In a world transformed very quickly by the coronavirus, the priorities of many business ventures have had to shift, but this is far from the truth for the students who founded the social enterprise, Emre. In fact, says cofounder Jon Dhanapala, “We keep saying that there couldn’t be a better point in time for us to be doing what we are doing. It is so relevant and everyone can connect with it. What we’re developing is a topic that is coming up for people every day.”
Emre is developing an electronic medical record system to help support medical professionals in providing high quality healthcare to conflict stricken nations. The project began as a fourth-year design project for the team of management engineering students. Cofounder Danial Betres talked with a cousin who had started an NGO in Iraq for development and relief in such camps. His cousin explained that they had no form of record keeping other than pieces of paper, which was a problem both for the health of individuals as well as for tracking any outbreaks.
The students were connected by one of their professors to GreenHouse. They began participating in working sessions at GreenHouse.
Danial says, “Honestly, GreenHouse was a hidden gem for us. We’ve been incredibly appreciative of the support. The connection with Brendan and others has been really valuable. When the next year’s graduating classes come through, we would direct them toward GreenHouse if their ventures are in line with social purposes.”
The Emre team has competed for funds in a variety of competitions, including Green House’s Social Impact Fund through which they secured funding. They have developed their software and were planning to pilot it in Iraq in May, although this has been put on hold until travel safely opens up again.
“We thought this would just be a fourth year project,” says Jon, “but the idea is captivating, not only to us but others. As we’ve started talking with people. We’ve heard interest from others, including a doctor who told us there is a need for this all over the world. We’re realizing this is something we could work on after school and it’s actually something more that offers huge value to the health of people everywhere.”