Innovation for ImpactWe are inventing personal energy security solutions for anyone working or playing outdoors, and for the 2 billion+ people who live away from the electric grid.
Our goal is to have a positive impact on one hundred million people in ten years.
We are launching our products in the USA so we can make them better and build a core business. Then we can start serving the incredible new market for off-grid power to reduce poverty in developing countries. With our innovations it is possible to build a big for-profit global company serving a billion new customers.
Over 1.5 billion people in developing countries have no “grid” electricity and live in poverty. But many of them have cell phones! Cell phone networks have spread far into remote regions, powered by solar panels and gas generators. Poor people off grid now spend over $20B a year to buy charges for their phones from any vendor with a battery, paying 10 cents or similar amount each time for a few minutes charging. Also, they may have to walk miles to the charging site. Hydrobee chargers will save them time and money.
Over 500 million homes with no electricity use candles or kerosene to create light at night. They spend over $30B a year to buy kerosene for dirty dangerous open lamps that can be replaced by clean LED lamps using USB power. Hydrobee products power light that saves lives and money.
About a billion people cook every day with wood or charcoal fires right on the ground. Smoke from cooking kills and hurts millions of people a year, mostly women and children. Inefficient burning uses excess wood and increases deforestation. The Firebee Stovetop Charger removes smoke, makes power, and can run fans that ventilate and improve stove combustion.
Each year Americans throw away more than three billion batteries. That’s about 180,000 tons of batteries. The environmental impacts and the disposal costs are high. Globally the total could be ten times higher. The BatterBee AA battery can be recharged over 500 times from any USB port. Four BatterBees will replace 2000 disposable batteries, and anyone with a phone charger can recharge them. BatterBees also make small electronic products available for the first time to a billion people living off grid. Previously they could not buy products powered by AA batteries because of the replacement cost, and because rechargable batteries use chargers that plug into the wall and use grid power, which they don’t have. Now they have cell phones and access to USB chargers, they can use BatterBees and recharge them with their phone chargers. Now they can buy and use any AA-powered device, such as flashlights, radios, tools, instruments, toys etc.
Time wasted by slow charging impacts any phone user. Now that can be prevented. All USB charging ports are not the same! The power output can range from 0.5A to 2.1A – a difference of 400%. So one USB port can charge 4x faster than another! The MeterBee measures the power from a USB port so you can tell if it has a good charging rate. Time is money! Slow charging costs poor people time that they could be working and earning.
Solar power does not work without enough sun. Many parts of the world don’t have much sun for days at a time. The SkyBee charges its big Lithium-Ion battery “power bank” in only 45 minutes compared to 4-6 hours for regular batteries. This means solar is feasible for a much larger area of the world! Less than an hour of sun provides LED light for a week with the SkyBee portable solar panel and battery.
We develop and/or market renewable energy products that have potential for huge impact far beyond our own borders. Informed by 25+ years of direct experience with clean technology promotion in developing countries, we will “move the needle” on poverty. For inspiration and product design, we look to the great book, “The Business Solution to Poverty” by Polak and Warwick. For implementation in developing countries, we look to the Market Development Toolkit from PATH in Seattle. Contact us if you are excited about new energy technologies for poverty reduction!