BioLite Outdoor and Off-Grid Energy Company
BioLite is on a mission to bring Energy Everywhere™ with revolutionary products that transform the way we Cook, Charge and Light our lives off the grid. They are a team of engineers and designers, operators and analysts, story tellers and evangelists, who believe that advanced technologies, built on sustainable business practices, have the power to change the world. Their unique Parallel Innovation business model pairs the needs of families living in energy poverty with the passions of outdoor enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of life outdoors and on the go.
Their founders, Jonathan and Alec, met at Smart Design in New York City where they quickly bonded over their interest in sustainable design. Alec, frustrated that almost all efficient camping stoves required fossil fuels, had the idea of a wood-burning stove able to utilize its own thermal energy to improve combustion. Jonathan, an avid camper, quickly brought his engineering background to the table and the two began the design process. Countless nights, weekends, and prototypes later, the BioLite CampStove was born: a portable biomass stove that leveraged thermoelectrics to create a smokeless fire all while charging personal devices.
To solve a challenge as big as energy poverty, they needed a business model that can operate at the same scale as the problem. They believe that bringing energy access to half the planet will require a business that scales on the value it delvers to its customers, not on philanthropy. To achieve this, BioLite operates using a unique business model called Parallel Innovation: their team incubates core energy technologies and then turns them into products unique to their outdoor and emerging markets customers. Revenues from their outdoor markets are reinvested in building a commercially sustainable business that can bring safe, affordable energy to families living in energy poverty across India and Africa. Through the support of their recreation market customers and community, they are given the resources and runway to build a business that will bringing energy everywhere™.
BioLite's energy solutions:
They focus on technologies in 3 areas:
Cook Charge Light
Products for the underprivileged:
The BioLite HomeStove
The HomeStove’s design converts the heat of fire into usable electricity to power a fan, which then reduces fuel needs by 50%, toxic smoke by about 95%, and carbon monoxide emissions by 91%. Additionally, the amount of CO2 saved per year by one stove equals the amount that’s saved by buying a hybrid car. The remaining off-grid energy that does not power the fan can then be used to charge portable devices through a USB port, such as cell phones and LED lights. Moreover, the effects of deforestation are lessened and time is regained by women and children who spend hours gathering wood for open fires. Manufacturing costs are low and this efficient wood-burning stove pays for itself within six to seven months.
BioLite focuses on sustainable market development by using a market-based approach, as opposed to donations or a “one for one” model. This allows for local entrepreneurship and stimulates local markets. The HomeStove is currently in large-scale pilot testing across India, Ghana, and Uganda. Recently, thanks to a Spark Fund grant, BioLite will be kicking off a project in Uganda with partners at Impact Carbon. The Spark Fund grant is part of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an organization that provides clean cook stoves to people in areas with high poverty rates. Its mission is to reduce the number of deaths caused by open cooking fires each year (approximately four million), and is endorsed by people such as Julia Roberts and Hillary Clinton (who referred to BioLite in her announcement of the UN Clean Cookstove Alliance).
BioLite regular products:
Standout Qualities of the product:
Integrated 2600 mAh battery charges devices with or without a live fire
Smart LED Dashboard gives real time feedback on fire strength, power output and fan speed settings
Updated thermoelectrics create USB Charge with 50% more power
Internal Fan with 4 fan speed settings circulate air for improved combustion and efficiency
Lightweight Aluminum folding legs for nested portability
Scalloped Pot Stand accommodates BioLite KettlePot, Portable Grill and other cookware
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