SolarPocha is a solar-powered outdoor workspace where students and professionals can connect to both electricity and the Internet and work comfortably outdoors. The idea came about as part of a creative group competition, and Oluwatobi Oyinlola later decided to put it into practice in Nigeria. After further development, Oyinlola installed the first device at his old university to make it available to students.
The workstation can be placed anywhere, allowing people to work in a variety of environments without having to be near a power grid or Internet connection. They are ideal for schools, universities, parks and even restaurants.
In regions where power is unreliable and data costs are prohibitive, students and professionals cannot take advantage of the global digital economy. As a result, developing regions are further disadvantaged, and students in particular have a difficult time competing for academic honors, opportunities, and knowledge.
The SolarPocha is wheelchair accessible and has enough space for all eight people and their personal laptops. Oyinlola has also developed an online booking system that allows users to reserve a seat at the table for the duration of their need.
Oyinlola’s experience with pay-as-you-go solar systems and various Internet of Things (IoT) startups made SolarPocha a natural fit. For this project, the serial contractor partnered with a local craftsman in Ibadan to ensure the workstation was built to a high standard.
Maintenance of the system is minimal, and Internet is purchased in bulk, both of which are financed by the booking fee paid by users.
With more than 200 universities across Nigeria, Oyinlola’s initial target market offers the opportunity to reach thousands of young people and provide them with a reliable place to work, collaborate and connect with the world.