Around mid-2010 I registered a company in the State of Minnesota while sitting at my laptop in a $100/month, prison-bar-lined apartment in China. That company went on to sell over 10,000 solar mobile phone charging / LED lighting kits to service folks living off the grid in Latin America, and over 20 different countries in Africa.
As one might reasonably expect, it is quite a challenge selling to countries where trust is low, income and cash is low, and where...quite frankly...businesses with finance and distribution power write their own checks by making their own credit terms. But I'm glad I did it - and I learned a lot.
I have a crazy idea about how we here in Minnesota could disintermediate some of those questionable and often exploitative actors in impoverished regions around the world, through a risk model that is much lower than shipping solar kits. I've built a prototype and it will have been running for about 6 months by the time Minne* rolls around. I would be willing to let the Minne* audience in on the concept, if they would be wiling to dig into me and poke holes in my crazy plan.
This is a tale of solar power, climbing mountains, drinking coffee, mobile development, massive snowfalls, corn and grain, treasure hunting for data, all of the sorts of things that folks in the Minnesota tech community love (and maybe a few things that our friends and family would like to hear about too).
Founder TheSolarNinja, IoTFuse