Startup Directory


Diana Gerbase ’16SIPA

I’ve always been very interested in the fields of politics, law and economics and how these areas contributed to a country’s development. I was brought up in a family where these topics were very discussed and where it was understood that we, as citizens, had a role in Brazil’s development. After studying in the United States in high school and doing my undergrad degree in economics in Brazil, I realized how democratic civic education was a piece of the puzzle that was missing in the Brazilian democracy.

Unfortunately, the structure and functioning of the Brazilian state, our constitution, rights, duties, etc. are not much explored in schools in Brazil and that leaves a big gap in the ability of people to fruitfully participate in public matters. After some years working in consulting and business development, I decided to come to Columbia and dedicate my master’s degree to the development of Praxis.

In the summer of 2015, I conducted a pilot program in a high-school in Brazil (Escola Estadual Florinda Tubino Sampaio) with 104 kids, which had very good acceptance. After that, Praxis is now at its startup phase. I am currently finishing to analyze the results from the pilot program and refining the business plan. The idea so far is to launch a fundraising campaign for some of the startup costs in August and then start preparing for operation in 2017. We still don’t have a web-site, but that hopefully will be launched soon!

See a summary of the pilot program went here.