By Earnest Makaika, BSc- Management Information Systems, Asheshi University, Accra, Ghana
I’ve always been fascinated by the transformative power of technology and human-centered design; when used together, these two tools can create a lasting and meaningful impact. As a tech and a design enthusiast, I found CARBON’s mission and unique business model interesting when I learned about it through the Africa Careers Network (ACN). That’s why I decided to spend my summer pursuing an internship with CARBON three months ago, just before graduating from Ashesi University at the end of the Spring ‘22 Semester.
At CARBON, my project focused on one of its portfolio companies, Insight Optics. Insight Optics has built OptoView, a simple, scalable, and affordable product that connects primary care providers with eye care specialists to provide easier diagnostic and monitoring for eye diseases such as glaucoma and retinopathy. The product uses computer vision technology to provide remote screening to detect early signs of eye diseases.
During my internship, I analyzed the viability of launching Insight Optics in Malawi, developed a go-to-market strategy, and developed pricing models. While working closely with Ratan (CARBON’s Managing Partner) and Aaron (CEO, Insight Optics), I also did some product marketing, interfacing directly with clients and potential partners by pitching the value of OptoView to them while identifying various pathways that could enable a smooth launch for the impactful solution.
The past three months have been exciting. Going into the internship, I didn’t know so much about the gap that exists in the Malawian optical industry and the magnitude of the impact that both CARBON and Insight Optics can have in the country; the internship was an enlightening and fulfilling experience for me. Malawi, a country with only 19 ophthalmologists and a few other eye specialists, can benefit a lot from Insight Optics, which has deskilled the eye screening process, ensuring unspecialized individuals record correct and good quality diagnostic content before transmission for specialist review.