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Innovation and Entrepreneurship Experiences

Hult Prize at Duke

Supervisor: Dean Jim Gaston

Project: Smart Shelters

Dates: August 2016 – December 2016

Hours: 5 hours/week · 15 weeks = 75 hours

In the Fall 2016 semester, I worked on the Smart Shelters project with a team of members from the Duke Smart Home club. The Smart Shelter we designed provides basic amenities to refugees, including solar panels for electricity, a solar water heater for warmth, and a rainwater collection and filtration system to produce for clean water.

In November 2016, we competed in the Hult Prize, the premier social entrepreneurship competition at Duke. We were chosen as finalists for the Duke competition. We presented our technology and the outline of a business plan for implementation, with the main source of funding coming from donations or grants. An similar business plan is being implemented by GRID Alternatives, a non-profit that relies on cap and trade, grants, and volunteer labor to install solar panels in underserved communities. We are hoping to implement our Shelter in a refugee camp in Jordan with support from DukeImmerse and DukeEngage, or try to set it up locally at a homeless shelter to test out the product and ensure its durability.