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Opportunity Labs Vision: Imagine a world where a large conglomerate like General Electric (GE) directs its profits towards improving the lives of the poor around the world. We think it’s time to reimagine our existing economic models and tweak them slightly to take on today’s biggest global issues. At Opportunity Labs, we’re building a conglomerate of social businesses that are pro-poor in social and economic impact either through the products themselves or by creating jobs at scale – with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of millions of poor people worldwide. We operate just like a business: we aim to maximize profit through excellent execution and a focus on satisfying customer needs. The only difference between us and a typical business is that our profits are used to continually increase impact.
engageSPARK Mission: Opportunity Labs’ first product, engageSPARK, enables organizations to dramatically extend the reach and effectiveness of their pro-poor programs. Currently, most people in developing countries communicate via SMS & Voice because 65% of them aren’t on the Internet, and another 20% access the Internet infrequently. engageSPARK is the EASIEST to use engagement platform that empowers non-IT staff at nonprofits/NGOs of any size to build interactive Automated Call (IVR) & 2-Way SMS programs to engage their beneficiaries at scale, quickly, and affordably. Unlike all other tools that require training or IT people, have implementation or monthly subscription fees, and lack global telco integration, engageSPARK is used to build programs in minutes, cheaper, and in any of the 200+ countries.
Our customers range from non-profits like the UN’s World Food Programme, Asian Development Bank, and Mercy Corps; to social enterprises like Noora Health, Impact Carbon, and Saturday Kids; to behavioral researchers like Duke University’s Dan Ariely, ideas42, and Innovations for Poverty Action; to huge multinational companies like Intel, and a top 5 global Internet company (we can’t name them). These organizations and many others use engageSPARK in 90+ countries around the world to make social change in the areas of Agriculture, Health, Finance, Elections, Refugee Services, Disaster Planning & Response, and even increasing access to jobs for people living in remote areas with very limited opportunities.
The program that Mercy Corps, a major international non-profit, implemented in the Philippines is a good example of how organizations use engageSPARK. Mercy Corps used our self-service platform to help 20,000 survivors of Typhoon Haiyan improve their budgeting and savings skills. People received soap operas with comprehension quizzes – both via two-way SMS and Automated Phone Calls (IVR), totaling more than 1 million calls & SMS messages. Mercy Corps didn’t realize this was possible (in a simple and affordable way) before they met us. Their non-tech staff built and launched the campaigns in just minutes. Check out the NetHope blog post & webinar here or the Engineering for Change article here.
In the last year, the GSBI social enterprise accelerator program selected us as one of the top 17 social enterprises globally. The Mulago Foundation awarded us its Rainer Fellowship for 2016. DBS-NUS named us a top 12 social venture in Asia. And Forbes Magazine recognized engageSPARK as a “Leading Startup.”
Become an Opportunity Labs Fellow at engageSPARK
Opportunity Labs is looking for talented people who are passionate and ready to step up to make change in our world – to help us reduce global poverty at scale by building new businesses around the world. This position offers the unique opportunity to learn about and build social businesses while working with a distinguished and diverse team with experience in both private and public sectors at organizations such as GE, Grameen Foundation, IBM, Not In My Country, Oracle, Lexmark, Microsoft, Motorola, NEC, Tripit, Yahoo, and other successful startups (CEO founded companies that today employ more than 3,000 people with US$1 Billion market valuation).
Although you will be focused on helping build the engageSPARK platform, one of your key responsibilities will be sharing your knowledge with our talented Filipino team. As part of our work to also give back to the local community, you will share your skills and experience with local software engineers and entrepreneurs. To help build and grow the tech startup ecosystem in Cebu, we have created a co-working space for the tech community, The TIDE (TheTIDECebu.com), where you’ll be able to participate in tech meetups each week and interact with local entrepreneurs.
Fellowships are a 9 to 24 month commitment to live and work at engageSPARK in Cebu City, Philippines. This is an unpaid volunteer position, but includes a monthly stipend.
What You Gain as a Fellow
- Invaluable work & life experience in an entrepreneurial organization working on innovative business models to alleviate global poverty
- Learn about mobile phone technology, especially Voice and SMS telephony
- Work very closely with and learn from a distinguished executive team, who have a wealth of experience building startups in the U.S. and in developing countries
- Significant interaction with non-profits/NGOs worldwide who are using Voice and SMS to alleviate poverty
- Learn about social entrepreneurship and social enterprises in developing countries
- Learn about the technology, social enterprise, and startup ecosystems in Southeast Asia
- International work and living experience
- A chance to make a significant impact through transfer of knowledge and skills to our talented local team
- Know that your work is improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in poverty worldwide
About Cebu City, Philippines
Located on Cebu Island, Cebu City is the second largest city in the Philippines. It’s a safe place to live with a variety of malls, restaurants, shops, beaches, and activities such as scuba diving, running, hiking, rock climbing, and snorkeling. It has a busy international airport with cheap flights to domestic and regional destinations. It’s easy to explore numerous nearby islands such as Bohol via ferries.
Available Fellowship Programs
Full Stack Software Engineer
Some of the latest technologies including Go (GoLang), Python, Django, Thrift, Consul, Java, PostgreSQL, CouchDB, Nginx, Redis, Android, Freeswitch, hosted queues, Docker, AWS, Microservices, etc. Desired skills and experience:
- Programming proficiency in object oriented design in C, C++, C#, Go, Java or Python
- 4+ years shipping code in Go, Django, Rails, or other server-side MVC Framework
- You have developed RESTful API endpoints
- 5+ development skills, especially Relational Databases (SQL), Version Control (git), Automated Testing Experience working on high-availability, large-scale cloud systems
Help us build on our global online and offline marketing strategy while building a local team to leverage the best and latest marketing tactics. You must have experience with offline and online marketing, ideally for an online Business-to-Business SaaS product. Marketing strategies will include social media, PPC, SEO, developing collateral, interfacing with prospective customers, conducting market research, designing and implementing acquisition strategies for different customer segments, producing and leading webinars, and writing press releases, email drip campaigns, blogs, etc. You should have strong analytical skills.
Help us build on our existing operations to make them more process-driven, efficient, and comprehensive. You
will essentially operate as Deputy COO, assisting with these responsibilities:
- Help scale our business operations to keep up with the rapid pace of global growth
- Create processes for leading and driving performance in meeting SLAs and KPIs
- Interact with customers to develop and implement key strategic initiatives for customer success
- Develop our strategy for new growth markets and initiatives by evaluating the market opportunity, competitive landscape and unit economics as well as driving execution
- Identify improvement areas and prepare strategic insights for the executive team
- Forge strong relationships with new partners and vendors, including telcos globally
- Design and build sales materials for horizontal and vertical markets
- Build financial models
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Experience
- 4+ years’ experience in management consulting, finance, business operations, or a similar role
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Strong analytical and business modeling skills
- Deep knowledge of Microsoft office products (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc.)
- Creative, collaborative, innovative
- Experience working in developing countries is a plus