About this project
Hey there KICKSTARTER!!
WAKAWAKA is a solar LED lighting concept with state-of-the-art solar technology . So no, not just a solar lamp, there’s lot’s more to this than meets the eye: patented chip technology, accessories, social aspects, but you need to know a little bit of background first.
If you didn´t check out the INTROMOVIE pls check out this 2 minute info and you know what you need to know.
We want to change the lives of 1.5 billion people! Ambitious? yes! Neccessary? yes! If you don't reach for the stars, you'll never reach the sky.
So what did we do? We designed the coolest looking solar LED lamp and we called it ‘WAKAWAKA’ which means ‘Shine Bright’ in Swahili. We were inspired by Shakira’s song and we’re grateful that she’s not objecting to use this world famous phrase from her World Cup song ´This Time for Africa´.
Why is it cool looking? Because we want WAKAWAKA to become a success in the US and Europe as well. We hope YOU like it for example. And if YOU like WAKAWAKA, than so will someone in Kenya, Tanzania, India or Haiti. (we know)
People who live at the ´Bottom of the Pyramid´ cannot afford anything, right? WRONG… Moreover, since they live off less than $ 2.00 a day, they are the most critical consumers you can imagine. They would like to have what we have, but for a rock-bottom price because they cannot afford more. The market for solar lamps in Africa is growing at a staggering rate of 450% per year currently, proving there is acceptance and willingness, but there is a lot of junk on the market which doesn't work properly. We want to take a 'solar lamp' to the next level. So, that´s why we developed this cool looking, top quality and super efficient solar LED light!
It was designed by Studio Kalkwijk in such a way that it can fit on a bottle. Not only allows this for a more compact and mobile design, but it also helps to recycle bottles and ... it opens up opportunities for new distribution channels as a promotional tool.
Eventually we will be able to manufacture WAKAWAKA at such a low price (in some countries assembled locally), that we can actually offer it to people in rural areas for less than $ 10.00 which is the equivalent of 2-3 months worth of toxic, dangerous lighting fuels.
So… is WAKAWAKA also for you???
YES! It's designed for rather severe working conditions. You can image rural Africa can be rather extreme. WAKAWAKA makes for a convenient camping torch, outdoor must-have, or bedside reading light. It’s equipped with a high performance replaceable battery which will last for several years if used on a daily basis. Should it run on empty when you don´t use it for a couple of months, all you need to do is charge it in the sun for a couple of hours and you´re good to go.
MOBILE PHONE BATTERY CHARGER
And… the best is … that you will be able to charge your mobile phone battery with it! No matter where you are, as long as you have a WAKAWAKA nearby you will always have a charger with you. You need to take out the battery from your cell phone (sorry iPhone users, it´s a bit tough for the iPhone, no offence, but people living off less than $2 a day cannot afford iPhones in most cases, hence the design) and you plug it into the battery holder. Now you´re charging 3.7V directly instead of 5V which is normally the case. You´re charging far more efficient (and faster) now. (it will fit 80+% of the most commonly used cell phone battery brands) . By the end of 2012 we plan on introducing a slightly more expensive model which can actually charge phones directly (this one WILL include iPhones, Blackberries and so on).
WHY DO WE NEED YOUR HELP?
We have come a long way with our own pocket money so far. We´ve spent almost a whole year on research preparations, design and engineering. We invested in the initial prototypes (which we got at a bargain price) but fact is that we´re nearly out of cash. Yes, we´ve talked to Venture Capitalists, but they ask for such a large stake in the project that we would loose our grip on it. Kickstarter is a fantastic community for us which will help us realize the ideals and dreams we have which are needed in the world, but are not always the ideal investment object for large corporations. We believe that the power of 'YOU' will bring these ideas to a mature level where they can start making a difference. By pledging at least $ 35.00 you are pre-ordering your WAKAWAKA and with $ 50.00 we can start developing the battery charger as well, which we will send you as soon as it's ready. Pledge for an Exclusive or Limited Edition WAKAWAKA and you will receive a personalized, certified WAKAWAKA. A collectors item, 'one of a kind'! And we will be forever grateful!
You are helping us creating a major impact on the lives of millions and you get the benefits from it as well. classic win-win!
EXTRA REWARD ADDED $ 125.00 : donate a WakaWaka to a school in Kenya
We added an extra reward on special request. We got quite a few inquiries from people who wanted us to donate WakaWaka's as well. For this purpose we have located a school in Kenya, the Mwamtsefu school to be precise. With your help we will first help the teachers with a light so they can check homework in the evening. By now so many people have pledged for this reward that we can now also support students who will bring WakaWaka home, which has a direct impact on their living environment and school results! We sincerely hope we can provide lights for the entire school! with your help, we can!
This is where the school is located. South East Kenya, close to the Tanzanian border.
These are the teachers together with Willie from The Netherlands. Her Wenzi Foundation (www.wenzi.nl) supports the school with housing, materials, furniture and so on. Together with us she helps ensure your WakaWaka´s will end up in the right hands!
Below: a few of the 700 kids at the Mwamtsefu school. We already have enough WakaWaka´s to give all of the students in this picture a study light!
School provides free meals.
Since there are not enough class rooms yet, most kids follow class outside under the trees.
Thanks to all your donation pledges we will be able to provide a very substantial number of these students with a WakaWaka solar Light. They will be able to study in the evening, teachers will be able to work after dark and this will have a major impact on the community! We will keep you informed when the lights arrive!
WHERE DOES YOUR MONEY GO?
We are preparing for production of the first couple of hundred WakaWaka's. These need to be tested. End of January we have a field test scheduled in South Africa as well as in Kenya with Unilever! Yes, we're very proud to have accomplished this already at this stage! However, funding through Kickstarter is a precondition that we can actually make the moulds and finish our engineering on time so we can actually make the units we need for testing. A successful test will lead to a first substantial order!
Your WAKAWAKA will be among the first ones coming from the first production run after we´ve improved the design as a result of those field tests.
Who´s on the team?
We´re a bunch of enthusiasts, but all with serious backgrounds and an idealistic drive. Let´s introduce ourselves (from right to left on the picture):
His last name means ´green´ and it so suits him. As a result of his 35 years experience in environmental policy and consultancy people call him a ´green Guru´, because his whole life is devoted to raising awareness on sustainability – and doing something about it. He rides a foldable bike to his meetings and takes the train with it no matter where he needs to go unless there is really no other way. He lectures frequently on topics such as climate change, sustainable food supply and energy efficiency and he´s being consulted by people from all walks of life. A networking WAKAWAKA inspirator we would like to call him.
KIM VAN DER LEEUW
Kim´s earliest memories are of colourful, fragrant, lively visions of India where he spent part of his youth. Ultimately it was this that led to his a masters in environment & resource management. He has become an expert on reducing carbon emissions. In 2010 he coordinated the program to offset the national carbon emissions of the World Cup soccer in South Africa. Kim is a social entrepreneur with great spirit and experience on the ground in Africa with a wide variety of projects. WAKAWAKA is the project he has been waiting for all his life.
CAMILLE VAN GESTEL
A driving force. His passion for WAKAWAKA and the purpose behind it, releases an energy which affects the whole team the most positive way. He’s had over a decade experience with product development, production coordination, project management and sales. His business education and broad working experience all seem to come together in WAKAWAKA.
Together we have what it takes to co-create the success for WAKAWAKA it so needs in order to reach out to those 1.5 billion people who don’t have a light, who breath toxic air every day, get burned and waste money they don’t have on it. It’s this picture we keep in mind when we get up in the morning.
ONE MORE NOTE
Should we raise more than our fundraising goal, than we can proceed with development of the 2nd product, which will have a direct 5V out option which you can use to charge practically any kind of phone. As our kickstarting funder we will give you the first chance to get your hands on these as well! And of course will know it first when new accessories come out!
Also we can start hiring people in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia to start up their own WAKAWAKA business and ‘spread the light’ into ‘Dark Africa’. We need to set up distribution networks and we want to pay people a decent salary for helping us.
Thanks so much for reading our story! We hope you will help us, help them. Get your first WAKAWAKA before it hits the market! We will be back with more info here soon!
Maurits, Kim, Paul & Camille
FOR OUR FANS :
This is our WAKAWAKA partner mr. Gerry van der Sluys (Business Creation) talking at the Clinton Global Initiative last September. Once we are up and running, he will support us with distribution. Since he's confident we will succeed, he announced his support during the Annual Meeting last September!
President Bill Clinton talking to Maurits Groen about WAKAWAKA. He is interested to use WAKAWAKA for Haiti!
Below is mr. Gerry van de Sluys showing the WAKAWAKA commitment together with President Clinton.
Another WAKAWAKA fan : Rev. Jesse Jackson
Last September we got an opportunity to present WAKAWAKA to a live audience for the first time. We showed our 2 minute movie first. TV host Harm Edens is interviewing Camille here, switching off the lights in the Tuschinski theatre. The applause you''ll be hearing is a thousand people being enthusiastic about the 2 minute movie you also saw!
This here below is Kim, getting his shot taken for the national newspaper Telegraaf! We got a lot of feedback and inquiries thanks to that. It must be the smooth looking prototype of WakaWaka... (note: the real product will look like the 3D drawings you saw up here! this proto is for demonstration purpose only, which Kim is doing excellent by the way)
Stay in touch, more will be added as we go along...
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