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WE@Yale Women Innovators Series: Shilpa Alva


The WE@Yale Women Innovators speaker series is designed to foster community discussion, idea sharing, and best practices in support of Yale women and non-binary femme entrepreneurs and innovators. Community members of all genders are welcome to attend these talks, which are free and open to the public.

Shilpa is the Founder and Executive Director of Surge for Water, a non-profit that invests in communities with safe water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to help end the cycle of poverty.

Surge was founded in 2008 in response to Shilpa’s lifelong calling and understanding of inequality. She ran the organization while working full-time for 6 years, eventually leaving her corporate career in 2014 to focus entirely on Surge’s growth.

To date, through her passion, leadership and drive, Surge has impacted over 1,000,000 people in 11 countries with sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to help address the cycle of poverty. Surge’s women-centered, community driven model that actively involves cross-sectional stakeholders has been key to its success. Shilpa continues to apply her extensive academic, corporate and international experience to all aspects of running Surge – while continuously learning from the people Surge serves and works with.

Prior to her venture into the non-profit world, Shilpa spent ~10 years in the corporate world, first as a Supply Chain professional with Ecolab and then as a Healthcare and Life Sciences Consultant with EY. She also received a MBA through University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business and served as Public Policy Fellow through the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs Policy. Through this experience she built the foundation to manage highly complex and dynamic international environments, that were often subject to political and environmental instabilities as well as gained a deeper understanding of health care systems and their implications on the most vulnerable.

Shilpa was awarded the 2010 “Woman to Watch” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and has shared her story and Surge’s vision via multiple global platforms including TEDx, Creative Mornings, Pecha Kucha, live television, podcasts, news sites, and more

This event will take place online; a Zoom link will be provided to registered attendees.

WE@Yale is a partnership between the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY) and the Yale SOM Program on Entrepreneurship.