Our History

UpDIG’s ideas stretch back to 2007 when our founders were working on parallel tracks in global development and academic publishing at MIT. With roots in creative direction, interactive design, social documentary, strategic/marketing communications—and now deep experience in new business strategies and digital communities—we formalized as a B Corp social enterprise in 2016 to incubate new businesses and support sustainable business practices. Today, we help a range of organizations in need of creative solutions to improve our world.

Clients include American Repertory Theater, African Development Bank, Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), Black Fox Philanthropy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Ethereum Foundation, KUVO Jazz/THE DROP, Mile High United Way, PBS Kids, and The MIT Press.

We’ve supported major brands like American Express, AT&T, Discovery Networks, GM, Green Mountain Energy, as well as public entities like Bay Area Rapid Transit, Colorado Water Conservation Board, City of Denver, UK Aid, and USAID.

Andrew Vermouth

Managing Director

Andrew Vermouth has a 20-year background as a designer, creative director, and strategist for consumer brands and user experience in both private and nonprofit sectors. From 2007 to 2013, he led global brand and hybrid value chain marketing for international market-based development enterprise, iDE. Andrew has extensive knowledge of small-scale irrigation farming, local market creation, and green technologies, as well as expertise in media mobilization for food security and sustainable design/development issue areas. Previously, he spent 10 years in commercial architecture at firms in Boston, and as an art director for The MIT Press. Andrew is also an accomplished ethnographic filmmaker with broadcast credits, festivals screenings, and gallery installations at venues in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia.

Laura Esterly

Senior Consultant

With a background that includes nearly two decades of experience in communications and marketing roles for organizations including The MIT Press, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Cigna, and Mile High United Way, Laura specializes in using written communication to connect with audiences, spark inspiration and motivate action. Laura is an advisory council member with BookGive, a literacy and community-building nonprofit in Denver.

Pathe Diagne

Technical Lead, Senegal

Pathe is an accomplished electrical engineer and leader in Senegal’s telecommunications, energy, and water industries. He specializes in underground and surface solar water pumping provision for commercial, agricultural, and residential applications, and as West Africa distributor, installer, and warranty servicer for Grundfos, the world’s third largest pump manufacturer, Pathé’s company, FlexNRJ has installed systems for the US Millennium Challenge Account for Senegal, UNESCO, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Senegal Rural Electrification Agency, Orange Telecom, and Columbia University, among other NGOs and private sector customers.

Jon Rodrigues

Business Intelligence

Jon has worked with small businesses and nonprofit organizations for more than 10 years, and has extensive knowledge of early stage organizational development, agricultural value chains, decentralized energy systems, finance for social enterprises, and new market entry strategy. As a founding partner in XayanIT, he managed an information technology services company with customers in the Middle East, Australia, and the United States. From 2008 to 2010, he provided planning, analysis, and strategy to the leadership and participants in the Global Social Benefit Institute, a social enterprise incubator in California. And, with Nokero, a solar device manufacturer, he built a direct distribution channel to Kenya and managed relationships with distributors around the world. Jon has worked in Australia, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Senegal.

Rob Stupay

ICT/Web3 Consultant

Hailing from Cleveland and schooled at Brown and MIT, Rob brings 15 years of programming and design experience to UpDIG. During the dot.com boom, he worked at NBC in New York as a designer, programmer, and project manager. Since 2002 his experience has ranged from corporate identity to web development for both commercial and nonprofit enterprises. His clients have included The California Water District, NBC News, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, NYU Department of Biology, The Learning Games Network, Bourrelier Education, Astra Zeneca, Gilead Sciences, and Art After Auction.

Abdoul Aziz Gueye

AgTech Consultant

Under the aegis of his company, Sahel Agro Services in Senegal, Aziz served as technical advisor for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation and coordinated Dakar’s Urban Mobility Improvement Plan, which included supervision of road, bridge, and railway construction projects. he also brings institutional relationships from set-up of Senegal’s first local area network, and as the computerization lead for government, non-government, and private sector clients. Aziz has a civil engineering degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Thies, is a certified Oracle Developer and CAD Engineer, and a member of African Association of Urban Areas Management.