Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Competition Year: 2012

Bridging the gap between academia, industry, and society

Education and Training Finance and Entrepreneurship


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Our Pitch

Imagínate Diiaki (Ee-ma-he-na-teh Ge-ah-ke) provides Latin American university students with a unique product design and professional / personal development course. We partner with universities to provide service learning opportunities and hands on projects focused on entrepreneurial business and engineering concepts. Students from multiple universities work in multidisciplinary teams on projects to address user needs, and they are guided by facilitators with industry experience. Through our design curriculum, the students work on entrepreneurial projects that benefit social organizations or small and medium sized enterprises that need help to grow. We also provide professional development workshops that help the students improve their communication skills and introduce them to the professional working environment. Program participants will gain critical thinking, business, and engineering skills that are not only highly desired, but are also required in order to achieve success in life and in industry.


We will inspire two hundred and fifty students to become entrepreneurs

Who We Are

Co-Lead: Cole Shaw Bio: Mr. Shaw studies in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT and is a 2011-2012 Legatum Fellow. He served in the Peace Corps in Mexico for two and a half years prior to arriving at MIT and has experience working with postgraduate students and public research institutions. Prior to this, Mr. Shaw worked at a Department of Energy research lab, where he learned engineering and project management skills that he would like to impart to other students.

Co-Lead: Netia McCray Bio: Ms. McCray is an MIT Undergraduate currently focused on the international establishment of the Mbadika organization and its respective outreach programs with various partners. She also works closely with the organization’s university partners, corporate partners, students, and emerging entrepreneurs with a focus on developing entrepreneurship and innovation focused outreach programs and university-corporate collaboration clusters in respective Lusophone / Hispanophone countries and regions.

Team Member: Taylor Morris Bio: Mr. Morris is a graduate student at MIT in Mechanical Engineering, researching idea generation. He has worked in government and industry on design and process optimization. He has also mentored undergraduate student teams in product design courses at MIT.

Team Member: Sarah Bruce Bio: Ms. Bruce is a Peace Corps Volunteer in a Mexico CONACYT center (National Council of Science and Technology). She has 12+ years of experience working with cross-disciplinary teams and customers in Outdoor Industry Equipment, including roles such as Product Manager and Process Engineering Manager. Ms. Bruce has worked with the Querétaro non-profit and social-impact community and has mobilized several volunteer activities.

Team Member: Sivakami Sambasivam Bio: Ms. Sambasivam currently works as a Business Analyst at a major management consulting firm. She graduated from MIT with a degree in biological engineering. As an active member of the Global Poverty Initiative, she traveled to rural Mexican communities three times to assess and deploy technologies to address social needs.

Team Member: Francisco Valenzuela Bio: Mr. Valenzuela currently studies Business Administration at Nebraska Wesleyan University and ITESM Campus Zacatecas. He has been working with MIT students on the MIT-ZacaTech La Vaquita Project since 2010. In Mexico, Mr. Valenzuela has worked with multiple small to medium-sized organizations on business planning and strategy. He is the principle interface with students, professors, and corporations in Mexico.

Team Member: Mary Masterman Bio: Ms. Masterman is an MIT alum, has worked in Mexico City, and has done International Development work in rural communities in Zacatecas, Mexico, and Queretaro, Mexico. She has multiple years of teaching and tutoring experience in technical and science topics; this includes middle school, high school, and college students.

Team Member: Enrique Garcia Bio: Mr. Garcia has taught an innovation course at CICATA for the last four years. Previously, he founded a business incubator in Querétaro that helped five startups attract one hundred thousand dollars in government grant money.

Team Member: Drew Zoller Bio: Mr. Zoller has over fifteen years experience consulting to the Fortune 500 and smaller companies in areas including market analysis, benchmarking and branding. He has worked in technology, financial services, consumer products and other industries, and also has experience as an entrepreneur. Mr. Zoller is currently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a Mexican federal research center, helping with go-to-market strategies, market intelligence, and process improvement.

Community Partner: Dr. Joaquin Salas Bio: Dr. Salas is a professor at CICATA, a research center of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico. He is an experienced educator and was a Fulbright scholar at Duke University; he has held visiting positions at Stanford, the University of Oregon, and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He was formerly the Director General of CICATA in Querétaro.

Our Community Partner

Partner Name



Querétaro, Mexico


CICATA Querétaro is the Research Center for Applied Science and Advanced Technology, part of the National Polytechnic Institute. It carries out research projects and technological development work, and trains human resources. We do this, conscious of the huge social gaps which exist in our country and of the opportunity we have to have an influence on our social environment. To fulfill our objective we promote team work, establishing trusting relationships and encouraging the professional growth of the members of our Center.


  • Service Location
    Mexico and Brazil
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Comments and Support

  • Hi mebers of team, go ahead! That project is a good opportunity to share knowledge througt workshop. Best regards, Juan José Rodríguez Peña

    Posted by J. Rodríguez on Wed, Apr 18th 2012, 10:50 Report Abuse

  • Hi Guys I wish you the best!, I would be interested to follow your next steps!

    Posted by F. Gonzalez on Wed, Apr 18th 2012, 06:44 Report Abuse

  • Hope you go great! All my support from Mexico

    Posted by A. Fridman on Wed, Apr 11th 2012, 21:13 Report Abuse

  • You guys look like you have a really AMAZING project going. I hope it continues to do well!

    Posted by S. Bruce on Thu, Jan 12th 2012, 14:14 Report Abuse

  • Hi Team, Welcome to the IDEAS Competition and MIT Global Challenge! And all the best. Looking forward to you're work. Let me know if you have any questions. Here to help.--Sneha Chitte(Community Manager, MIT Global Challenge)

    Posted by S. Chitte on Sun, Dec 25th 2011, 13:31 Report Abuse

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