October 8, 2014
Charge your mobile phone (or any USB-powered device) with a solar panel – it’s an interesting and innovative concept that’s been turned into a device called Spor.
Spor is a self-regenerating battery charger for USB devices, according to their site. The device is easy to use and offers access to a power source that fits in the palm of your hand.
“We try to make it easily available to people in any situation, that’s really how the idea launched,” says Jason Browne, CEO and cofounder. “It’s a scalable power solution for people across the world and something that you can fit into your pockets.”
Here are some of the features you should know:
- Can charge multiple devices: Spor Chargers “can charge your phone practically as fast as a wall outlet,” reads an excerpt on their site. They can also charge an iPhone in 1.5 hours.
- Charge time: The Spor can be charged by an outlet or the sun. It takes 2-3 hours to charge from an outlet.
- It’s easy to use: A light near the input turns blue when it’s collecting solar energy and a light near the output turns green, amber, or red to indicate charge status, according to their site.
- Has a number of uses: Spor can charge mobile devices or power USB gadgets. The cases are customized with 3D printing.
Spor Chargers also have a unique target market. They are targeting people in both developed and developing countries. According to their website, developed countries rely on their cell phones for almost everything, but battery technology isn’t keeping up. In developing countries, there is also room for improved technology.
“There isn’t enough infrastructure to support all of the phones used. As a result, social connection dwindles and economies stagnate,” reads an excerpt on their site.
Marketing and spreading a message
The Spor Chargers team raised $112,408 on Kickstarter, passing their goal of $100,000. While they have made a number of successful marketing efforts, they want people to understand their mission to make energy more accessible.
“The message is really around power and electricity and making sure that people know there is a very similar problem in a lot of different areas,” says cofounder David Hunt. “It’s just about energy and promoting that to people. It’s also around empowerment – not just of your device, but of your life.”
While there are other industries introducing emerging technology, the team feels the power industry has extensive room for new innovations.
“From our perspective there is not a better industry to be other than power,” says Browne. “It’s something that we all need and it’s something that’s universal, and as technology improves there are more ways to exploit it and capture value.”
More about the Spor Chargers team
Both Hunt and Browne graduated from Drexel University a few months ago. While at Drexel, they pitched at RECESS (a one-day college music and idea festival) and had the opportunity to pitch in the final competition in Las Vegas.
Hunt, whose role with Spor Chargers mostly revolves around branding, is from Charlotte, NC, and studied finance, entrepreneurship, and marketing. He also interned at Johnson & Johnson and Haverford Trust Company.
Browne is from Atlantic City and also studied finance and entrepreneurship. His experience includes a co-op at Blackrock and work at a local maker space in Philadelphia. From their past experiences, both can offer advice to students who are just getting their companies off the ground.
“I don’t think you can get through an idea or business, and know it all,” says Browne. “You just don’t have enough time on earth, but you can give yourself time to really become some sort of expert in whatever you are trying to get into.”
Hunt agrees with Browne, and feels the best way for young entrepreneurs to grow their companies is through learning.
“I would recommend for people to shut up and read. I think this is something that I have learned through him is he absorbs and reads an exuberant amount of information about trends and he’s gone out there and immersed himself into everything,” says Hunt of his cofounder. “Just having that knowledge really helps.”
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