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So my team is crowdfunding our trip to Harvard… Anyone please help?

So my team is crowdfunding our trip to Harvard… Anyone please help?

  1. jpatdu

    Hi! My team and I are 16-17 year-old Grade 12 students from the Philippines and we have been invited by Harvard to present our startup social innovation in their annual Igniting Innivation Summit this November 14. The team behind the IIS will take care of our lodging and food. The airfare, however, we’ll have to fund on our own. We sought help from our school, but, despite having tons of cash at their disposal, they only offered to loan us money, not even help with finding sponsors! We’re [I]really[/I] on our own.

    Before anything else, a little backstory on what all this fuss is all about.

    Last July 26, we founded Mica PH, a platform that aims to make healthcare more accessible to every Filipino by connecting the different facets of the medical system (patients, doctors and HMOs), in one seamless, efficient and reliable technological platform. With Mica, we envision a healthier individual, a healthier family, a healthier society, and we think we can make that happen.

    We joined the IIS’ “Village to Raise a Child” contest where we and our idea was pitched against 27 other ideas from across the globe. Our months-long journey was full of trials and tribulations, but in the end, we were declared as one of the five winners of the contest, one of the five “Global Trailblazers” who will be sent to Harvard to recieve mentorship and attend the IIS, where we will be presenting our idea in front of a paying audience.

    With the contest, passport and visa cleared, the only hurdle left for us to clear is our airfare, and this may be our toughest challenge yet.

    In order to ensure we have seats before the the fares skyrocket, or worse, run out completely, our parents agreed to pay for the airfare, as well as incidental expenses, first. With that, however, [I]we owe them ten thousand dollars.[/I]

    We were advised by the IIS team to start a crowdfunding effort and try to raise $10,000 from people’s generosity.

    [B][I]This is ridiculous.[/I] [/B]I doubt we’ll ever reach the $50 mark, yet alone $10,000.

    Unless we want to live though our lives knowing we owe our parents quite a lot, however, we have no choice but to push through and hope for the best

    Hence, we launched our Indiegogo page:


    How does this work? Basically Indiegogo is similar to Kickstarter, the site Ben used for his Etihad Residences fundraiser. You can select one of our “perks,” or donate any amount of money you wish when you hit the “Contribute Now” button.

    What’s in it for you? Well, aside from the perks we set up and knowing that you sent some Filipino kids to Harvard, let me tell you this: the circumstances of our flights would make for a very interesting trip report.

    We would be 5 minors plus our super cool startup mentor slash teacher traveling halfway across the world. In addition, one of our members would have to travel alone the day after the rest of us leave since he’s representing the Philippines in a conference in Japan prior to this (beast). Being unaccompanied minors, this is a new perspective to write trip reports from, something rarely seen.

    Our flights would be an open jaw from Manila to Incheon to JFK to Boston, then on the return, JFK-ICN-MNL. From ICN-JFK and back, we would be riding Asiana (yay Star Alliance miles!) on their A380 superjumbo (in economy, of course). Although there are dozens of trip reports of its Smartium Business Class as well as Ben’s review of the First Class suites, I found just one trip report of its economy class. I would personally love to report how the oft-lauded A380 economy configuration is like to travel (or endure) in. In addition, I’ll be pleased to report on the 777-200ER on MNL-ICN, the EMB 190 on JFK-BOS, and the 767 (another rarely reported yet interesting economy class) from ICN-MNL. As someone who’s a first-time unaccompanied minor and an AvGeek having his first time on the A380 and 767, this trip would be really special. Also, it would be fun to see what would happen to us in the 6 hour layover in ICN and our 1 hour 50 minute dash to the gate at JFK.

    However, before we get into that fantasy, we have to ground ourselves back to reality. We need to pay our debts. However, through your support, we can make our Harvard (and Asiana A380) dreams become reality.

    Thank you and we look forward to your support!

    PS. I really wish that Ben or his contributors could post this on the blog. It would be a really major help for us to get the word out!

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