Global USB Energy Solution - Burt Hammer of HydroBee

More than 2 billion people on Earth live in “energy poverty,” with little or unreliable access to the energy grid. Burt Hammer, co-founder and president of HydroBee, has invented a device that allows people living off the grid to keep their USB devices charged: phones, lights, and anything else that takes a USB charge. The device is powered by water, wind, sun, and kinetic motion (from hand crank to bicycle power). It’s poised to revolutionize access to USB power globally.

Astonishingly, Burt says that nobody seems to be working on a device quite like the HydroBee. There are countless battery-charging inventions that utilize the forces of nature, but none so compact (the HydroBee is about the size of a can of Coke) and versatile. Ongoing prototyping continues to expand its usefulness. Even since our interview, the design has changed quite a lot… and it’s looking sleek!

Creating a feasible solution to the global energy problem has not been without its costs. Burt admits that his “bandwidth is about over. Tapped out.” He’s had to fill the roles of inventor, promoter, fundraiser, and company leadership. His true talents like in tinkering and problem solving… the rest of it is “not my skill set,” he tells us. Finding leaders with the grit and talent to take his company global is a priority.

This interview is a must-watch for anyone trying to bring an invention to market. Perhaps the most important take-away is Burt’s solution to making his life-changing invention affordable to the target market. He’s found a manufacturing partner in Seattle that works with a rapid product development company in China, which can develop his concepts at a fraction of the cost of a U.S.-based supplier. “It’s literally 10% of the same quote in the United States,” he says. Engineering, product development, and distribution are all handled by the same company, creating in extraordinary savings. “As a result,” Burt says,” “I’ve just reduced my fundraising needs by half a million dollars.”

Credits
Underwriter: Crowdfund.Life
Interviewer: Thubten Comerford
Article: Eric Inman
Producer: Daniel Lucy
Video Editor: Jacob Curtis

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