Paul Maritz

Mifos Initiative Launches Mifos X Platform

June 11, 2014 – San Francisco, CA

Mifos Initiative Launches Mifos X Platform for Financial Inclusion Free and Open Source Software for Financial Institutions Bringing Financial Services to the Poor in Developing Countries.

Mifos X was officially launched at a hugely successful event in San Francisco. Over 100 people from the tech industry  and non-profits attended the launch event. The event was graciously hosted by Paul Maritz, our chairman, at the Pivotal Labs in downtown San Francisco (Paul is CEO of Pivotal).

Paul opened the event with exciting remarks about the power of platforms and how Mifos X has been completely rebuilt as a open platform that brings together providers of capital with the poor that can use that capital to lift themselves out of poverty. Paul forecast that as an open platform that encourages innovation in financial services for the poor, Mifos X will be a global force in financial inclusion. Paul sees the next five years as being instrumental for Mifos. Read more

Global Launch of the Mifos Initiative – Pivotal Labs in SF June 11 at 630pm

We’re less than one week away from our Mifos Initiative Launch Event in downtown San Francisco at Pivotal Labs on June 11 at 630pm. Paul Maritz has been eager to host an event to build consciousness of our initiative in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley so we’re excited to finally make it a reality!

Since we are bringing so many people together for this special event, we’re going to formally launch the Mifos Initiative and the latest release of the Mifos X platform. At the event we’ll be telling some of the amazing stories about the many individuals in our community who are the heart, soul, and brilliance that powers our initiative. Reuniting past supporters and invigorating a new set of contributors, we’ll kick off our Silicon Valley/Bay Area Mifos chapter. This group will be an active body of committed volunteers that is evangelizing our project to recruit new volunteers, bring on new financial supporters and form new partnerships to extend our platform and market reach.

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Mifos at LinuxFest Northwest

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This past month we had the chance to experience LinuxFest Northwest for the first time. Over the years, we’d heard many good things from Adam Monsen and Bill Wright had always stopped by our booth to invite us to come. Their unique northwest logo always captivated us and given it was directly in our backyard, we had no excuses not to intend when we were offered a free booth as a Community Supporter.

This year, Ollie and I hosted a booth in the Exhibitor Hall for two days and got to meet hundreds of potential new supporters and contributors. It turned out to be one of the most well-run conferences we’ve attended and we look forward to returning for many years to come – hopefully we’ll get Vishwas to speak next year!  It’s a shame it took us to the 15th year of LinuxFest Northwest to finally come but LinuxFest Northwest has clearly perfected their conference over all those years and should be proud of their efforts.

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Mifos X on FLOSS Weekly

Vishwas Babu and Ed Cable had the pleasure of being guests on FLOSS Weekly on April 9, 2014. FLOSS Weekly is a live talk show hosted by Randal Schwartz that features the most interesting and important people in the Open Source and Free Software community. This week Randal was out so we had a blast chatting with Aaron Newcomb and Dan Lynch about all the great opportunities the Mifos X platform presents for financial inclusion. Check out the video below or download the audio or video for FLOSS Weekly 289 to watch later on.

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2013 Mifos Community Choice Awards – Honoring our Finest

Throughout the year, so many acts of kindness, ingenuity, and dedication go unheralded. In what will now be an annual tradition, we want to recognize those members of the community who’ve gone above and beyond in their service to their fellow community members and their clients. Below is a post to recap our first annual Community Choice Awards which were given our during a rooftop ceremony and dinner on October 24, 2013 during our Mifos Summit in Jaipur. This year we had four planned awards and one surprise one that was bestowed upon me:

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Ready for New Heights at the FI2020 Global Forum

Fresh off an invigorating and breathtaking summit that united our community from around the world, Craig Chelius is off to represent the Mifos Initiative at the Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum in London. We are gracious and honored to be one of a select group of Innovators who have been invited to attend the summit, which kicked off today. As we launch the first true open platform for financial inclusion, we’re eager and ready to partner with hundreds of delegates who will be at the summit.  Mifos is a game-changing catalyst for technology-enabled business models and we’re delighted for the chance to help the industry as a whole, re-discover the new Mifos Initiative.

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Conservancy and COSM announce the Mifos Initiative

The Community for Open Source Microfinance (“COSM”), in conjunction with Software Freedom Conservancy, is proud to announce that COSM will assume full stewardship of Mifos®, an award-winning free and open source software platform for microfinance, effective immediately. Conservancy, a non-profit fiscal sponsor for Free Software projects and the previous non-profit home of the Mifos project, will assist in COSM in the transition and will donate all the Mifos copyrights, trademarks, and domain names to COSM.

In turn, COSM plans to reunite the project and brand under the name, Mifos Initiative, and will serve as both the new non-profit home for the Mifos project and as the community hub for developers, microfinance institutions, vendors, development consultants, and users that together comprise the Mifos community.

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OSCON’s about to Kick Off!

I’m eager to get to Portland to kick off an exhilarating week at OSCON with the Community Leadership Summit but am stuck at the airport with a delay. CLS is always a blast and this year our Executive Director, Craig Chelius, will be joining me. Looking forward to discussing fundraising, launching local chapters, engaging non-technical users, and stimulating application development in our ecosystem among the many topics in community development.

Continuing into the week, OSCON will be a reunion of sorts and a chance to harness the power of our collective minds. Two of our board members, Zaheda Bhorat and Dave Neary will be in town along with advisor, Steve Thomson. I’m eager to make strong headway in charting our community forward heading towards our 2013 summit in Jaipur.

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Take 3 also means Triple the Impact!

I wanted to give a big thank you to Deanna McCusker and the VMware Foundation for an incredible gift they made this past week. As you know, Deanna, as part of her Take 3 Sabbatical from VMware, has been designing the user experience for our Mifos X platform the past several months. She wrote about her experiences with her community for VMware Foundation’s recent #iServe challenge.  She was selected the winner of a $1000 grant for our project for her exemplary community service. Out of the kindness of her own heart, Deanna also chose to personally donate a $1000 which was also matched by VMware Foundation which means a total of $3000 has been raised for Mifos and The Community for Open Source Microfinance.

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Recapping Random Hacks of Kindness

Two days. Three continents. Twenty volunteers. One mission – 3 Billion Maries.

rhok_logo_CS4-300x95Earlier this month, volunteers from HP and the broader geekspace  came together to “hack for humanity” as part of the global Random Hacks of Kindness. With support from Social Coding 4 Good we united in various worldwide locations to take on three different challenges we had presented to strengthen the Mifos X platform.  In Bangalore, Dublin, San Francisco, and via a remote bonus team in Chennai, we set out  to build solutions to our three problem definitions along with volunteers from  HP Social Innovation – 1) Mobile App for Mifos X, 2) Integration of SMS communications, and 3) Creation of a WYSIWYG document generator. Across all three sites our volunteers gravitated towards working on the mobile app for Mifos X, tackling it from all different angles of smartphone solutions including native apps for Android and iOS as well as cross-platform apps via Titanium and PhoneGap. We made some solid progress on the actual apps that is nicely summarized on our HackPad which tracked the weekend’s activity. We now have a working iPhone app that supports logging in, retrieving a list of clients and displaying a summary of their loan accounts (watch the demo!). On top of that we have a native Android app that supports on and offline authentication and syncing down office data.  All these apps serve as great starting points as full-fledged mobile applications on top of Mifos X.

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