Vision: Cybersecurity Made Easy

Mission: Making Life Better and Safer with Innovation

Values: Integrity Service Excellence 

OFF GRID BOX

Providing affordable clean water and renewable energy to anybody, anywhere.

Our Mission: 

 

To provide affordable clean water and renewable energy in remote areas.

  • Increase access to renewable energy sources

  • Safeguard quality and availability of clean water

  • Promote a sustainable and healthy way of life

Our story:

It all started with Emiliano and Davide setting up as much as they could remotely in a small shipping container. They took the box to the kindergarten and set it up in three days instead of three weeks! As of today, it only takes three hours to install one box. After that successful day, they knew their project was scalable and adaptable to multiple situations.

OffGridBox started selling globally to individuals for off-grid living purposes with additional development projects. However, our founders wanted to create a significant social impact, and that's why they chose Rwanda. In addition to the success of various pilot projects, Rwanda’s support for green technology and innovation made it ideal for OffGridBox to start the PayAsYouGo model. After proving the business model, hundreds of families have affordable access to purified water and solar energy. We look forward to expanding our reach to enable homes and communities to become sustainable and resilient.

 

In 2010, our founders Emiliano and Davide met while working at La Fabbrica del Sole (a non-profit focused on constructing clean energy products) in Italy. During their time there, they collaborated with OXFAM on several projects around the world that brought electricity and clean water to rural areas.

In 2014, OXFAM's project was to install solar panels and a water purifying system into six kindergartens in rural South Africa. Installation would take at least three weeks due to vast distances, training labor force, and material availability, making it more difficult to finish the project. Tired of all the complications and the inefficiency, OffGridBox was born.

Through the eyes of our CEO:

On A Sunny September Day In Rural Rwanda, Emiliano Reflects Back At The Momentous Occasion When A Brand New OffGridBox Was Installed In A Local Village

 

Look at these kids! They are excited because someone is bringing an amazing innovation to their village!

This morning they drank water from this swamp…

…the water was brought to their village by merchants on bicycles and it’s expensive!

We decided to do something about this by providing affordable clean water and renewable energy to these kids!

So this morning we loaded an OffGridBox onto a truck, drove to their village,

and unloaded the box on at the local school.

We also brought a big water tank to make sure we’ll never run out of water!

The box looks nice and settled here. All we need is sun and stable soil!

We immediately began installation, and made sure to involve women during this phase.

In just a few hours we were finished!

We switched on the unit and started giving free wifi to the school, purified water to the kids, and solar power to their families.

Our COO Davide locally tested the system with a remote monitor interface through the Wi-Fi straight from the box.

Benoit, our local implementing partner double checked the unit that he will run for 20 years!

Then a water truck came to provide steady flow into the box because it’s dry season and there was no water!

We can use rainwater, boreholes, ponds, and rivers to fill the tank.

The new community hub is ready!

 

The box provides affordable purified water, solar power and WiFi. Not only did it empower women with new jobs, brought smiles to faces, but will bring health benefits with clean water!

By the end of the day, the box is safe, locked, and ready to serve.

The very next morning our women box managers were trained to run the box.

The box was so quick and easy to set up that as a matter of fact by the end of the afternoon we were ready to depart.

Even though we are tired from a long day of hard work, it was easily overpowered by the happiness on the children’s faces as they saw their first drop of clean water.

Just a simple story with a big idea. Let’s make clean water and renewable energy accessible and affordable in remote areas!"

Emiliano Cecchini, CEO

Our Team:

 

We are located in Italy, United States, and Rwanda working
extremely hard to develop solutions that have a net positive impact.
Our headquarter is in Boston, Massachusetts at Greentown Labs.

Emiliano Cecchini, PhD 📋
Cofounder & Chief Executive Officer

Has 15 years of international expertise in the industry and has built the world's first underground hydrogen pipes' system. Launched three successful companies in the renewables sector. He has a degree in Physics and a PhD in Chemistry.

Davide Bonsignore 📋
Cofounder & Chief Operating Officer

Worked in 4 African countries leading feasibility studies and deployment of off-grid solutions in remote areas. He is in the board of 2 companies specialized in the production of alternative energies. MSc in Economics and International Development.

Andrea Baldini 📋
Chief Technical Officer

The lead engineer focused on water treatment, photovoltaic energy, and heating; he has 10 years experience internationally along with a strong academic background, he has been coordinating R&D activities for OffGridBox

Bas Berends 📋
Chief Partnership Officer 

Bas has 20 years’ experience working as a Dutch diplomat in Beijing, Paris, Tirana and The Hague. Has been involved in Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development goals. Master’s degrees in International Relations, Rural Development, and European Studies.

Troy Billett 📋
US Director

He has 7 years of experience helping over 15 startups with sales and fundraising. He is an advisor for several social enterprises focused on economic empowerment and a mentor for MIT and Harvard. BA in International Management from a Swiss and U.S. accredited university. 

Kathryn Chelminski, PhD 📋
Disaster Relief

Previously a doctoral research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center and at the University of Cambridge Energy Policy Research Group. She also held research positions at the Post-Conflict & Disaster Management Branch of the UNEP and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation. She has a PhD in International Relations and Political Science.

Gianfranco Salvadori
Senior Engineer

Focused on machine design, and production control; he built more than 10.000kWp of 'turn-key' solar farms, performed Quality Check in machine manufacturing for 12 years and taught Machine Automation at Siena University (IT)

Luca Cerofolini
Supply Chain Manager & Engineer

Focused on remote monitoring and fine-tuning of OffGridBox, overall performance metrics and optimization, he continuously scouts technical updates. He is a passionate outdoor explorer.

Vladimir Prelevic 📋
Financial Analyst

Impact Package = Village Kiosks

We provide rural electricification and clean water at an affordable price, empoewr women entrepreneurs to run Pay-As-You0Go boxes, and build more resilient and sustainable communities through renewable energy.

The Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) model empowers rural communities by providing access to renewable energy and clean water at an affordable price. 

If you are a company or an NGO interested in making the same impact while also generating revenues, you should consider franchising our OffGridBox. All it takes is an intial investment that covers production, shipment, installation, and training. 

After deployment, we charge a modest monthly service fee for remote monitoring, training on the business model, and for the use of proprietary software to manage business, maintenance, and hardware technology.

So far, we have successfully installed 8 PAYG boxes, with 40 more boxes (already funded!) being deployed in the near future in Rwanda, Tanzania, and the DRC.

Women entrepreneurs are trained to run the boxes with our mobile application and people in remote areas now have access to purified water, clean energy, and Wi-Fi for communication!

OffGridBox users do the following:

  • Purchase a battery kit + jerrycans (micro loans available)

  • Pay a small amount (18 cents) to recharge the battery, get purified water, and access Wi-Fi from the box at each visit

  • Use services about 2-3 times a week

  • About 400 families are served from each box

This is a financially sustainable impact.

Disaster Relief Hub

An all-encompassing, fast, and resilient solution to assist NGOs and relief agencies.

We want to help you on the road to recovery.

 

Natural disasters can happen anytime and anywhere, preventing entire

countries, cities and families from accessing basic resources.

Electricity, water, and connectivity are usually the first resources that become

unavailable when a disaster strikes.

A little box with lasting benefits

All-encompassing relief hub

Ensure that your deployed team has the resources to perform at full potential

  • Communication (WiFi / cellular)

  • Electricity from renewable energy

  • Clean purified water

*all the hardware fits inside a 6x6 ft shipping container, ready to be deployed. Modules available for customization

Be the first to respond

Get the box to the affected area quickly for disaster relief

  • Only 3 hour installation (other solar systems take 3 weeks!)

  • Deploy and set up a new box within 2 months!

  • Or less than 30 days for a used box

*easily transport the box on a small truck, boat, or helicopter if needed

Create long term resiliency

The box was designed to be maintained by trained locals with a basic set of tools

  • Prepare for emergencies by packing up in only 30 minutes

  • The welded shipping container can withstand a cyclone!

  • Lifetime of a box is 20 years*

*boxes can be relocated if needs change, or resell the box to us through our buyback program

Serving thousands of people around the globe

From NGO partners to private investors, deploy the box anywhere with enough sunlight and collect water from a variety of sources for purification

Applications

Provide water for hygiene, drinking, and cooking; energy for laptops, phones, refrigerators, and lighting; and WiFi for communication.

Rebuilding Effort: Community Centers

Recover from disasters by providing reliable infrastructure to a school, clinic, or center.

Support more than 200 victims* (students, patients, and staff).

Long-term impact: ~20 years

Emergency Preparedness: Victims

Be ready for disasters with a resilient system at your school, clinic or center and easily convert it to a Relief Hub in minutes.

Optional 300 charging USB ports for phones and support 200-2000 victims*.

Long-term impact: ~20 years

 

Relief Camps: Deployed Teams

Respond quickly to disasters by equipping your team with essential resources.

Additional support to 100-1,000 nearby victims*

Short-term impact: 6 months - 3 years

 

*depends on consumption habits

Some examples of our box deployments

THE PHILIPPINES

PUERTO RICO

MADAGASCAR

THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Other Installations

A sustainable and reliable solution for clean water and renewable energy in remote areas.

We aspire to empower people no matter where they live.

From no access to electricity to protecting against load shedding,

OffGridBox™ is helping NGOs, businesses, and homeowners become more

sustainable, secure and self-sufficient.

Making Off-Grid Living Possible

A little box with big advantages

All-in-one solution

Install your box anywhere with a source of water, enough sunlight, and stable soil

  • Electricity, filtered water, and battery storage

  • Communication (Wi-Fi)

  • Easy delivery by boat, truck, helicopter, etc.

*all the hardware fits inside a 6x6 ft shipping container, ready to be deployed. Modules available for customization

 

Independent & easy to use

Independence from the grid

  • Collect dirty water from any source (rainwater, boreholes, rivers, wells, lakes, etc.)

  • Only 3 hour installation with basic set of tools (other solar systems take ~3 weeks!)

  • Estimate of 2 months from time of purchase to fully operational

*a box can support long-term use of about 20 years! Now accepting pre-orders for desalination

 

Sustainable & cost saving

An environmentally friendly solution

  • Renewable energy from solar panels - no air pollution!

  • Solar is 36% more cost effective than diesel

  • No more utility bills from the grid

*protect against load shedding, and provide backup for power outages

From powering a school to irrigating a farm, we’ve got you covered

Applications

Provide a long-term solution for your building, home, or farm with renewable energy and clean water.

Schools, Clinics, NGO Offices And Community Centers

Increase resiliency of infrastructure to serve your community to the fullest

Provide for 200 people* (students, staff, medical personnel)

Long term impact ~20 years

Houses, Cabins, Tiny Homes

Make your home self-sufficient, secure, and sustainable while living off the grid

Provide for a 2 bedroom household*

Long term impact ~20 years

 

Farms & Ranches 

Give your remote farm access to clean energy and filtered water

Provide for a small farm

Optional automatic timer and drip irrigation unit available

Long term impact ~20 years

*depends on consumption habits

Collaborators

EEP Africa
The Energy and Environment Partnership covering Southern and East Africa (EEP Africa) is a multi-donor fund providing early stage grant and catalytic financing to innovative clean energy projects, technologies and business models. Since 2010, EEP Africa has received funding support from Austria, Finland, NDF and the United Kingdom. OffGridBox has received funding from EEP Africa to install a total of 30 of our units in Rwanda.

DOEN Foundation
We secured a loan of $300k from the DOEN Foundation, a Dutch fund that supports pioneers who work hard to establish a greener, more socially-inclusive, and more creative society. With this funding, we will be able to deploy 12 OffGridBoxes in Rwanda, as part of our efforts to scale up our social impact activities.  

Good Energies Foundation
We received a grant from Good Energies, a Foundation which believes that reversing climate change and alleviating poverty go hand in hand. Their goal is to help prevent climate change and mitigate its harm, especially to people who live in poverty. The focus is on two levers that reverse climate change: clean energy and forest protection. Backed by a family of entrepreneurs, Good Energies Foundation invests in early-stage market solutions and funds efforts to bring successful approaches to scale.  

MIT D-Lab
MIT D-Lab is working with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges. We are excited to announce our collaboration to properly recognize and better understand communities in need. Learn more about our desalination pilot in South Africa.

MIT Water Innovation Prize
As the main innovation-focused event of MIT Water Club, the MIT Water Innovation Prize is a startup competition focused on water innovation that awards up to $30K in grants annually to student-led teams from across the country and internationally. Each year, the Prize engages professional mentors from across the water sector/industry to help provide guidance to semi-finalist teams on business plans, technical challenges, and more. Our CEO had the honor to mentor teams in 2017, will also mentor in this year, and is looking forward to future involvements with the MIT Water Club.  

MIT EnergyHack
As an industry professional in the Cleantech industry, we are delighted to return as a judge for the 2018 MIT EnergyHack hosted by the MIT Energy Club for the second time. Challenges are presented by companies in the energy industry, and students from a breadth of disciplines come together to develop rapid innovative solutions to solve energy issues our society faces today.   

Off Grid Farming 
Our partnership with Off Grid Farming is a clear reflection what it means to live off the grid. Located in the Italian region of Tuscany, visitors have a chance to experience what it is like to be fully disconnected from all networks - electricity, water, sewage, gas, etc - in order to become fully self-sufficient, without bills, and especially without polluting. We  host our distributors and customers at Off Grid Farming for 2 nights at no charge. 

Off Grid Academy
The Off Grid Academy is a school that introduces you to the world of living totally off-grid. One can learn the theory and practice of solar panels, hydrogen, and water purification. Get you hands dirty and make synergistic gardens and drip irrigation systems, or study how to create self-sufficient and sustainable communities. Also learn how to make honey and bread, build an oven, compost, and so much more all at the “schoolyards” of the Off Grid Academy. 

Eco Structures Australia
We happily support this collaboration to create truly sustainable and resilient solutions, combining their unique housing and our power and water solution for off-grid living and ecotourism. Eco Structures Australia aspires to be the leading provider of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable Eco Tents throughout Australia and the world. They offer affordable environmentally sustainable accommodation products to service remote area locations and create cost-effective tourism infrastructure both in Australia and internationally. The semi-permanent design helps Eco Tents effectively service a broad demand base, including ‘Glamping’ tourism, pastoral needs, workers’ accommodation, mining, and remote residential or holiday housing requirements. 

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, we are grateful to work with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to develop technologies for rural areas across the globe. The MassCEC has awarded a series of grants for research and development and through employment opportunities in order to help scale our business. Additionally, they have helped to connect us with inspiring and knowledgeable mentors in the industry, giving crucial feedback for the development of a sustainable business.

 

The City Of Somerville 
We are excited to announce our collaboration with the City of Somerville. In February 2018, we moved our global headquarters to Somerville, MA. Additionally, we received a grant from the city to help finalize the R&D needed for our US model (now available for purchase!). As a direct result, primary schools in Puerto Rico now have a resilient supply of clean water and solar energy.  

The World Alliance For Efficient Solutions
The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions is an initiative created by the Solar Impulse Foundation, following the success of the first solar flight around the world. Created on November 2016, it brings together the main actors in the field of clean technologies in order to create synergies that will ultimately speed ­up the implementation of clean and profitable solutions that have the potential to address the environmental challenges of today. OffGridBox applied to be one of 1000 clean, efficient and profitable solutions to protect the environment.


Not Impossible
At CES 2017, we were honored to receive the The Not Impossible Ignition Award made Possible by National Grid and Hawaiian Electric Company. Not Impossible Awards not only demonstrated some of the most innovative and life changing technologies, but presented the work of hard working engineers through compelling and beautiful short documentaries. Not Impossible Labs and Not Impossible Foundation continue to work closely with our team for media support, technology partners, and funding.

Greentown Labs
Currently our office is headquartered at Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech startup incubator in the United States. Located in Somerville, MA, and operating a 100,000 sq. ft. campus, Greentown Labs enables entrepreneurs to solve today’s biggest energy and environmental problems by providing access to the resources, labs, and funding they need to thrive.  At Greentown Labs, we deeply believe in the impact that innovative clean technologies will have on the world, and we know the relentless human energy of a few scientists, engineers and business people can make a big difference.

Techstars
After acceptance to the accelerator program in early 2017, Techstars not only invested, but introduced our founders to the Boston startup ecosystem. Additionally, the program helped us define an exponential business model, enabling an early seed round in order to establish a US headquarters and begin international development in Rwanda. Due to our traction after the program, Techstars Ventures invested and continues to support us with introductions to key partners and funders.

MassChallenge
Our company became a MassChallenge finalist in the summer of 2017. Determined to make the best of the MassChallenge network, we made many contacts and finished the program as the #1 company in cleantech, taking home the top prize of $100k. We are proud to be an alumnus and look forward to staying in the network and attending future events.

Source:

https://www.offgridbox.com/