Before Uncharted

MANA Nutrition co-founders Mark Moore and Troy Hickerson attended the Uncharted Global Institute in 2013. At that point, they were already changing lives by delivering nutrition-enriched peanut butter packets to over 300,000 kids around the world. A six-week treatment of their peanut butter cures 95% of kids under 12 suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Mark, Troy, and the MANA team had already locked up distributors like the UN and Save The Children, and earned more than $2 million in revenue the year before Uncharted.

But MANA was bottlenecked by aid budgets and needed to devise an independent business model that could reach millions more children. So they came to Uncharted with a new idea: The Calorie Cloud, a technology platform that would convert the calories burned by physical activity on one side of the world into life-saving food for undernourished kids on the other. Through the Calorie Cloud, people in the U.S. would be able to track the number of calories they burn; MANA‘s partners would then sponsor the equivalent number of calories to be distributed to malnourished kids via peanut butter packets. It was a bold idea. But could it work?

With a little help from Uncharted mentors, MANA has turned the Calorie Cloud vision into reality. Uncharted introduce MANA to Kevin Starr, Executive Director of Mulago Foundation. He provided MANA Nutrition with $50,000 of “figure it out money” to experiment with their new model. MANA also met Vamsi Sistla at the Global Institute. He connected MANA to JP Morgan Chase, who granted MANA $500,000. JP Morgan Chase has also helped MANA code the Calorie Cloud platform and develop their offering for additional corporate sponsors. Uncharted Mentor Rick Sterling, founder of the global branding consultancy Sterling Rice Group, joined MANA‘s board and enlisted his whole company in prototyping the Calorie Cloud. He also opened up Sterling Rice Group’s massive network of Fortune 100 corporations to MANA.

Uncharted Mentor Rajesh Anandan, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at UNICEF-USA, became a close advisor and facilitated a joint venture between MANA and UNICEF. As a result of the partnership, UNICEF provided MANA with nearly $300,000 in funding.

Today, MANA has cured over 1 million children of severe acute malnutrition and delivers 500,000 packets of their peanut butter to children in need every single day.  With the guidance and connections of Uncharted mentors, MANA secured $850,000 in funding, built the Calorie Cloud technology platform, prototyped a new partnership structure, and launched a joint venture with UNICEF with the goal of getting one million more malnourished children nutrient-enriched peanut butter. The Calorie Cloud quantifies and monetizes the physical activity of adults and kids all over the world. The platform logs calories burned by groups of sponsored people and converts them to Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food, the main line of defense against Severe Acute Malnutrition. For every 500 calories burned, a sponsor donates one packet of food. Calorie Cloud has built and supported programs inspiring 400k people to get physically active, unlocking life saving food for 80,000 malnourished kids. 3.5 billion calories have been logged enabling the delivery of 12 million packets of peanut butter.

MANA co-founder Troy Hickerson says of his Uncharted experience: “We got the best mentors we could ever ask for. They’ve become part of our extended team; we’re in touch with them monthly and often even weekly. We connected with lifelong friends, got doors opened for us we never could have opened ourselves, and turned from a factory into a company with the potential to save millions of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Uncharted has forever changed MANA.”