Story of Impact:
Mana Nutrition

MANA Before Unreasonable

Mark Moore

Mark Moore

MANA Nutrition co-founders Mark Moore and Troy Hickerson attended the Unreasonable 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 6-week treatment of their peanut butter cures forever 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 Unreasonable.

Troy  Hickerson

Troy Hickerson

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 Unreasonable Institute 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 US 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?

Unreasonable Difference

  • Unreasonable Mentor Kevin Starr, Executive Director of Mulago Foundation, provided MANA Nutrition with $50,000 of “figure it out money” to experiment with their new model.
  • Unreasonable Mentor Vamsi Sistla 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.
  • Unreasonable 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.
  • Unreasonable 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.

MANA Today

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 Unreasonable mentors, MANA secured $850,000 in funding, built the Calorie Cloud technology platform built, 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.

Why Unreasonable?

MANA co-founder Troy Hickerson says of his Unreasonable 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. Unreasonable has forever changed MANA.”