For many people in some of the poorest parts of the world, the mobile phone has been a game-changer, allowing them to buy and sell goods and take part in the global marketplace. But what’s harder to access is regular electricity, which means keeping those phones charged can be a daily problem. In fact, 1.3 billion people still lack access to regular power. And that’s where BuffaloGrid comes in.
The startup has spent years developing its Hubs, which deliver power to people even in off-grid areas, helping them to get – and stay – connected. Through its Hub, cloud platform and on-the-ground agent network, BuffaloGrid allows people to make a mobile payment for the service, whether they’re using a smartphone or feature phone.
We’re proud to say that BuffaloGrid’s service is developed right here at Plexal. The startup’s Hubs are currently powering up phones in Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India, and it is also looking into markets in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
And in recognition of the team’s amazing work, BuffaloGrid’s Hub has been nominated for the Beazley Designs of the Year 2017 award: the Design Museum’s flagship exhibition and awards that celebrates over 60 innovative designs from around the world across six categories: architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport.
This year has seen a number of entries related to activism and protest, including the Pussyhat – which has been worn in protest of US president Donald Trump’s comments about women – and artist Wolfgang Tillmans’ Remain campaign for the Brexit referendum.
You can check out BuffaloGrid’s Hub for yourself, along with the other nominations, at the Design Museum’s exhibition from 18 October until 28 January next year. There will be a public vote starting from October 2017 before a jury of industry experts picks the final winners in January 2018. We couldn’t be more excited for the team.