CapSol

CapSol: Power in the people

Sydney, AustraliaRevesby, Australia
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
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.

CapSol is a new line of innovative headgear that combines solar technology with external battery storage and customized cap designs. It provides ongoing protection from the sun, tapping its energy throughout the day for uses such as recharging the wearer’s electronic devices.

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

every individual had the power to generate, store use and own their own energy
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The world is increasingly faced with an energy crisis. Fossil fuel is slowly running short and alternative sources of energy remains costly for the majority part of the world. In addition, the growing cost of traditional forms of energy is creating burdens on the poor and many in developing countries do not have the same access to electricity to meet their daily needs.

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

CapSol uses photovoltaic solar cells embedded in the cap’s rim to recharge a battery pack that can be used to restore power to your electronic devices. It is engineered to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Design of the CapSol is highly customisable, and thus adaptable with the fads and fickleness of society’s changing fashion trends. The wire and battery components are strategically positioned between the linings of the rim to allow maximization of solar cell efficiency and sunlight exposure. It is waterproof, shockproof, and durable against the harsh elements of the weather. The cap itself is compact, making it ideal for travel and provides ongoing protection from the sun, tapping its energy throughout the day.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Imagine being at the beach with your friends on a hot day, you sunbake with your iPhone in hand an a portable speaker blasting music by your side. Suddenly, the battery on your device goes flat. You are deeply disappointed as your friends have been dancing to the music around you. One of them offers you his CapSol. The solar cap that he's been wearing for the past few hours in the sun, which has now stored sufficient energy to recharge and power your phone for the next few hours. At the same time half a world away, a teenager in Africa is making use of her CapSol to power a lamp. Electricity is extremely expensive here, and she is deeply grateful for the ability to generate her own energy, storing and using it to read at night.

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

CapSol will revolutionise the way individuals enjoy their technology by creating a self-sustaining energy cycle, enabling mass market access and use of renewable energy. Furthermore, Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Through CapSol, we aim to make hat wearing a daily habit and help provide a fashionable way for people to stay cool and stay safe. Development in solar technology is also advancing at the speed of Moore’s Law, and with it our CapSol will be incrementally improved. The future of sustainable electricity production lies in solar power, and the future of mass solar adoption lies in CapSol.

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

Our future scaling strategy is to adopt an end-to-end mass production line. We will source quality materials (high efficiency solar films and micro battery packs) and have these assembled through reliable manufacturers. We will release our solar cap to the hottest part of the world, especially countries with 20degree latitude of the equator. Our primary market will be Australia first, where there is summer sunny weather all year around and a high demand for hats and wearable technology. Current government policy is also favourable with strong subsidies for solar and renewable energy projects.
Sustainability

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

In order to achieve financial sustainability, we will seek initial grants for local/national government through the solar and renewable energy fund. We will also raise money through donations and KickStarter campaign from individuals who believe in our idea. Once the prototype can be mass produced, we will sell our product online and through partnership with clothing retailers, pricing our product at 20% markup to ensure sustainable production.

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

Given the infancy of solar powered products in Australia, there are few competitors in our local marketplace. In fact, CapSol will be the first product of its kind anywhere and will have a short-term monopoly until other energy production companies move into this sphere. Although other startup projects addressing energy and sustainability also exist, most of these are focused on large scale transformations and expensive to produce. CapSol aims to be accessible to everyone, and brings the headwear fashion industry to the future. By leveraging what people wear already, we amplify the impact.
Team

Founding Story

The "aha!" moment came when I was out with my mates on a hot Australian summer day. We had wanted to find a good restaurant after a day at the beach and realised our phones were all dead. Without anything on us, it was a struggle to find a good hangout spot to cool down. After hours of searching, we finally found a cafe to rest, and began discussing ideas about how we could've prevented the simple energy crisis. The idea popped up that if we could have used our caps to store solar energy, and had a external battery with a cord embedded within the rim of the cap to charge electronic devices on the go, this would be a lifesaver to many individuals in our situation. And so CapSol was born.

Team

Currently we have three members on the founding team. Myself as a business/marketing expert (having worked as a Assistant Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble, and Strategy Consultant at Booz & Company). We have a computer science/renewable energy engineer who have worked in solar energy research and technical software development roles. Finally we have a product designer who is highly artistic with a flair for design.
About You
About You
First Name

Arthur

Last Name

Wang

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, NSW, Revesby

Country where this project is creating social impact

, NSW, Sydney

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Individuals, NGOs, Regional government, National government.

Supplemental
Sector

Sustainable Sourcing.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

Our strategic target audiences are:
1) The Trend Setter - she is an Instagram fanatic, part of the younger generation who keeps up with the latest trends. She loves having unique items of clothing, and the biggest compliment her friends could give her is “where did you get that!” 2) The Adventurer - He is a young active individual who loves spending time outdoors. He regularly plays sport, enjoys travelling and hitting the beach on a hot day with friends. Our marketing strategy is to create a movement.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

The prize money will allow us to improve our existing prototype and source quality components to improve the functionality and durability of our product. Over the next two years, we hope to spend 50% of the prize money on research and development to increase the energy efficiency of solar films. The remainder of the prize money will be used to expand our team, particularly with respect to technical experts on infrared honing and solar-electricity energy conversion. Our hope is to improve the circuitry layout of our solar cap so that light energy absorption reaches 90% efficiency, and also enable us to afford more quality material that will drastically help minimise energy loss from the cap's fabric.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

In 2011, I was appointed the National Coordinator of the Australian Economics and Business Studies Competitions (www.studentcompetitions.org) and currently serving on the Board as Senior Advisor. In my role, I led a 10 people team through all phases of the competition process; including designing mail-out packs, distribution to schools, test construction, student reporting, and hosting award ceremonies in every State.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?

yes

Will you require a visa to enter the UK?

Are you are a current Unilever employee?

randomness