Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 24, 2011.

Update #22

new Huffington Post article on YWI!


The real question is: Can Storytelling Affect Change? Loud shoutout to our new backers and Joseph Peterson for the fine Huffington Post article, who found us on a tweet. 

Please share to bring us home in 3 days! Perhaps you'd like a tote bag, T-shirt, corn sheller, patio solar light that charges a phone? Or you want to sponsor the music track from (the coolest) Just a Band, get cool PR as a corporate sponsor? 

 From my first week in Rwanda, a glimpse of a girl -- clear eyed, bold, ready to express her promise. 

CEO of HeHe, Ltd. Clarisse Iribagiza might be teaching her how to program a cellphone in three years. Clarisse just received the highest enterprise award from First Lady Kagame for just that. Find out more at YWI Seed Invention -

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Update #21

FUN video & new MAKE article!


Dear 2011 backers of YWI: I am forever grateful for your support that made it possible to complete our first stories.

Young World Inventors’ stories and insights continue, with 3 days to fund our new Kickstarter .  Join us to launch dozens of stories with partners on a dedicated site!

Since 2011, we have researched and shot 60+ hours of footage, won 9K views of first videos, established followings on social media, found media partners, and are now ready to cover three new startup stories and update others, to edit two dozen+ stories for a new interactive site by winter.  Check our KS page. []]

See the wrap around story on Bernard Kiwia at E4C and todays' new post at Make: Magazine.  There's another back story on HeHe, Ltd. at the new Medium, which refers to videos not yet public.

Check out this fun video on how to make a movement by Derek Sivers... It's not about the leader of a movement, but "If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow!" 

In truth, it's about momentum and sharing!  Help us REACH OUT- for example: @ynginventors makes hi/lo tech stories of #African #innovators, linx mentors, investrs & brodcstrs!   RT by 8/29!

P.S.  Yesterday I donated to KS film that went from 33% funding to 103% funding (of $200K!) in the past SIX days.  Working together, we can make our goal. Will you join us?

Update #20

Need Votes for "HeHe Is Serious" @Focus Forward Films!


I am thankful for all who helped us leap forward last fall. Our latest video, "HeHe Is Serious Business," is ready for votes -- up to ten times per day per computer!  

Will you help us become an Audience Favorite at (We crave  viral activity.) This global competition features 100+ global storytellers and $200,000 in prize money. 

Our 3 min. video, "HeHe is Serious Business!,”  needs your VOTE to get thousands more! [Be sure cookies are enabled. Mobiles may not register votes, so use a computer. VOTE tab is under the 'embed' on the screen. If you don’t see 'VOTE', select Flash player (not HTML5).]

Then, will you share with friends, on FB, twitter, email by Dec. 20? needs your help to catalyze invention across continents.
[tweet to friends ==> ]

CEO Clarisse Iribagiza says of HeHe’s trials and triumphs: "We are living the Rwandan dream...nothing is impossible." Last summer, two years after launch, HeHe won $50K US in competition; then Clarisse came to the US as a guest of Secretary Hillary Clinton. We'll continue to follow the team's challenges.

Please *Like* us on Facebook: YWI and and follow/RT on twitter: @ynginventors. More videos live at Youtube: youngworldinventors.

Thanks for the love!

PS  Contact me for the East Africa Flyer article about me & YWI, published in Nairobi. (can't upload PDFs here).  Let me know if you want a press packet, DVD, or have questions!

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Update #19



Cheers for Traction: Thanks to your support of our Kickstarter campaign ($8K) last year, we edited ten videos of three women-run tech startups in East Africa. 

~ Last June our project became a finalist (only 16 finalists of 300 applicant) for the Tribeca New Media Fund. The director told me to resubmit for funding, since the panel loved stories of African women innovators. Only six finalists were funded (at $50K-$100). 

~ YWI's new video, HeHe is Serious Business (pwd:ywi) is now a semifinalist in the Focus Forward Films competition! Check out the young team who are IT rock stars in Rwanda. 

~ On Nov. 1, our video goes public; we need votes to become an audience favorite! Cash winners for five prizes ($200K) will be announced at the Sundance film festival in January. 

~ Last week a V.P. for programming at a Chicago TV station told me that she wants to collaborate on stories of African inventiveness. An interested investor is in the wings, with a dozen other stories of successful entrepreneurs throughout Africa. 

~ Next week I will meet with potential funder/partners in Portland, OR who are interested in young inventors. YWI is collaborating with E4C (Engineering for Change) to distribute stories to 11,000 members worldwide.  Our Nairobi producer will shoot a short video in Tanzania soon.

~ I am talking with broadcaster, educators and funders of the GirlHub project in Rwanda. The HeHe video above tells a bit of the story. An article about our YWI project and startups appears in October's East African Flyer, a new magazine for NGOs published in Nairobi. I will post a PDF here as soon as I get one. 

~ YWI will include 1) a participatory platform for serial videos, with forums about innovative startups in East Africa and 2) pilot projects in Rwanda and Tanzania to repurpose content we've shot for radio and TV. [If the Chicago collaboration happens, we could have docu shorts on US TV as well as websites.] Our budget is $147K (phase one: 20 stories and platform). More ambitious plans for a mobile game on invention and mobile surveys of user audiences are on the horizon.

Will you help us get votes for our video on FFF?  Marketing brainstorms are welcome.            Gratefully ~ Diane for

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Update #18

Nairobi Groove


Continuing thanks to all our KS supporters for making the first YWI webisodes possible! Find your names at our revised Demo DVDs loaded with ten videos went out to interested backers as I left for Nairobi a week ago.

We loaded new videos on YWI’s YouTube channel, and a dozen videos live on our Vimeo page, but we are seeking subscribers now. My vision of posting quick videos as I traveled last July was unrealistic: hearty apologies. If you want to see all videos, email

First we have focused on three start-ups founded by young women: M-Farm in Nairobi, Kenya; HeHe, Ltd. in Rwanda and Global Cycle Solutions in Tanzania.  Collaboration is central to this project, and you are early supporters.  Would you consider:

⇒ Sending links to YWI’s YouTube channel and to contacts?

⇒ Building audience for YWI Facebook and Twitter ⇒ ask for Likes & follows?

⇒ Suggesting sites for videos and donors we can pitch?

News in brief:
  • Diane is in East Africa (March 15-April 28) -- to shoot with the teams, gather new stories, increase partnerships, explore radio, cell app, and TV repurposing.
  • Diane is collaborating with Peter Murimi, a Kenyan freelance journalist for Al Jazeera, Canadian TV and others. We are pitching a story to Chinese TV on Monday.
  • Dan Sonnett has signed on for creating our interactive web platform. His company is doing the new “Half the Sky” campaign, a global effort based on Nick Kristof’s book.
  • Vin Liota, Knight Fellow/MIT, producer/camera for NOVA/PBS and animator, is consulting for us.
  • A January posting at has an update from HeHe, Ltd. in Rwanda.
  • We are contacting 40+ websites, asking them to host YWI videos and subscribe.
  • The enterprisers at iHub in Nairobi are moving as fast as Japanese high speed trains. The teams are feeding each other with ideas, benchmarks, scaling up goals. M-Farm has outreach to 8000 farmers now. Investors are here at last.
  • 40 MIT MBA Sloan students came to iHub two days ago, and yesterday the Akirachix told me another MIT/Sloan student wants to come to work with those “girl geeks” for awhile.
  • I gave a DVD to Jim ChuChu of Just a Band (their songs are on our videos); the band is just back from SxSW playing and showing music vids.
  • Will Mworia, founder of is embedding video and revising new pages for YWI-- as soon as ocean fiber optic cables, damaged by a ship’s anchor hours away, are repaired.
Deep thanks for your support and ideas!
Diane for the YWI team
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pledged of $8,000 goal
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    NEW REWARD! A DVD of the first ten stories of 2-3 teams navigating the inevitable challenges of startups. Plus a postcard of Bernard's solar water heater and insider video stories.

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    First imported bike powered cell phone charger from Bernard's shop at GCS with instructions, plus insider video posts. We'd be grateful for another $10 for shipping anywhere.

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    Bernard's bike and motorcycle chargers, video posts and DVD and your name on the website. One of three handsome collage designs made from banana and bamboo shavings (wild game, dancing or Kenyan village). Made in a workshop by youth in training.

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    All of the above, plus we'll hear your feedback on early story cuts and post your name as Post Production Associate on the website. The FIRST donor at this level gets a live audience with multi-talented Just A Band on their trip to NYC (maybe Boston), August-September!

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Funding period

- (60 days)