Angaza Design

What it does: Develops solar products for households without electricity
Founders: Lesley Silverthorn, 25, (left, with camera) and Bryan Duggan, 25
Website: angazadesign.com
Based: San Francisco
Revenue 2010: n/a; started selling its products in July 2011
Revenue 2011 (projected): $30,000

After interning at Lab126, the Amazon (AMZN) subsidiary that developed the Kindle, and then working for an engineering consultancy, Lesley Silverthorn wanted to do more with her skills than “designing the next sexy consumer electronic for the U.S. market.” The Stanford-educated mechanical engineer co-founded Angaza Design last summer to make household products for poor people living off the grid in the developing world. Angaza’s solar lighting system, meant to replace kerosene lamps, wholesales for $45; its solar cell-phone charger goes for $20. This summer, the five-person startup started shipping the devices, which are made by Chinese contract manufacturers, to customers in Afghanistan, India, and Uganda. Silverthorn says it is planning to ship to Guatemala, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania by the fall. Silverthorn expects to close an $800,000 round from angels by November and reach $430,000 in revenue in 2012. “People who live on less than $2 a day are actually paying more money for a far-inferior toxic product: kerosene,” says Silverthorn, 25. “We’re not giving aid. We’re providing access to products that [individuals] can use to lift themselves out of poverty.” —Nick Leiber
 
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