When fellow Rotarian and friend John Pinter suggested that I speak with the Washington Fellows, I was very excited to have an opportunity to go back to the Mendoza College of Business and speak in front of some brilliant professionals from different African countries. I thought it would be a great avenue to share my transformational journey from the third to the first world with innovation and entrepreneurship.
Thirty3Center is a local organization that helps troubled kids by getting them involved in sports, job skills, mentoring, and positive social activities, among other things. The Fellows came up with very feasible, practical ideas for running this new organization—not from any “problem solving” book, but using real life examples. For example, Chico (founder of MACI —Making Africa a Continent of Innovators—and Director of The Dare to Innovate Center for Excellence in Social Entrepreneurship & Human Development in Guinea), quickly related to what he is trying to do miles away.
On Friday, I thought I would give Notre Dame and her Fellows a good practical perspective; instead, they gave back way more than I gave them. I have a business solution to bring to Thirty3Center now, which has the potential to affect hundreds of kids, and will serve as a model to improve the lives of youth.
–Piyas Bandyopadhyay, CEO/Partner of EnvisioIT