The SOCCKET Ball Gives New Meaning to “Power Play”


Heading to the 2014 Fifa World Cup™ ? Check out this incredible soccer ball which the Uncharted Play team will be showing off.

It’s the SOCCKET and it’s a soccer ball that converts into a mini portable generator. According to the company website, the SOCCKET “captures the kinetic energy generated during normal play, and stores it in the ball for later use as an off-grid power source.”  Just 30 minutes of playing with this thing around gets you 3 hours of light.  How cool is that? So cool that President Obama invited the founders on a trip to Tanzania to highlight their invention.

This soccer ball helps address the world energy crisis and the company’s goal is to make it available throughout the developing world where power is expensive, often limited, or just unattainable. The following video, “Light is Life” demonstrates just how pivotal the SOCCKET can be in a place like Abuja, Nigeria where residents must rely on generators for basic power needs.

Jessica O. Matthews, the co-inventor of the SOCCKET recently finished her MBA while running her company, Unchartered Play. After countless improvements,  Jessica will take her invention to Brazil during the World Cup and debut a “buy one, donate one” promotion.

What’s ahead? The company has already developed a jump rope which works in a similar fashion. In the future, Jessica will expand their products to include skateboards and basketballs. Generating power with the use of play.

We think this sounds like a Goooooooooal!!!!

Innovative Business Makes Recycling a Win Win WIN!

Innovative Business Makes Recycling a Win Win WIN!

Imagine a world where your trash is converted into a commodity. Food, goods, even cash are exchanged for recycling. And the best part of the heap, your recycling gets picked up at your front door! You may not have this level of service and incentive program in your neighborhood, but it does in fact exist.

In Lagos, Nigeria, low-income communities are overburdened with waste problems. And, since the municipalities are unable to collect all of the trash, most of it ends up in the street and neighborhoods. Because of this, diseases are spread, slum-like living conditions become common, and increased psychological stress can take a toll on the population as a whole. So, how does the problem get addressed? Well, remember that fantasy we were just talking about earlier?

WeCyclers is the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Intel Environment Award. And, their model serves to motivate families to recycle through their SMS-based incentive program. Families that participate receive “Wecyclers points” over their cell phones that can be redeemed for food items, household goods, cell phone minutes, etc. all based on the recycled trash that gets picked up by “a fleet of low-cost cargo bicycles in densely populated low-income neighborhoods,” according to their website. Wecyclers then turns the trash into profit by selling it to manufacturers. Chief Executive Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola further describes the benefit in a recent BBC report by Joe Miller, “The plastic gets shredded and exported to make polyester fibre for clothing or pillow stuffing.”

But, don’t take our word for it. Check out this two minute inspiring video on the whole process and see for yourself.

So who benefits here? Its not just a win-win. Residents have a cleaner neighborhood and receive money or goods for their trash. The company turns a profit by getting this trash to manufacturers who can use the raw materials. And, manufacturers who previously struggled to get the raw materials now have a means to receive it to produce their goods. A Win – Win – WIN for sure!

Oh! and of course, mother nature wins too.

A Piece of Paper That Can Change the Way We Eat?

Photo courtesy of Kavita Shukler

Photo courtesy of Kavita Shukla

Can a single sheet of paper can change the way we eat? Can it change the way we handle food spoilage and waste problems around the globe and in our own backyards?

Kavita Shukla thinks so and she’s on a mission to do just that.

When we were first introduced to Kavita at the May 1 TechCocktail – Global Innovation Forum event here in Washington DC, we were instantly impressed with her FreshPaper™ discovery.  Fenugreen addresses the global food challenge of food spoilage and waste with an innovative idea – paper infused with natural organic spices that delays bacterial and fungal growth on food. Kavita’s inspiration came out of a trip visiting her family in India. Check out her Tedx Taik to listen to the story in greater detail.

The company claims and our own (admittedly unscientific!) test seem to confirm that Fenugreen helps fresh produce last up to 2 to 4 times longer. On a global scale, many areas of the world struggle with electricity and adequate refrigeration and the company is working to address the fact that more than 25% of the world’s food is lost to spoilage.  And, if you’re like us and opt out of the fresh produce aisles at the grocery store because those purchased fresh fruits and veggies go bad too quickly, you now have no excuses. YAY!! Now hand over that beautiful basket of strawberries at Trader Joe’s!

This simple idea helps solve a complex problem, is backed by good partnerships, and has a scalable distribution channel. The company also does a great job being philanthropic. Their “Buy a Pack, Give a Pack” initiative launched in 2012 helped Hurricane Sandy victims sustain their food supply when power was out for weeks.

Keep it up, Kavita! We’re excited about your product and seeing the company advance further.

For more information, check out the company’s website at

Invisible Bike Helmet? OK!

“The Swedes have done it again!!” boasts one Cycle Technologies staff member as she hurriedly shows a new discovery in her “truly innovative ideas” journal. “Its an invisible bike helmet!!!”

What happens when two engineering students decide to completely re-invent the traditional bike helmet? The Hovding – a scarf that wraps around your neck and only inflates if there is an accident like an airbag.

The photo on the left shows the person wearing the bike helmet. Notice, that its invisible! On the right, photo demonstrates the helmet inflated upon impact.

The photo on the left shows the person wearing the bike helmet. Notice, that its invisible! On the right, photo demonstrates the helmet inflated upon impact.

In 2005, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, then industrial design students at the University of Lund in Sweden, decided to address the fact that many people just don’t like wearing bike helmets. Check out this video to learn more about these women and their brilliantly simple solution.

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Innovative Discoveries: Here’s an EGGcellent idea!


Innovator: Geraint Krumpe's Kickstarter Project- The Golden Goose by Y Line Product Design

Innovator: Geraint Krumpe. More than $132,000 backed by Kickstarter – Golden Goose by Y Line Product Design

Ok, all corniness aside (we figured we can use the word “eggcellent” if its published in the urban dictionary) this nifty gadget actually scrambles the egg INSIDE the shell.  When Geraint Krumpe lost his job, he got creative. He started a product design company and 11 months later, came up with the golden goose. Inspired from a YouTube video about a guy showing viewers how to scramble an egg with a long sleeve t-shirt, Krumpe now has a kicktarter project from this very inspired post. Read the full story here as reported by Elise Hu