May 17, 2010

Multidisciplinary capstone brings light - and more - to developing countries

Posted: May 17, 2010
A book illuminated by the twig light.
A Ghana villager reads a book illuminated by the twig light.

Students in the new GlobalResolve social entrepreneurship capstone course are completing initial business plans in preparation for a two-week trip to Ghana in May to study local resources and needs.

The entrepreneurs – students in the fields of engineering, business, design and more – are making plans for the production and sale of inventions, including an award-winning generator and clean-burning stoves.

“We’re shooting for affordability – we want to keep the price for our product under $20,” said Raphael Hyde, the leader of a project team that is making plans to manufacture and market the generator known as Aura (Twig) Light. “The challenge will be finding ways to produce enough units to meet local demand.”

“In the next year, through this team, we hope to bring some light into developing areas of Ghana.”

Hyde and his team – Nisha Patel, Lisa Regets and Michael Pugliese – recently won ASU’s top Challenges Innovator award for $5,000 in venture funding and have applied for the Edson Venture Creator grant, which offers an opportunity for student entrepreneurs to win up to $20,000.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Hyde said enthusiastically. “It’s a great learning opportunity. Among everything I’ve seen and everywhere I’ve traveled, this program offers the greatest opportunity for growth.”

Hyde said that he has a passion for innovative energy solutions, with experience working for one of Asia’s biggest lighting companies. He hopes to use this experience to start another company and continue developing energy solutions after his graduation.

“There’s so much happening in the world,” said Hyde, now in his third year in ASU’s industrial design and business program. “If you bring together students who are the best in their field, who care, and give us a chance, we can make a huge impact.”

To follow the group’s trip to Ghana, Africa, visit http://globalresolve.asu.edu/ and click on the blog, starting May 17. You may also follow them on Linked In. Search for GlobalResolve under the “Groups” tab to get connected and to learn more about the trip.


Written by Kari Stallcop

Media contact:
Chris Lambrakis
(480)727-1173