expertise to successfully identify and implement appropriate solutions.

Moreover, with so many innovations available on the market, it can even be difficult for development practitioners and aid agencies to efficiently evaluate different solutions, in order to make evidence-based decisions in the implementation of development technologies.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Solutions Database

TEL’s crowd-sourced and curated platform includes detailed information on over 450 point-of-use solutions to six problem areas of global poverty:
- Water & sanitation
- Agriculture
- Energy
- Education & IT
- Health & medical care
- Housing & transportation

Population(s) Served

TEL is dedicated to maximizing impact of development projects around the world, at no cost to the organizations we serve.

TEL users are passionate individuals and organizations that take innovative approaches to improve the wellbeing and livelihoods of people at the bottom of the pyramid. Whether your work is nonprofit, public sector or through private enterprise, we can help accelerate your development project by leveraging appropriate technology solutions.

The solutions in our database were developed by a process of Human Centered Design in order to respond to the needs, dreams and behaviors of end users. Likewise, by intimately understanding our clients and the stakeholders they serve, we empower projects to deliver appropriate solutions that meet key standards of desirability, feasibility and viability.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Technology Exchange Lab is dedicated to bringing communities out of poverty by driving the adoption of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions that improve lives at the bottom of the pyramid.

Specifically, our goal is to provide high-quality, unbiased and up-to-date information on a variety of development technologies and solutions, while also empowering community-based organizations and practitioners identify and sustainably implement development solutions that are most appropriate for their particular contexts.

Crowdsourcing innovations: our crowd-sourced database offers up-to-date, curated and globally accessible information on over 650 technology-based solutions in six key areas of international development. This critical, non-commercial resource helps development practitioners discover innovative solutions to problems of poverty, while also providing a platform for innovators to make their solutions more visible and accessible.

Implementing solutions: through the TEL Project Accelerator, we help community-based organizations and development practitioners identify and implement technologies, products and service-based solutions to local development challenges.

Improving institutional effectiveness: Through institutional partnerships with development agencies and international NGOs, we build organizational capacity for making smarter, evidence-based procurement decisions.

In addition to hosting an online community of over 500 global innovators and social entrepreneurs, our multidisciplinary team includes full-time staff, research associates and volunteers with backgrounds in international development, management consulting, finance, entrepreneurship and academia.

We also work with institutional partners, such as the Massachusetts of Technology, Siemens Stiftung, the United Nations and USAID.

We have served over 500,000 users through our online portal and free database service. We also launch an average of 10 programs per-year to sustainably implement solutions for improved access to clean water, energy, health products and agricultural productivity. These programs directly serve over 15,000 beneficiaries across Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Moving forward, our plan is to increase organizational capacity in order to expand the number of programs we can launch every year and grow the TEL database of solutions.

Financials

Technology Exchange Lab
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Technology Exchange Lab

Board of directors
as of 3/24/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Karen von Bismarck