Enablers of progress and agents for change. Bridge for Billions was founded on this simple statement in 2013 at Carnegie Mellon University. This statement is an idea to improve the world by focusing on empowerment; a vision for robust collaboration; a belief that if you contribute your skills and resources to empower others you will enable change.
Based on the their belief in the untapped potential of entrepreneurs around the globe, the founders began to brainstorm solutions. They sought to use their different expertise such as Innovation Management, Human-Computer Interaction, and Information and Communication Technology for Development, to create an intuitive, accessible, and interactive platform that would allow entrepreneurs to structure, develop, and refine their business ideas.
The development of Bridge for Billions was a collaborative effort that analyzed the cutting edge business development procedures around the world. After months of researching, interviewing, and co-creating with entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and entrepreneurship experts, and a creative process that lasted many long nights, they developed the Business Creation Tools. After many rounds of user testing with entrepreneurs of various backgrounds and validation from expert institutions, both the user experience and content of the incubation platform have been refined to its current state.
To learn more about our vision to democratize access to entrepreneurship support check out Our Manifesto
Pablo Santaeufemia is co-founder and CEO of Bridge for Billions. A native of Madrid, Spain, Pablo holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University and two master’s in Mechanical Engineering and Technology Innovation Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
An engineer by trade and an entrepreneur by nature, Pablo’s desire to democratize access to entrepreneurial resources has been the driving force behind the development of Bridge for Billions. A veteran of both for- and non-profit organizations, Pablo has also been involved with a number of social innovation projects influencing communities around the world. These experiences have resulted in an ethos of critical thinking, discovery and cross-cultural understanding that infuses his work, and indeed Bridge for Billions itself.
Edgar Salazar is a co-founder of Bridge for Billions and currently serves as Chief Technology Officer. A native of Texas, Edgar holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT, and a master’s in ICTs for Development from the University of Manchester.
With experience in software engineering at a host of for-profit organizations, as well as development in conjunction with MIT in Brazil and the AmeriCorps, Edgar brings a unique and varied background to the Bridge for Billions team. When he isn’t hard at work solving problems at the intersection of technology and global development, you can find Edgar playing guitar or nocking his next arrow.
Jessica Kou is a co-founder of Bridge for Billions and currently serves as Chief Design Officer. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Jessica holds an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of Wisconsin Madison, and two master’s in Engineering and Technology Engineering Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
A self-trained designer with stints at both Frog Design and Srvd, Inc., Jessica’s passion for UI/UX Design and entrepreneurship means she plays an integral role in the product development process at Bridge for Billions. Outside of the office you can find Jessica taking photographs or playing the ukulele.
Originally from Paris, France, Julie Murat serves as Head of Operations for Bridge for Billions. With a master's degree in International Business from ESSCA and a minor in Social Entrepreneurship from Universidad de Chile, Julie is ideally positioned to coordinate and organize the business development team. And with extensive sector-based work experience in Germany, India, China, and now Spain, Julie’s knowledge of emerging markets and international development results in a perfect background for her work at Bridge for Billions. Outside of the office Julie pursues her other passions which include french cooking, hiking, and performing arts.
Jacob Fohtung was born in Cameroon, West Africa. He graduated from Marquette University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. In 2015, he participated in a selective Global Entrepreneurship Program at MIT Sloan School of Management. He currently interns at the D-Lab at MIT. At the same time, he pursues an MBA program at Babson College since January 2017. Jacob is also an experienced serial entrepreneur and is excited to bring his skills and experiences in Sales and Business Development to Bridge for Billions. Outside of work, you can find Jacob participating in hackathons or playing FIFA17 on Xbox one.
Covadonga Abril was born in La Coruña, Spain, and she graduated from the IE University in 2013 and since then she continued her training doing a Master's Degree in Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Cova is interested in design as a tool to generate real impact in society, which is why design is very present in all her projects, such us the creation of sustainable label or her intergenerational project against demotivation in the elderly. Outside the office Cova enjoys her passion for photography, the sea and horse riding.
Originally from Madrid, Spain, Mariana holds an undergraduate degree in Global Affairs and International Development from Yale University. Her academic training in development and social entrepreneurship, her most recent graduate training in business valuation, and her professional background in sustainability consulting makes her well suited to undertake business strategy for Bridge for Billions. Mariana’s passion for helping solve the world’s big challenges has taken her across the globe, from Peru, to Senegal, Romania, Kenya and Turkey on volunteering or research missions. Mariana spends her free time hiking, sharing meals with friends and family, or dancing.
Paula Abarca is a Content Intern at Bridge for Billions. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Paula is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature and History at Brown University. Passionate about languages and the intersection of cultures, Paula loves meeting people from around the world, which is part of the reason why she’s enjoying her time at Bridge. When she’s not at work, Paula can be found with a book and a croissant in hand.
Jaime Mateo Herrero is a Full-Stack Developer at Bridge for Billions. Originally from Madrid, Spain, Jaime holds an undergraduate degree and a master’s in Computer and Electrical Engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Jaime’s love for literature, particularly George Orwell’s “1984,” has inspired his technological projects including his project on the protection of people’s privacy in video surveillance. Outside of the office you can find Jaime volunteering with MakeSense, and enjoying music and the arts.
Fabian Almenara Cerezo is a Software Engineer at Bridge for Billions. Originally from Granada, Spain, Fabian holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Universidad de Granada, and a master’s in Software Engineering from the University of Vienna. Aside from starting his own app, iLogidis, Fabian also has experience in Human Resource Consultancy from his time at Northgate Arinso, and is interested in UX/UI Design. Outside the office, you can find Fabian participating in triathlons.
Renato Pinto is a FrontEnd Developer at Bridge for Billions. Originally from Lima, Peru, Renato holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. Renato is interested in web design and development, and has designed an app to help pregnant women contact their doctors, and created a website for Erasmus students in Madrid. Outside of work you can find Renato dancing salsa and bachata, and coaching youth basketball and volleyball teams.