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Digital Health Startup Tackles Trauma & Violence in Africa


Back in December 2020, I was invited as a keynote speaker at the Solveathon event, co-hosted by Firefly Innovations and MIT Solve. For any entrepreneur or intrapreneur in the public health space, this is an event you won’t want to miss when they run it again. 

I spoke about innovation and entrepreneurship in mental health. You can watch an adapted version of my talk here.

I then served as a facilitator for the rest of the day, where I was assigned to one of the teams. Each team had an Innovator, together with several Contributors. My Innovator was the one and only Chinonye “Chi Chi” Donna Egbulem, MPH, MSW, Co-Founder of Sproutly.

This week, Chi Chi joined me on The Entrepreneur’s Doctor. The episode is also available as a podcast on:


00:00:00 Intro 

00:02:00 Meaning behind Chi Chi’s name 

00:03:15 Homelessness in Washington, DC 

00:05:05 Nigerian culture in DC 

00:06:20 Maya Angelou 

00:12:30 Peace Corps in Africa 

00:14:50 Burkina Faso 

00:17:55 Social capital 

00:18:30 Frugal innovation 

00:20:15 Public health & social work 

00:24:20 PHI/CDC Fellowship 

00:28:20 Leaving the Peace Corps 

00:32:00 Sproutly — A Digital Health Startup 

00:39:05 Solveathon Event — Part 1 

00:40:38 Misconception about entrepreneurship 

00:42:37 A global Sproutly 

00:46:55 Co-creation 

00:47:30 Sproutly — the solution 

00:51:15 Help wanted 

00:54:50 A living, breathing idea 

00:55:12 Power of evaluation 

00:56:40 Contact Chi Chi 

00:57:05 Solveathon Event — Part 2 

01:03:13 Shark Tank 

01:07:22 Power of mentors 

01:10:10 Stealing ideas 

01:11:55 Advice for budding Entrepreneurs 

01:17:33 A message for University Presidents 

01:20:27 You’re all over the place! 

01:23:08 Entrepreneurs & systems leaders


Connect with Chi Chi: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chinonye-donna-egbulem/ 

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