Lighting up rural Rwanda with 3D printed solar products
Eliminating electric shocks and short circuiting
How Israel is creating a safe, efficient solution for electronic charging
After conducting research on using electricity in Rwanda, Israel Nishimwe found out that most community members face issues of short circuits and electric shocks. This inspired him to start a tech-digital innovation dubbed Wireless Power Transfer (WPT).
Israel Nishimwe is a young Rwandan man who holds a diploma in electronics and telecommunications. He is the cofounder of Kwaanda Lab. The project specializes in wireless power transfer and aims at supplying electricity in an easier, faster, and affordable manner.
He learned about DOT Rwanda programs through the support of a DOT Rwanda team member who was leading entrepreneurship training in his area. When the trainer was explaining how DOT’s social innovation training supports young innovators to create, prototype and launch their social innovations, Israel started thinking how he could connect the research he conducted, his skills in Electronics and Telecommunications with DOT programs to improve his project prototype.
Israel developed an electrical device that can use the energy to charge batteries or run the device without connecting cables (this is usually done with a charging station). This was a straightforward and affordable solution to his community members and a way of easily accessing the electricity with the help of a smart table.
The smart table is designed so that once you place an electronic device on top of it, it automatically begins to charge. The table sends the data to the cloud and back to the gadget, and the owner receives notification that the device is charging.
“By using the smart table, the use of the separate chargers and cables of electronic devices used in homes is eliminated and electricity is saved because there are no losses during the charging time”, says Israel.
By the time Israel and his colleague James joined DOT Rwanda, they were working on the prototype of WPT. With DOT Rwanda’s business coaching and feedback, they managed to increase their project efficiency and helped them to attract potential partners and customers.
““Prior to enrolling in DOT programs, I thought that only technology aspect matters in my project. DOT’s training helped me to learn more about my business model using the Business Model Canvas”, said Israel. “From that time on, I started considering other elements of my business such as value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, cost structure, and revenue streams among others”.”
While participating in DOT’s Youth Leadership Program, Israel enjoyed the course “Reach your audience”. The course aims to guide young innovators through pitching their ideas to the audiences, customers and investors. Through the course, he learned to practice his communication skills and get feedback from peers. Targeting the real market was also another important course that shaped his business experience.
At the completion of his learning journey, Israel applied to participate in DOT Rwanda’s Gera Ku Ntego competition, where WPT won second prize.
In addition to the skills and funding Israel got from DOT, he is also excited about participating in DOT Launch Lab Program. The program equips young innovators with ongoing mentorship, coaching and startup funds to launch their businesses.
WPT has already three open branches in Kigali and Israel is planning to expand in the other areas.
“I can get around 50-60 clients per month,” says Israel. “My product is desirable to the markets and clients because it is environmentally friendly, my system is effective, and there is no risk of electric shock.”
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