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Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Sam Goldman (MBA '07)

An interview with Sam Goldman (MBA '07)

Published: May 19, 2009

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What are your causes?

I care about ensuring that families with high aspirations but low means are given the technologies they need to succeed. I am particularly passionate about those families living in rural areas of the world without adequate electricity who otherwise are too expensive, difficult, and remote to reach, and who are not benefiting from the significant leaps in growth and living standards we are seeing in more urbanized centers. I want to ensure that these families have access to the best technology, such as solar energy and LED lighting, to enable them to dramatically improve their standard of living, and have access to health, communication, education, and other products that require either electricity or reliable power.

How do you contribute?

I cofounded D.light Design, a start-up dedicated to eradicating kerosene lanterns and ensuring that cutting-edge technology is delivered at an affordable cost to rural communities in Asia and Africa.

What are important lessons you learned?

It is incredibly challenging to start a venture—and it’s all about people. Pay more and get the right people who you can work very closely with and who don’t need micromanaging.

The first $200,000 is the most important—and the hardest to get.

Be frugal but don’t waste time at the expense of money.

Stay ultra focused. As you grow you’ll have more and more opportunities come at you. The best thing you can do is say “no.”

Love what you do.

What are your favorite social innovation resources?

Social Edge