On an otherwise reasonable evening in July, over 1000 people packed an auditorium in Boulder, Colorado for the culmination of the Unreasonable Institute. They came to watch 12 ventures, tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges, take the stage and share their plans to help define progress in our time. This is one of those talks.
The entrepreneur in this video, Mark Moore, is the founder and CEO of MANA Nutrition, which has attracted $12 million in investment and has fed nearly 300,000 malnourished kids in the last few years. Mark is obsessed with Peanut Butter. And with a bold, new idea called the Calorie Cloud.
Mark, What is the urgent social or environmental need you’re addressing?
Malnutrition. A child dies every six seconds from issues arising from malnutrition. That’s more than malaria, more than TB, more than AIDS! That’s more than all three of those killers combined. Our product is exactly what severely malnourished children need…and that’s not according to us, but rather to a joint statement by WFP, UNICEF, USIAD and the UN standing committee on Nutrition. IN short, those groups who rarely agree on anything all agree that RUTF is the way to stop SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition) in its tracks. We are out to get as much of our product to kids as we can. We are out to end malnutrition.
What is your solution to this need? Describe your business strategy.
The solution is our production of RUTF. But simply making the product is not enough. Malnutrition is complex and the challenge of treating it is complex as well. RUTF is one important piece of the puzzle, but its not the only piece. The holistic approach to treating malnourished children is called CMAM…Community Management of Acute Malnutrition. That’s where our new idea — the Calorie Cloud — comes in. The real challenge is the funding to get the medical professionals and educators and their programs funded so that they can get to kids and families who need our RUTF. Present funding for these programs is such that only about $150 million in RUTF is purchased to supply them. MANA needs to grow this market and go beyond UN budgets to insure that RUTF (like AIDS drugs in previous years) is never lacking. We think this will come by engaging consumers and donors in new creative ways.
We are convinced that our calorie offset program called the Calorie Cloud is the way to triple or quadruple existing RUTF budgets. Through the Calorie Cloud, consumers in the U.S. or other developed countries can exercise or diet, and then “contribute” their calories to severely malnourished children around the world. There will be many ways that calories can be monetized. Perhaps the money will come from individual users at .30 cents per 500 calories and paid to the cloud via PayPal or other electronic transfer. As the cloud grows we plan to have donor companies who will pay for calories both because it makes sense for them as a business case (i.e. corporate wellness or insurance companies or food companies) or because they believe in the mission.