Pedro Colmenares's New Entry

Pedro Colmenares's New Entry: Tracking Device With GPS and Solar Panels

Caracas, VenezuelaCaracas, Venezuela
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The idea is to have a device that will help find lost pets, children, elderly or people with a disability that may get lost, using a device that requires no batteries (solar powered), has GPS for location, GSM for sending information and can be accessed through a mobile App.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if there were no more lost pets, children or adults causing unnecessary grief and loss of sleep, all while using the power of the Sun without ever using replaceable batteries? What if we could always find our loved ones with 1 button? Worldwide?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Mainly, the problem we are trying to address is the common issue with lost loved ones and lost assets like cars or stolen valuables. We want to always be able to have our items with us but loved ones like people and pets can't always be found when lost. Aside from this issue, we tend to rely on non-renewable energy like acid-based batteries that simply get thrown away and never used again. Producing them contaminates the environment.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The device we have designed and tested works through GPS and sends its coordinates through GSM, all while being powered with Solar Panels. A person who desires to find something, simply needs to send a text message to the device and a URL with coordinates will be sent to you in a format for Google Maps viewing Say you lost your Dog, Captain. He ran off and can't locate him. His collar will have this device and will be able to get located with a margin of error of under 10 meters. How's that for accurate? Same can be applied to children and elderly as well as cars and other possessions. All this with renewable energy and not having to spend a dime on another battery. We believe our product can change the world and save lives.

Awards

20/20 pts in University Thesis (Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, #1 University in Venezuela) with Publishing Mention and Honors Mention.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

You are a sleep and your car gets stolen. You receive an alert on your phone telling you the car has left its parking space. This alert automatically sent you the current and latest location of your car. You are able to find help quite fast and tell the necessary authorities the whereabouts of your property. Action is taken and you get back what was yours. All with a device that is self-sustainable and both small and light. Now, replace "car" with "dog, cat, son, daughter, grandma, grandpa..." you name it.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

As of right now our project is simply a prototype, a working one at that, however. Our results have been more than favorable, working like it is meant to. To date, the project received the highest possible grade in a Thesis with the highest possible mentions. Receiving both mentions (publishing and honors) is a feat not done in many years in our field (if ever, as far as we have been able to look). The potential for a product like this is easy to foresee. We believe we can change people´s lives for the better and bring joy to homes of families with lost loved ones. In the future, we see a place where missing persons are a thing of the past and as rare as winning the lottery twice. A world with sustainable energy that can be beneficial to Earth, the only home we have.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

As a Venezuelan entrepreneur it is quite difficult to succeed. We simply cannot do it alone. We wish a device like this was marketed across the globe yet we simply cannot do it. We don´t have the money or the technical specifications to allow our device to get smaller and better. Once we have this figured out, it is only a matter of time before we start changing lives, one at a time.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Marketing is key. Any person wants to have a device with a one-time payment that will allow them to locate their loved ones or lost goods. Specially when they know it will work 100% of the time, without having to worry of the device's battery draining out. Mass producing a perfected product would be extremely easy to sell. Eveery family has loved ones including people and pets. We want them with us and if they ever get lost, we want to find them

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are two alternatives: - An RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip with is simply an ID. To visualize it, you NEED to have it near you, it doesn't work remotely. - A pet collar with NO solar panels. This approach is similar, yet can be easily "debunked" as a tracking device. Ask yourself this: what would happen if my dog gets lost when I'm OUT of battery? My dog will simply be walking around with a very expensive and useless collar. Our product one-ups these products as it will always be working because of the solar panels.
Team

Founding Story

My girlfriend gave me a dog for my birthday. A cure Parson Russell puppy of only a month and a half. Owning a dog formerly, I had always thought o that "what if..." moment. "What if he gets lost...?" Thankfully, he never did and passed away when he was 10. With this new family member the same question arose. So I didn't think I would sit back and wait years to see if he ever got lost. I thought "If he EVER gets lost, I HAVE to find him". That is how it all started.

Team

Nothing particular. I came up with the idea to develop this collar when I entered my 8th semester at the University. Seeing as a close friend appreciated and liked the idea just as much as I did, we decided to work together. The end result was what we have presented you.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Through a Facebook publication a friend posted.

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder, Entrepreneur.

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Personally, I run a small Almond Milk company called Santa Clarita 87 (Instagram @santaclarita87) wich I started because I wanted to start becoming independent economically. I was tired of having to ask my parents for money every time I wanted to go out to the movies or get a bite to eat. So I saw that the market demanded a product and started making craft almond milk. It has gone very well, up until the last few months when the government stopped importing "non essential" foods like Almonds. Now, I don´t have the product I need to continue my business and have to resort to buying it at extraordinary and unsustainable prices.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Currently only my friend and thesis partner.

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