NY Times: “Watsi represents the next generation of charities”

Not a bad place to see ourselves in print for the first time!

Read the full article here.

Funding medical care in Burma!

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We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Burma Children Medical Fund to fund healthcare for people on the Thai-Burma border.

Burma is the site of the world’s longest running civil war. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people who don’t have access to medical care, but the intense political situation makes it nearly impossible for them to get care in neighboring Thailand.

BCMF is one of the few organizations that’s managed to build a strong relationship with the relevant Thai authorities and is able to facilitate the movement of patients with no legal status in Thailand for medical treatment.

They tell us, “Each year at BCMF we find our caseload increasing. Sadly, BCMF continues to see patients affected by the conflict who cannot access health care in their home state.”

Because of the complicated logistics of getting these patients to a hospital for care, some of their treatments are more expensive than you’re used to seeing on Watsi.

We’re honored to support BCMF’s work (via Burma Border Projects), and hope you’ll join us in helping their patients gain access to critical medical care.

Connect with a patient in Burma!

Connecting people is the future of social change

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This post was featured on HuffPo!

What would you do, if someone came up to you in the middle of your day and told you it was the year 2080?

You might look around you, at things like phone chargers plugged into walls, and think, “Haven’t we thought of a better way of doing this yet?”

It seems obvious that certain things will be obsolete in the future. We tend to see today’s innovations as indicators of tomorrow’s progress. While we don’t always know what’s coming next, we know it will be different than before. And we usually think that’s a good thing.

The world’s most innovative and successful companies know this well. Companies like Apple and Google have risen to dominance because of their ability to provide people with solutions that outpace their problems.

Did any of us think, when Apple introduced the iPhone, that we really needed so much power in our pockets? I certainly didn’t. But today, I can’t live without it.

Paul Graham, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors, says, “Live in the future, then build what’s missing.

We live in a world where access to Facebook can bring down a government, where a rendition of the Harlem Shake can spread from a college dorm room to a Norwegian army base, and where children in Pakistan can express solidarity with victims of a school shooting in Connecticut.

The future is clearly social. But that doesn’t always translate to the social sector.

Despite the world being more connected than ever before, we continue tackling global challenges by anonymously sending help to amorphous groups of people. We Skype with friends in other countries, but our efforts to create a more equitable world still amount to transactions between strangers.

Connecting people is the future of social change. We’re building Watsi, a nonprofit that enables anyone to directly fund medical care for someone who can’t afford it, because we believe that we can make a big impact on global health, just by connecting people to each other.

Connecting people to expand access to healthcare is just the beginning. The world is well on its way to 2080. We need to think about what we want the future to look like, because it’s up to us to build what’s missing.

-Grace

Donors funded Estevan’s treatment in 29 minutes on the day Watsi launched, and here he is today!

Happy World Health Day!

Photo courtesy of Wuqu’ Kawoq in Guatemala.

Photo credit to Rob Tinworth.

"A startup accelerator backing a non-profit can be compared to the unlikely scenario of a tiger raising a bunny."

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Chase talks to The Next Web about what it’s like to be YC’s first non-profit.

Offscreen Magazine raises $2000 to fund medical care for 4 Watsi patients!

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Last month, an awesome underground tech/design magazine called Offscreen Magazine pledged 50% of its profits to Watsi.

The results are in, and in less than a month, Offscreen and its customers raised $2000 to fully fund medical care for Abezash, Ngaikiinyi, Ruth, and Ponleu. Everyone will get post-treatment updates on the patients they supported via Offscreen.

It’s amazing to come across a company that’s not only creating an awesome product, but also interested in leverage its network to expand its impact on the world.

Demo Day

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More than 2 years since we first imagined a global crowdfunding platform for healthcare, we pitched Watsi to a room full of the biggest investors in the world at Y Combinator’s Demo Day.

Forbes, Inc, Mashable, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and CNET wrote about us as the first non-profit to ever pitch at Demo Day, and included us on their lists of the top startups to watch!

Now we’re off to raise the operational funding we need to make Watsi a massive force for change in the world. Wish us luck!

"When you deliver in the hospital…you feel safe."

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Join us in welcoming Lavender - whose safe delivery at Lwala Hospital was funded by Watsi donors - to the world!

Lavender’s mother, Alice, had the cost of her pre-natal care, hospital delivery, and post-natal checkup covered by 7 donors on Watsi.

Alice told a team member at Lwala, “When you deliver in the hospital, you feel free because you are in the hands of clinic staff. You feel safe.”

Access to maternal healthcare changes lives.

"I’m aware of the huge need for simple and cost-effective medical care in other parts of the world."

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Donor Spotlight: Riel
 
How did you first hear about Watsi?
 
I first heard about Watsi on Facebook through a great college friend of mine.
 
2. What made you donate on Watsi versus another donation platform/charity?
 
It’s always nice to put a face to global health disparities and need. The ability to make donations on a customizable basis is also convenient. I like to give twice a month, but I can always tailor my donation to my financial constraints at that particular time.
 
3. What was your favorite thing about donating to a patient on Watsi?
 
I know the money is going directly to a procedure/prescription/work-up that will positively impact these individual’s lives and hopefully their ability to act within their communities.
 
4. Do you have a reason to care especially about health issues?
 
Having just finished medical school (I’m a surgery intern at UVA) and after spending some time abroad in medical environments, I’m aware of the huge need for simple and cost-effective medical care in other parts of the world. Being a surgical resident leaves me with little time to act on a global stage at the moment, so this is the next best thing. 
 
5. Where do you live?
 
Charlottesville, Virginia
 
6. What do you do for work?
 
General surgery resident at the University of Virginia.
 
7. Hobbies?
 
Travel abroad, street food abroad, fly-fishing, skiing, being lazy (time permitting)
 
8. What inspires you?
 
I’m constantly inspired by others that somehow find a way to make enormous impacts on the lives of others. The charisma, planning, forethought, energy, etc are astounding. This is just a small way for me to make some positive contribution to global health, but on a much, much smaller scale.

They weren’t lying

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When they said it was boot camp for startups.

In January, Jesse
Grace
and I quit our jobs to bring Watsi to Y Combinator, a three-month startup accelerator program in Silicon Valley. 

We’ve been living, working, and stealing wifi from coffee shops together, all in preparation for “Demo Day” next week, when we’ll have 2.5 minutes to convince an audience of the world’s top investors that Watsi is the next big thing.

Because of your support, Watsi is one of the fastest growing non-profits in history. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to pitch our tiny startup to the titans of Silicon Valley.

All eyes are on us, and if there’s ever been a time to tell a friend about Watsi or donate a few dollars of your own, it’s right now.


I’m emptying my piggybank as I type ;)

- Chase