Smart Jacket

Smart Jacket: An elevated motorcyclist's indication system on their safety vest

Nairobi, KenyaNairobi, Kenya
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The Smart Jacket is a safety vest fitted with lights to increase the motorcyclist's visibility. The lights are controlled wirelessly from the motorcycle's indication system and clearly show the intents to turn left, right or to brake. This ensures the motorcyclist is always riding conspicuously.

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

What if you could save lives and prevent injuries using wearable technology for a motorcyclist?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The poor visibility of motorcyclists on the roads contributes to a significant portion of deaths and injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents where the involved parties claim "I didn't see him/her turn (or brake)!" The existing motorcycle indication system are lowly fit as the motorcycles are about 1m high from the ground.

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

Provide an elevated, conspicuous indication system on the motorcyclist's safety vest/jacket that controlled from and in sync with the bike's indication system.
Impact: How does it Work

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

The Smart Jacket reduces visibility-related motorcycle accidents saving lives and/or preventing injuries that might have resulted. The jacket also encourages motorcyclists to always wear protective, high visibility clothing and prompts them to indicate whenever they intend to make a turn.

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

We've done 5 pilot tests with motorcycle taxi operators in Kenya. 2 have claimed to have an increased customer rate as they offer them conspicuous clothing while transporting them. We plan to have mass production of the Smart Jackets in order to supply the huge motorcycle market in Kenya and the East African region in 2 years, as a start, and then scale to other countries such as India, Pakistan and other (emerging) markets in about 5 years.

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

Motorcycle taxi business is on the rise in the East African region. Uganda has many motorcycles than Kenya. The formation of a common currency and trade policies in the East African region is offering us a platform to reach to these markets easily. Patents in all our markets will offer us an advantage against competition that may crop.
Sustainability

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

The main source of income for the project is the sale of the jackets. We also have envisioned to include branding/advertising packages for corporates on the jacket that will offer an additional source of income. Partnerships with motorcycle assembly plants, motorcycle SACCOs and other institutions will offer us a blanket on the sale of the jackets instead of selling them directly to the motorcyclists.

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

Elecrtonic merchants in the city fit LEDs on the motorcycles for increased aesthetics of the bikes. We differ from them by fitting such lights on the jacket which forms an elevated indication system for the motorcyclist. Our solution uses wireless technology to transmit the signals from the bike which forms an advantage for us as most of the competitors are not conversant with our proprietary technology as at now.
Team

Founding Story

I, Charles, thought of wiring my jacket with LEDs at the back as a home project in application of the skills I learnt in my undergraduate. Upon discussing the idea with Joseph (co-founder) and other people (CEO - Nailab), the project changed to safeguard motorcyclists by providing an elevated indication system on their reflective safety vests.

Team

Charles Muchene, CEO, Electronics engineering graduate, full-time Michael Gathogo, Project Manager, IT graduate, full-time Joseph Muchene, CFO, CPA-K graduate, part-time The Nailab (a startup incubator with a team of business mentors and an awesome product development team), Full-time We are looking for electronic technicians and designers to work further on the design.
About You
Organization:
Clad Light Limited
About You
First Name

Charles

Last Name

Muchene

About Your Project
Organization Name

Clad Light Limited

How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, Nairobi

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Nairobi

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

Friends and family, Individuals, Businesses.

Supplemental
Sector

Inclusive Business.

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?

Motorcycle taxi operators. The jacket is trendy and offers them an advantage in acquiring customers especially at night.

We pay them visits to the different parking areas they are located and sometimes (once a week mostly) make follow up calls on the use of the jackets.

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

We would be able to start mass manufacture of the jackets to reach wider markets and fulfill orders from courier companies and other institutions holding a fleet of motorcycles as well as increasing the product ranges we offer.

The money will also assist in crossing the borders and venturing into different international market with our solution.

As all these are achieved, we will be creating employment opportunities for the youth and other groups of people thus growing the economies of the countries we'll be operating in.

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

I've offered robotics training as a consultant to Multimedia University in Kenya students and have also participated in training microprocessor electronics to students in some public universities in Kenya.
These gave me a deeper understanding of electronics some of which I applied in the Smart Jacket project.

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?

yes

Are you are a current Unilever employee?