40 Entrepreneurs from across Australia pitched their businesses to an influential audience at Pitch@Palace Australia 2.0 held at State Library of Queensland. The Duke of York announced PowerWells as the 2018 winners of the Audience vote. PowerWells, a Logan-based startup, tackles the challenge of energy poverty by using electronic-waste (e-waste) and ex-commercial solar panels, to provide light, power and mobile phone charging to people in remote communities and developing countries.
Each PowerWells system will be able to charge a mix of 50 small electronic devices and torches each day, then light up a medium-sized communal space for five hours each night. PowerWells deliver a product much cheaper than alternatives while helping to reduce the amount of hazardous materials going into landfill. Innov8 Logan is proud that PowerWells which was co-founded by humanitarians Brad Clair and Nick Kamols is part of the Logan Entrepreneurial eco-system. Nick and Brad travelled to London this month to compete on an international scale against winners from other countries at Pitch@Palace Global 3.0, where another Australian startup OncoRes Medical was announced as one of the winners. Advance Queensland and Substation33 were proud to support PowerWells by providing sponsorship towards Nick and Brad’s travel to London.
The Duke of York founded Pitch@Palace in 2014 to provide a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of Entrepreneurs. Pitch@Palace gives Entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet the people who can help make their business dreams become a reality. The annual competition is aimed at creating a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs through networking, with no sign-up fee required. Pitch@Palace guides, helps and connects Entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, Influencers, Angels, Mentors and Business Partners. Entrepreneurs are selected for each event and, following participation, remain within the Pitch@Palace constellation for future support and development. Alumni Entrepreneurs continue to receive ongoing support, introductions and connections to the Pitch@Palace UK and Global network from 53 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Latin America and Europe.
PowerWells originated over the weekend of 17-19 November 2017 as part of the Logan Social Enterprise Startup Weekend. They won the Get Started category of the event and set an ambitious goal of delivering a PowerWells system to a remote Indonesian community within 14 days after the Startup Weekend. Nine days later they made their way to Jakarta. They met a local, Johannes, who lives in a remote village eight hours (including a two-hour walk) out of central Jakarta that doesn’t have electricity. Thirteen days after the Startup Weekend, the first PowerWells system was installed in Johannes’ village, where it continues to provide power and lighting for the community. Mr Kamols said winning the competition would help with their projects. “It’s really going to amplify our impact, I think we’ll get a lot more done by having this, so we are extremely grateful,” he said. “We have a big year planned: we have four or five trips back to Indonesia, to start installing the ones we have crowd funded.”