Abdrahamane Traoré and Md. Shanhoor Amin are a couple of students at The University of Michigan that are working on a personal solar panel product out of inspiration from the lack of resources that their villages back at home were dealing with. Traoré had a hard time reaching his family at home and his mother had to walk to a neighboring village to keep her cell phone charged. Traoré had to study with a dim kerosene lamp when he was a child. So the two decided to start a company called June Energy and designed the personal solar panel light product called the Emerald.
June Energy received $500,000 in venture capital and they are about to ship 40 domestic orders. Amin, Traoré, and June Energy CTO Allan Taylor are planning on making a trip to Kenya and Mali later this semester to test out their prototype in the village. June Energy is attempting to get their product to cost less than $20. The Emerald would provide reading light for at least 8 hours and can recharge in full sunlight in three hours.
[U of M News Service]