• Interbegging at Y-Combinator

    by  • August 21, 2007 • Hexayurt, Personal • 0 Comments


    Hi. My name is Vinay Gupta, of the Hexayurt project, a FOSS-style organization aimed at radically improving the lot of refugees and the poor.

    We’ve had some luck, recently, and we need help coping.

    Here’s the technology – we call it “Disastr” – a simple approach to using the network to reinforce efforts to evacuate and rehouse American refugees in the event of a natural disaster like the potential Bay Quake, or events of a more man-made nature.


    We just won the Treehugger Participate! context, to go and showcase the shelter technology (the hexayurt itself) at Burning Man.


    We also have an event in Washington DC, involving the DoD, the American Red Cross, and a variety of other groups, where we are hoping to present some of our work (the “Expedient Infrastructure for Transitory Populations” project.)

    Here’s the issue: we’re unfunded. It’s been paid for mainly out of our own pockets, although we’ve had a little funding from the DoD for some parts of it. Now we have the classical problem of success: taking it the next step of the way takes funding, and funding we do not have. We’re flying all over the country to show this stuff to people.

    The existing funding cycles are vastly too slow and unresponsive to help us. We travel light and move fast.

    So here’s the question: can the “micro-cap” model, like Y-Combinator, work for venture philanthropy too?

    Who’s willing to throw, say, $10,000 at this project, to see what we can do? Everything you see so far was done on less than $5k.

    Vinay Gupta, hexayurt@gmail.com

    If it can work for venture capital, why not for venture philanthropy?

    flattr this!


    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


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