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Frugal Innovation Lab Blog
Welcome to the FrugalBlog, Connor O’Brien’s tri-weekly compendium on frugal innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, and social justice. Send comments, criticism or ideas firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I could use a little bit of a pick-me-up, so how about a POV video of a train topping out at 267 mph? Speaking of fast trains, did you hear that Elon Musk—founder of Space X and Tesla— thinks he can create a “hyperloop”? In his own words it is “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.” Supposedly it can reach speeds upwards of 4,000 miles per hour, and get you from LA to NYC in 45 minutes. The future is now. Enough about trains, though. Let’s talk about Project Omoverhi.
Daily Audiophile Advisory:The Civil Wars, “From This Valley.”
Project Omoverhi was conceived by SCU alumna, Simi Olabisi, as her senior project back in 2011. Olabisi teamed up with her fellow students Collin Burdick, Katherine Fazackerley, Ben Frederiksen, Nick Greos, Katherine Mardula, Matt Renner, Maria Veronica, Lleva Bass, and Kristen Lee to create a low-cost, solar-powered neonatal incubator for emerging markets. The end result was nothing short of remarkable.
After months of meeting with experts in the neonatal field at Stanford University Hospital, rural health clinics and government-run hospitals in urban centers in Nigeria, Team Omoverhi created a $2,000 neonatal incubator that was vastly cheaper and in many ways outperformed existing models.
Team Omoverhi is Frugal Innovation at its best. They identified a problem: 4 million babies die each year before their first birthday, of that 4 million, 1.8 would have likely lived had then been kept warmer during their first week of life. Targeted a market: rural, underfunded and under-staffed health clinics in Nigeria. And then developed a solution: a better performing, cheaper neonatal incubator.
By applying business concepts to an altruistic goal, Team Omoverhi was able to hit the sweet spot of “doing good” while creating a product that can add to the bottom line. Well done Team Omoverhi!
Team Omoverhi is still perfecting their product. We’ll update the FrugalBlog with details as soon as we get them.
Relevant Ted Talk: Timothy Prestero: Design for People, not awards
Thanks again for reading,
The Frugal Lab Team