Jason Browne -- a Drexel senior, entrepreneur, and NextFab member -- has teamed up with staff to prototype Spore, a solar-powered battery charger.
Prototype 3D printed and assembled at NextFab
With the help of NextFab's resident experts, Jason has built a 1.0 version of Spore after feeling inspired to power his devices without an outlet but also without solely relying on a battery. Creating a solar-powered charging device is not a completely new idea, but the inventiveness of Spore lies in it's scalability. "The primary feature of Spore is that each unit can be daisy-chained to others via USB port so that it speeds up the charging capacity. You can even charge Spore with Spore."
Browne co-founded the budding business with fellow Drexel undergrad David Hunt, and pitched the idea to classmates and soon-to-be teammates Mark Brandon and Dylan Kenny. Back in February 2013, the team won the third local Lean Startup Machine, a national network of paid conferences that aim to teach efficient early-stage principles while building a business idea over a weekend. Later in October, using a fully-functional prototype created at NextFab, the team took first-place at Drexel's Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship annual competition. The coveted title won them workspace inside the Institute's incubator, exposure to experts and mentors, and $10,000 of startup money.
Now, Browne says he is meeting with investors and potential manufacturing partners, and is focusing on launching a Kickstarter fundraiser to procure additional capital for his business. Future iterations of the product include wind turbine accessories as an alternative energy source, furthering its potential for worldwide use.