By: Kaliena Joy Bowen
For the third consecutive year, a Georgia State University team has placed within the top 25 undergraduate teams at e-Fest and the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge. The team representing Georgia State University for the 2020 e-Fest is Ethiopay. They are a centralized global payment platform that currently enables users a simple and convenient way to transfer and/or purchase cross border bill pay, money transfer, mobile data, and mobile minutes between the United States and Ethiopia. Ethiopay co-founders Daniel Hadgu (B.B.A. ‘20) and Minas Yohannes (B.B.A. ‘20) are Eritrean descent while Michael Gizachew is of Ethiopian descent and they all struggled to send funds between the U.S. and their family abroad. Together they created a way to affordably and efficiently transfer money overseas.
Co-founder Daniel Hadgu states, “In my journey of understanding what it truly means to help others and become an effective leader, I have uncovered the power of innovation.” For two years now, Ethiopay has been in development. Their website allows individuals from North America and Europe to send payments for electricity bills, health insurance, school fees, and more to individuals in Ethiopia. Ethiopay fits the unique financial technology needs of Ethiopians. They hope to help Ethiopians in the diaspora reach individuals at home by providing seamless payments. Hadgu and Yohannes entered this year’s competition to share their innovative venture and gain exposure.
To compete, the Ethiopay team had to submit a short video detailing their venture and create a slide deck composed of a detailed description and analysis of Ethiopay. After submitting their entry, they were notified that Ethiopay had made the top 25 undergraduate teams. While preparing for the second part of the competition where teams had to present their businesses, this year’s e-Fest competition was canceled due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. However, the Eix and Shultze family foundation are still awarding deserving entrepreneurs and universities they represent.
Ethiopay is striving to address the increasing global challenges faced by those in Ethiopia. Hadgu and Yohannes are eager to enter the competition next year to finish with hopes of taking home the prize for Georgia State University and Ethiopay.