Innovator Stories

Local Inspiration, Global Impact: Social Entrepreneurship at SIPA

From easing refugee crises and setting up 911 systems in developing countries, to neonatal monitors and cause-based tourism, Columbia social entrepreneurs from across campus are taking what they learn in the classroom and going out to make the world a better place.

Here’s a look at five startups to have come out of Columbia’s School of Public and International Affairs (SIPA), a school whose dedication to innovation and real-world impact make it a magnet for students looking to solve problems around the globe. Click through to read about their journeys.


Eat Offbeat – NYC

Eat Offbeat delivers authentic and home-style ethnic meals that are conceived, prepared and delivered by refugees resettled in NYC.

Mobis – Brazil

Mobis is a nonprofit social venture devoted to spread of democratic civic education to Brazilian high schools.

Five One Labs – Iraq

Five One Labs is a start-up incubator that helps refugees and conflict-affected entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses in the Middle East.

Agratam India – India

Agratam India, founded by Akshay Verma ’13SIPA, is a social venture  committed to promoting equitable development and providing viable income generating opportunities in rural economies. – Global is the world’s leading platform for social impact travel experiences: you can book immersive experiences and know that revenue will be invested back in the local community through the host do-good organization.


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