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AIDG News Winter 2009 [12/22/2009]

Much to our chagrin, we haven't been able to get a newsletter out since spring but in this case no news has been very good news. In 2009, we ran 2 business plan competitions, started THREE new businesses in Haiti and Guatemala, closed out several research projects and won recognition from the Clinton Global Initiative, TED and the Aspen Insitute. What we didn't do well this year is keep you all in the loop. We'll do better in 2010.

Former President Bill Clinton and AIDG Executive Director Peter Haas


AIDG honored at Clinton Global Initiative

This year, AIDG became a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Our commitment was selected from a large pool of member commitments as an exemplary approach to development and was featured on the main stage at CGI’s Fifth Annual Meeting.

"Over the next 5 years AIDG will scale its business incubation services to create 25 new infrastructure development enterprises for underserved communities. These enterprises will aid a combined population of over 200,000 people, bringing water, sanitation, renewable energy and other desperately needed services. From $1.25 million in initial investment, these entrepreneurs will generate $5 million per year in economic activity and will help bring basic services to struggling communities."


Arti Biodigester at the Domus Mariae
Biodigester designed by AIDG and built for the Domus Mariae, a local convent.


Meet COOPEN: Our 1st Incubated Business in Haiti

AIDG's first incubated business in Haiti, COOPEN is a business cooperative dedicated to helping its members and customers convert organic waste into energy and agricultural fertilizer.

In addition to producing and installing biodigesters, COOPEN also offers comprehensive training programs to ensure that end-users can get the most out of these systems.


Meet Quetsol


GuateVerde: And the Winner is... Quetsol

It is with great pleasure that AIDG announces the winner of GuateVerde 2009, our 1st business plan competition in Guatemala. Quetsol aims to provide high efficiency, low cost solar technologies that will increase access to basic lighting and electricity in Guatemala.



Helping Lago Atitlan: Flowercin/Quetsol

In response to the environmental crisis at Lago Atitlan, one of Guatemala's key tourist attractions, AIDG is making a special investment in a 2nd GuateVerde team. Since September, Lago Atitlan has suffered from a harmful cyanobacterial bloom related to sewage, agricultural runoff, and erosion around the lake. Flowercin/Altec is working with a local municipalityto collect organic waste and convert it into compost and organic fertilizer.

Micro-hydro at Corazon del Bosque

Featured XelaTeco Project: Corazon Del Bosque

Xelateco recently began work on a micro-hydroelectric system for the Corazon del Bosque ecopark and nature preserve. The system will be the first XT system that uses a Mitchell-Banki turbine designed by AIDG. These types of turbines are lower cost, easier to construct and can work in medium to low head systems. The addition of this technology to XelaTeco's portfolio will greatly increase the variety of communities they can serve with hydroelectric systems.

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs


AIDG wins support from the Aspen Institute to create "Business Plan Competition" toolkit

This year AIDG began conducting business plan competitions as a way to identify promising entrepreneurs in Haiti and Guatemala. Through this new process, we found 3 excellent teams, Quetsol, Flowercin, and COOPEN. We're thinking that the methodology is an idea worth standardizing and sharing with other non-profits in our sector whose mission depends on locating talented entrepreneurs. Luckily the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, of which we're a founding member, thinks so too. They recently awarded AIDG a $72,800 grant to create a business plan competition toolkit that can be used to easily and quickly run a business plan competition. Knowledge sharing is a big part of how we operate. We're happy that the work that we're doing now to find new and exciting businesses can benefit the other NGOs in our sector.

Funding for the grants was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Lemelson Foundation and Shell Foundation.

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

 AIDG's Peter Haas selected as a TED Senior Fellow 2010

The non-profit TED has selected AIDG's Executive Director Peter Haas as one of 20 inaugural Senior Fellows. The TED Fellows program is designed to bring together young world-changers and trailblazers from the arts, science, entrepreneurship, the NGO sector and education. As part of its commitment to TED, AIDG will be launching an exciting new initiative in our technology research and development program in 2010 that will transform our ability to do research with local and university partners.





  • Come celebrate the 5 years of AIDG
    Tuesday Dec 29
    600pm - 930pm
    33 Harrison Ave, 5th Fl,
    Boston, MA 02111
  • A special thanks to the volunteer translators in Haiti and Guatemala who've generously given their time and skills: Emmanuel Gay, Nadine Defranoux and Lorba Drewry in French and Waleska Aguilar, Mateo Reyes, and Jennifer Kemp in Spanish.
  • AIDG is starting a stove research project for Haiti with CGI Member, Prakti Design of India.
  • This past August, AIDG staff conducted a biogas training session with Partner's in Health engineers in St Marc, Haiti.


AIDG helps individuals and communities get affordable and environmentally sound access to energy, sanitation and clean water. hrough a combination of business incubation and green technology R&D, we help people get solutions that will better their health and improve their lives.


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AIDG in the Media
A winner in Haiti

Make a Difference Today: Donate to the AIDG

To be able to deliver on our CGI commitment, we are running a $500,000 fundraising drive between now and the end of March 2010. If you wish to donate stock, contact Peter at 800-401-3860 ext 701 for details. We also have $6500 left from a $25,000 match from Echoing Green. For your gift to qualify, please put "Accelerator Fund Match" on your check or drop us an email if donating online.


This is a big goal for us and we need all the support we can get. Help us get these 25 new green companies off the ground!

Give Today.

Future “green” ambassadors of Guatemala!

Ew worms! Learning about composting
AIDG-Guatemala hosted a fun compost workshop for kids in the Beehive School's new environmental club.

From the Blog
AIDG Biodigester Intern: Christopher Salam [Video]

AIDG Micro-Hydroelectric Intern: Will Stone [Video]

In Social Enterprise force yourself to be an entrepreneur first

AIDG on the Web
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AIDG, Inc. is a 501c (3) non-profit organization.
AIDG, P.O. Box 104, Weston, MA 02493. Phone: 800-401-3860 Fax: 866-450-8016