Joe James and his dad, Dave James, from Grace Church, Ashland, Ohio (Dan Allan, senior pastor), have been working on a project to provide clean cooking alternatives for people in developing countries. The stoves have been tested among groups served by Charis Alliance ministries. Tonight, Joe will be pitching the project at an event at the University of Akron as he competes for $10,000 in startup funds. Below is a post from Joe’s Facebook page. The competition is today from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Bounce Innovation Hub, 526 South Main Street, Akron, Ohio.
Currently there are approximately 4 million people that die every year in developing countries due to unclean cooking. Tens million more get seriously ill. This is a result of the approximately 3 BILLION people that still cook over wood and charcoal cookfires on the ground. The smoke, toxic emissions and particulates cause respiratory infections and cancer, just from daily cooking. This problem predominately affects women and children since they are often the ones cooking in the homes. When the mother in the family dies from a respiratory infection or cancer this often has extremely negative consequences on the family, children aren’t able to go to school and often end up homeless on the streets and are vulnerable to crime and human trafficking. There is also the tens of millions of cases were a family member gets sick from emissions and needs medication, even the cost of $50 for antibiotics can plunge a family just making it into extreme poverty…and there are 3 billion people who are at risk every day and every meal.
This is why I have been working on this project to develop a biomass cook stove that burns as clean as a natural gas stove. The stove can also burn agricultural biomass waste. Agricultural biomass waste is the leftovers from the mass farming of crops across the world. Corn, rice, wheat, coffee etc all have husks, cobs, stems and plant parts that are left as waste after the crops have been processed. These waste products are often dumped and have little value. In fact over 500 billion tons of agricultural biomass waste is produced annually, that’s every year. And the best part is, since its waste, its free.
The stove can burn all of these different types of biomass waste cleanly as fuel. If a family is able to use this stove they can cleanly burn renewable agricultural biomass waste as fuel instead of buying wood and charcoal to burn in unclean fires.
Currently, we have 5 stoves testing in the Philippines and are expecting to have 7 more stoves testing in 4 different countries by March 2020, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cameroon. A utility patent has been filed and we have a minimum viable product designed and tested. The factory in Taiwan is already tooled and ready to mass produce stoves. Our next hurdle is developing marketing strategies and connections to large non-government and government aid groups and this requires some additional funds, so we are starting another round of seed funding for $50K.
This is where you can help next week I’ll be pitching in the University of Akron 10k startup challenge pitch for a top prize of $10k, there will be lots of people and cool startups pitch and FREE FOOD, just come and enjoy and of course vote more my pitch!!!