November 2017 Impact App Incubator

Design, Develop and Distribute your own Impact App
November 6th - December 15th
Shanghai & rural China

What is an Impact App?

Mandala Group is attempting to change the world. With radical ideas driven by impact, we are set to launch a new industry; An industry that will not stop until all citizens of our common home are connected to basic human needs.

With more than 50% of people offline and billions of people disconnected from basic education, healthcare and financial services, we’re leveraging the power of a device found in the pocket of over 80% of the world's population, the mobile phone.

The mobile phone has helped the unbanked to save, the illiterate to read to their children, and the vulnerable to gain access to powerful healthcare information. Farmers in China, migrants in India and entrepreneurs in Kenya are all starting to leverage the power of mobiles phones to change their lives for the better.

"Our goal is to launch the Impact App industry."

James Da Costa, Mandala Group co-founder explaining exactly what an Impact App is!

Our ongoing Impact Apps

Today, we’ve launched a handful of Impact App Incubators, intensive programs that design, develop and distribute Impact Apps by recognising social problems and utilising teamwork and greater networks to find a solution. We’ve run programs in India, Kenya and China and presented them to social enterprises, NGOs and corporates all over the world.


Our ongoing Impact App projects include:

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We use intensive style ‘incubators’ to pull the best ideas out of participants. Below is an explanation of how an incubator works, and a call to action for you!

Our next Impact App Incubator

Over 86% of farmers in China are small plot farmers. Many of them self sustain, or rely on farming cooperatives to help them connect with a market.

In August we ran our first China Impact App Incubator. It included a lot of research, team building, design, development and rural China travel. On the whole it was successful.

We’re now turning our attention to the next phase of the cycle.

We’ve identified an issue, developed a prototype and are currently testing it on the ground. The next steps are to interpret the feedback we’ve received, tune the engine and re-pilot.

" Build, measure, learn—repeat! "

The Impact App we are building is called moFarm—An organisational tool for farming cooperatives to help small plot farmers isolate pain points, remind them when to plant, harvest and distribute products.

We consider moFarm to be  the cornerstone Impact App in building trust internally between farming cooperatives and externally between rural & urban marketplaces.

It is this idea that the upcoming Incubator is focused on.

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What you’ll give

Over the course of 6 weeks, you’ll share with Mandala:


  • Your time, piloting and researching our project in rural China. To apply, you’ll need to be available to the entirety of the program, November 6th to December 15th.

  • Your skills and talent to design, critically evaluate and develop a socially impactful app solution.

  • Your effort during the 6 weeks of intensive developing, testing, gathering of feedback and creating.

  • Your sense of adventure as we travel into rural China to research and pilot test our solution.

  • Your initiative. Be able to push outside your comfort zone, ask the difficult questions, contact people to help you create the best product possible and push yourself to the limits.

What you’ll get

Working on moFarm is a fantastic opportunity for you to gain transferable skills that will be valuable throughout your life. Here’s what you’ll get by dedicating 6 weeks of your time:


  • The chance to travel to and throughout China with a powerful purpose.

  • The development of cultural awareness as you learn about China.

  • Countless opportunities to grow your network and meet mentors that will expand your knowledge and skills.

  • An opportunity to gain valuable hands on experience developing a real life impact business.

  • Learn the processes of a project-based idea development framework that you’ll use throughout your future endeavours.

  • Co-live & co-work with Mandala fellows and build lifelong friendships with your teammates.

  • Learn how to become a ‘scientist’ of impact business building.


Remember: Impact Apps are a business. Over this 6 week period we will teach you this methodology, and work together in implementing it on the ground.

What does the program cost?

There are some overheads that are involved in running a program like ours.
The cost of the program is derived as the sum of all the features listed below, plus a 15% mark up for us to be able to focus on growing the experience into the best it can be.

We’ve found previously that a pay-as-you-go scheme has created more financial stress for our program participants and distracts from the overall experience. As Such, we’ve built a couple of different payment packages so you’re fully prepared for the costs involves in living and working in China for 6 weeks.

The value for us is not in the cost of the program, it’s in the execution and success of the Impact Apps! We want the value for you to come from the skills you learn, the experiences you have and the resources you’re given.

The value for us is not in the cost of the program,
it’s in the execution and success of the Impact Apps!

We want the value for you to come from the skills you learn,
he experiences you have and the resources you’re given.

How to apply

Send us an application! This incubator is limited to 6 people, with spots being allocated to those who we think fit well within the Mandala Community.

In your application, focus on the things you’ve done that show initiative, times you’ve failed and occasions when you have triumphed.