I often walk through the streets in Belltown and wonder to myself “what kind of projects are being worked on in the numerous office buildings that dot our neighborhood?” I read this article this morning in the Washinton Post and now have at least a better idea of one amazingly cool project that’s being worked on;
SEATTLE—The Grameen Foundation has lifted some of the world’s poorest through lending circles dealing in the smallest amounts of money. Now it is trying to use mobile phone texts, cloud computing and software to scale its successful microfinance model to reach more people around the globe.
Many of the tech ideas behind that vision are being formed here, in an office building off downtown Seattle’s bustling Belltown area. In their 10th floor suite, two dozen former high-tech industry workers are using the skills they honed at Microsoft, Oracle and McKinsey for global development. They have created mobile phone and Internet applications to warn farmers in Uganda of banana crop rot, remind pregnant women of medical checkups, keep microlending programs in check through cloud-based applications and use Web-based data to make sure their program are working