Monthly Archives: July 2012

Co-work and Accelerate Your Startup

88mph, the largest co-working space in Africa, is also home to a new accelerator for business startups. With the help of up to 24k in seed financing, for a 6-18% stake in your company, you can bring your idea to reality. Deadline is August 15th, apply here.

The speed at which the mobile internet has reached the markets of Africa, now at 274 million Africans on Edge or 3G, has created a huge demand for local applications and services catering to the young and growing middle classes of Africa. Kresten Buch, founder of 88mph comments, “Looking 2-5 years ahead, the US and Europe will be stagnating at best. I think the biggest opportunities for return on investment will be in Africa and other emerging markets. Our accelerator program is a great opportunity for international tech entrepreneurs and returning diaspora to come, take advantage of the insane growth here, and work on solving some really interesting problems.”

For school lunch, you might have a dollar to spend. How much food does that really buy? In a recent photography project, “The Value of a Dollar” depicts just that, and yes, a dollar is the budget per student in the United States. Continue reading.

Crowdfunding the Regenerative Home

Let’s create the Regenerative Home. With this proposal, we are raising funds to showcase technologies for homes that are ecological, affordable, and appropriate for these times. We will build the second prototype this summer in Colorado (earlier version shown in the intro video). Throughout the construction we will document in film and photography. The building plans will be available this year online for $10. Plus, in a subsequent fundraising effort next year, we will assemble an online documentary film about the process so others can learn from and recreate these ideas.

The movie above shows you what the Hiperadobe (a type of Earthbag) earthen wall system looks like in action. The Regenerative Home design uses the hiperadobe system for the walls, and an ancient Nubian adobe vault method to enclose the space. This was used by humanitarian architect Hassan Fathy. It is still popular today in many countries because it minimizes the use of wood by replacing it with earth, and is very durable. Similar adobe vaults that are thousands of years old still stand today. The Regenerative Home uses this age-old roofing technique with additional reinforcement to ensure safety and longevity. (Fund here)

Taking the Plunge

Living more efficiently can definitely be intimidating, so an easy way to incorporate a little more off-grid living into your life is generating your own electricity. There are plenty of options, and although some are costly, they generally begin to benefit you down the road. There are a few things in bear in mind when you get started. For example, wind turbines, well, they might die down if there isn’t any wind, and if there is battery back-up, it might not always be enough. Some circumstances might require more sources of backup to ensure that they can be counted on. Having a backup generator is key, an you can use a gasoline generator to back the batteries. Gasoline generators run about ten percent of the fuel cost to a coal-fired power plant and, of course, you don’t use it nearly as long.

The biggest key here is to do your research. There are plenty of ways to move toward a life that is more off-the-grid, benefiting your wallet and the environment — a win-win situation. If you’re a part of the lifestyle already or just moving into it, the time is definitely now: getting started will bring you closer with our planet, which will be the biggest benefit of all. (Source)