SULI LAB.

SULI LAB.: SULI LAB: DYI sustainable energy and access to light trough a Opensource model.

Santiago, ChileBoutin., Haiti
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

SULI LAB wants to democratize access to light & clean energy for everyone, by designing portable and scalable solar solutions based on an opensource platform, empowering users as co-creators, mixing renewable energies and the efficiency of the LED with the universe of the 3D printers and DIY technic

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

What if opensource models, collaboration and DIY technics could give access to renewable energy to billions of people that today use candles and kerosene, saving millions of lifes and improving family lives?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Public awareness of climate change and negative effects of non-renewables on the environment is driving a shift in consumer demand to more sustainable lifestyle choices. The problem of renewable energy adoption(culture): understanding of the technology, bad quality product, not scalable and big investments for home solar systems opens an empty space in adoption between the first solar lamp and the home system.

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

SULI is platform that creates a bridge between developed and non-developed markets trough an scalable, modular platform that invites everybody to be part of the solution, empowering people to adopt new technologies and igniting skills such as creativity and entrepreneurship. SULI platform has 2 resources:the solar module we design and produce that gives the structure for the platform and our SULI OPEN LAB. SULI LAMP is a 7 cm. Portable solar module, with a PV panel , 3AAA rechargable batteries, an electric circuit and a LED, 8 hours equals up to 50 hours of light. It and can be adapted to different uses in everyday life through its double screw fitting: a PET bottle fitting, and a standard fitting for DIY or 3D printable accessories.

Awards

Governments grants (100K), top 3 new startups in Chile, part of 2015 cohort of Agora Partnerships Accelerator, BID support as basic services access social company, selected in Chrysalis chilean Incubator. Design awards.
Impact: How does it Work

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

People today are not close to renewable technology, because they are very hard and difficult technology to understand, there not design involved in the products and solutions, understanding design as a process bigger than product design. SULI solution makes this green technology to be closer to normal people, its user centered design makes it easy to understand and adopt, making a great scalabe solution. When someone has a SULI in their hands, understand the potential, the opensource model allows anybody to create accessories empowering them.Every time we make workshops with people they left very exited about the concept and technology, making a first step in a more sustainable lifestyle.

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

• Monetary savings generated as a result of SULI use. • Energy for standard light bulbs. - Improving a more sustainable lifestyle and consumption responsability. • Not buying batteries (2 AA batteries x 5 years per flashlight). • Kerosene & candle savings. • Tons of CO2 offset. • Communities will have access to light, which will allow them to take more advantage during dark hours. • Non toxic spaces due to kerosene. • More hours to study, to produce and work, leading to an increase in 20% savings as a familiy. • Involving the community will make them have more knowledge about solar energy technology in a simpler way. In the future

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

Our strategy is to develop a opensource community that could democritize access to renewable energy and light, where people can be involved in the co-design process, for this we have 3 areas of growth: Sales to developed market that could support and help an off-grid market, develop the opensource community in a scalabe platform that could put toghether people with access to energy with those who don't.We belive 3D printing, opensource models and renewable energy are the future to hav a more sustainable planet. We are starting from Chile,to grow trough southamerica, north america and the world
Sustainability

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

We are a for-profit company, we look to be economically sustainable in the mid term trough our business model, selling SULIs to developed and underdeveloped markets. Part of the profit margin on SULIs sold to eco-conscious consumer will be used to create our open laboratory to develop new ideas and solutions for people without access to electricity in off-the-grid and BoP communities based on an opensource model.

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

Many organizations such as governments, NGO's and for-profit's clean technology companies are trying to solve it: cheap products, last mile distribution, pay as you go, 1+1 models, social investment, soft loans, donations, solar lamps, among others.Just nowadays solutions are based in a one specific kind of design, considered for one unique way to use it: a solar lamp that gives light and also in some cases can charge devices.Our approach is different because SULI is not a lantern, it is conceived as a scalable an unique PLATFORM where people can be involved in the solution of the problem.
Team

Founding Story

SULI LAB first steps come from 2013, when LUXIA, together with MICROLÓGICA INNOVACIÓN, 2 small Chilean companies, created a design award winning “Butterfly shaped solar lamp”, this lamp had the problem that it wasn’t versatile, so they kept on thinking about it and then “aha!” came the idea to develop something that could be scalabe and versatile and SULI module was borned.In 2014 two resources joined to complete the team: RAYA, an expert agency in digital marketing, voted the best agency in Chile on 2014, and CRISTIÁN O´RYAN, a social entrepreneur and passionate social innovator, former COO at Desafío Levantemos Chile, one of the 3 top nonprofit organization in Chile. Then the picture was

Team

We come from diverse backgrounds, with more than 10 years of experience in fields such as light designing, social innovation, open-source models, production and marketing. We are 4 professionals (CEO, Development, ChiefDesigner, Marketing) plus two companies that gives us specific services in marketing and technology development. Two of us are full time, about 10 people is part time today. As we grow, we expect to develop the following areas: sales & marketing, production, product development and innovation by design (Our Lab).
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Web

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

Co-founder, Chief designer.

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, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

I’m a industrial designer with years of experience in the field, started as a product designer working and living in China, the factory of the world. But also always involved in with my father’s company, MICROLOGICA, one of the few technology development company in Chile, With Micrologica we partnered and we founded Micrologica INNOVATION, focused on designing and developing solutions using innovation as a model. Many of the most important Chilean tech development for different markets where borned here in the last 5-8 years.

I have also co-founded the first and unique Santiago MakerSpace, a place for people to be involved in an opensource community to develop and create anything and everything with a hacker and DIY background. This space got a lot of attention, becoming the only organization leading the maker community in Chile, with that experience, today I am often invited to other countries to tell my experience and help them to create their own local collaboration spaces.

Today i work In SULI and also I am involved in university lectures and clasess, among other activities.