DBN Innovation Award winner makes strides

Unique product assists electricity consumption management and provides internet

24 September 2020 | Business

Winner of the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) 2019 Innovation Award, Pulsar Electronics, is making strides with a DBN enterprise development and support package that is securing the future of its award winning business proposal.
Pulsar’s innovative product, known as GridX, offers the twofold benefits of an electricity management device that enables enterprises and households to manage their electricity usage remotely, as well as being a Wi-Fi router.
Pulsar has obtained a patent for GridX that covers both types of functionality. The device is unique globally.
“This specific implementation of these technologies has not been carried out anywhere else in the world,” says Kamati Hasheela of Pulsar.
Of particular importance to the panel of judges on the DBN Innovation Award was the ability to manage electricity consumption. Namibia has an electricity deficit, and by providing a means to assess and manage consumption, electricity savings can be improved.

‘Substantial savings’
As a meter, GridX offers power producers, distributors and users the ability to collect information through wireless technologies such as 4G, 3G, and fiber. For home users, the GridX user will be able to remotely transmit their electricity tokens to the meter and remotely turn geysers on and off to make substantial electricity savings.
Homes using GridX will also have internet access, as well as a local area network (LAN) that allows internet access for multiple devices in the home. Power producers and distributors that are exploring internet access as an addition to their business models will be able to benefit from this.
GridX is attracting interest in the region, and Pulsar has signed co-development partnership agreements with local start-ups in Angola, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The company is leveraging technical expertise in the SADC to collaboratively produce a solution that is customized for regional needs. A pilot programme is expected to prove the benefits of the device.
Pulsar has been placed on the DBN Mentoring and Coaching Programme and work is progressing.
Although global events caused various delays in the project supply chain, the project is on track to complete the functional prototype and bankable business plan in the second half of 2020. The team has finalised development of the electronics and started regulatory approval procedures with STS in South Africa.
Pulsar is receiving DBN support to finalise product development, optimise the cost of production, develop and execute a product marketing plan, develop a product revenue model, and to assist in the creation and presentation of product packaging.

Global winner
In August 2020, Pulsar went on to win the Namibian Nations of the Entrepreneurship World Cup, a competition to bring together startups from 190 countries to compete on an international stage. Pulsar will represent Namibia in the finals held in Riyadh Saudi Arabia later this year. It is also seeking additional capitalization to bring the product to market.
Hasheela’s advice to innovators is to prioritize creating a team of individuals based on merits and competency in the task that they will be contributing to the project. An idea is great but means very little without the team to carry out the implementation, he says.
Hasheela concludes by thanking the Development Bank of Namibia and local partners, who through their early assistance have been able to support the development process of the device.

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