The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) just featured a project with MPowerd in its highlights of 2015. MPowerd is Haverford MI3’s most recent Impact Investment in our partnership with ORFL. It is a maker of an inflatable solar LED lamp called the Luci, a terrific product that is attractive to consumers in the developed world (Professor Mudd has two!) and provides essential light to the energy poor in developing countries who don’t have consistent, if any, access to electricity. MPowerd sells to both markets to be able to reach economies of scale in the production of Luci and thus reduce its costs when selling in emerging markets or to disaster relief/AID agencies.
MPowerd was an “out of season” investment assessed by a team of three students who were alums of EC298 Impact Investing. Three students, Conor Brennan-Burke (HC ’17), Nimesh Ghimire (Swat ’16) and Layne Cole (BMC ’17) worked with Professor Mudd in an independent study
They screened 6 firms which had originally pitched to Investors’ Circle and were close to closing and selected two for a full due diligence. After a tough decision making process, they reached consensus to invest in MPowerd based on its track record of sales, potential to scale, strong management, continuing innovation and, most importantly, its ability to impact the lives of families among the world’s energy poor. To get a sense of the impact that an LED lantern can have on such families, see the summary of a study of health and education impacts on Kenyan children from the use of LED lamps replacing kerosene lamps published by the William Davidson Institute here.
You can purchase the Luci at MPowerd’s website MPowerd.com, in a host of retail stores and on Amazon.com. At MPowerd’s website, you can also gift a Luci to a household in need through one of MPowerd’s partner NGO’s here.
You can find the CGI article featuring the MPowerd project with the Maasai of Kenya here. There is also a terrific Huffington Post/National Geographic story on the impacts of solar power LED lighting here.