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Members of of team Magic Bus, Iman Cooper ’15, Leslie Ossete ’16, Sonia Kabra ’16 and Wyclife Omondi ’17, are testing their business idea this summer in Kenya.

Earlham students win prize for their transportation solution for impoverished areas

August 17, 2016

A team of students from Earlham College was selected as one of the best three transportation start-ups in Kenya in the Transdev Transport Challenge held this summer. Team “Magic Bus” – Iman Cooper ’15,  Leslie Ossete ’16, Sonia Kabra ’16 and Wyclife Omondi ’17 – will be awarded $10,000 and receive mentorship from Transdev, a French transportation company, to help further the Magic Bus start-up.

The Magic Bus team is beta testing their tech platform in Kenya this summer as part of another competition for collegiate start-ups, the Hult Prize. The team has proposed an affordable transportation solution for crowded slums. They are one of only six remaining teams in the global competition, having won the Boston regional.

The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurs from campuses around the world. In September the Magic Bus team will head to New York City for the finals of the competition. The winning team and their new start-up will be awarded one million dollars in seed capital.

Social entrepreneurship is thriving at Earlham and further advances are anticipated with the debut this fall of Earlham’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The new center is designed, in part, to foster student projects like those of the Magic Bus team and to bridge the gap between academic learning and practical experience.

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.

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