Do you ever wonder how a solar cooker could become one of the largest businesses on the planet? Yes, indeed! Several companies, such as One Earth Designs and Shark Tank, are helping with this endeavor.
One earth design is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing social and environmental improvements to the world via the efforts of its self-motivated multi-disciplinary workforce.
This team consists of scientists, practical thinkers, and creative designers. While Shark Tank is a reality show focused on locating and investing in the top businesses in America.
SolSource is a solar-powered portable burner. There is no need for gas or charcoal. SolSource (manufactured by One Earth Designs) was proposed by Dr. Catlin Powers of Burlingame, California, one of the founders of SolSource, on Shark Tank in February 2018.
The Harvard graduate (Ph.D. in Environmental Health) approached the Tank asking for a $500,000 investment in exchange for a 3% stake. That is a $16.6 million appraisal.
During her pitch, billionaire Mark Cuban posed the following question to Powers: “Do you believe you could instill terror in Elon Musk and drive them out of business?”
In 2016, Tesla creator Musk acquired solar panel manufacturer SolarCity for an astounding $2.6 billion. “Yes, I believe we can accomplish that,” Powers responded.
On Shark Tank, Powers walked away with a deal from Cuban – $500,000 in exchange for 4% of the company and a board position.
What is SolSource?
Solsource is a highly efficient, pollution-free, 100 percent solar-powered stove that enables cooking wherever in the sun.
A parabolic reflector panel concentrates the sun’s rays on a single focal point. The device is 92 percent energy-efficient, portable, adaptable, and accessible to affluent and low-income people worldwide.
Temperatures of over 550°F may be attained in 5 minutes for grilling and baking, and water can be boiled in 10 minutes per liter.
Solsource is a Burlingame, California-based startup that has developed a solar grill capable of cooking food using just solar energy.
The entrepreneur behind the grill claims will save money on charcoal and prevent carbon emissions associated with fuel combustion.
|Product||Solar Powered Grill|
|Investment Seeking||$500,000 For 3% equity in SolSource|
|Final Deal||$500,000 For 4% equity in SolSource|
|Business Status||Out of Business|
Who is the Founder of SolSource?
Dr. Catlin Ishihara Powers is the founder of SolSource and CEO of One Earth Designs, created in 2012 and previously situated in California.
Presently, she is volunteering for Namaste Foundation in Wellington, New Zealand.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in environmental studies from Wellesley College before earning a doctorate in environmental health from Harvard.
She holds two solar patents, has served on the boards of directors of various social change groups and has received a slew of honors for her work in environmental studies.
She grew up with teachers for parents and an itinerant family, which inspired her interest in construction.
After 54 prototypes, the eco-engineer came up with the idea of Solsource to assist Himalayan peasants in cooking in sandstorms and sub-zero temperatures and away from dangerous yak dung fires.
Additionally, she invented a water-carrying backpack during this time. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $143k, she co-founded Solsource with MIT grad Scot Frank.
This allowed her to make changes and communicate with her consumer base. She eventually convinced a small factory in southern China to manufacture the product after it was rejected by multiple manufacturers due to the order’s modest size.
Solsource partnered with non-profit groups to educate and empower local communities about solar cooking. Later in life, Powers developed an interest in solar energy storage.
SolSource Before Shark Tank
The Shark Tank welcomes a new entrepreneur whose company was born from a desire to help others. Catelyn Powers is a physician who sells a product called SolSource.
She has come to request a $500,000 investment in exchange for a 3% stake in her business. We all like time in the sun – those long summer days spent outside grilling delectable food.
However, how often have you gone to the grill and discovered that you are out of fuel or that you need to scrape off the soot first?
Gasoline is expensive, heavy, and time-consuming. In addition, it contains cancer-causing particulates that pollute the food.
However, what if she informed you that you might prepare delectable cuisine entirely without using any fuel? SolSource is a solar-powered grill.
SolSource’s traditional model is quick, powerful, and lasting. It quickly warms to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and can cook a meal in less than ten minutes.
SolSource Sports models are lightweight, compact, and collapse into a two-foot carrying container so that you can cook anything outdoors.
SolSource allows you to prepare delicious dishes without spending any fuel or releasing any pollution so that you can save time, money, and energy.
So, which of the Sharks wants to use solar energy to power the next barbecue?
How Was the Shark Tank Pitch of SolSource?
Robert addresses the critical concerns – how much sun would he require, and how long will it take for SolSource to heat up?
You can cook using SolSource as long as you’ve seen your shadow. It warms up five times as quickly as a charcoal barbecue.
It would be prudent to incorporate a temperature gauge for “people who are grill-challenged and need a sense of time.”
Customers can upgrade to a third-party add-on if this feature isn’t included at the moment.
Lori makes an excellent point — when you own a gas cooker, you understand how to adjust the temperature. Control can be moderated by concealing portions of the panel.
You can also alter the side panels to raise the temperature. Rohan Oza asks Catelyn to break down sales figures for him, specifically. The SolSource retails for $249 or $499 for the sports model, with a profit margin of 80% and direct sales.
Rohan inquires about how she came up with the concept, given that the doctor was involved. Catelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in environmental health.
She earned her doctorate at Harvard University and traveled to the Himalayas ten years ago to complete a study. Rather than that, she ended up building the company.
A local family welcomed her into their home, where she discovered that the air was ten times more contaminated than air in Beijing. This is mere since they are cooking their midday meal.
Each year, more people die from smoke inhalation while cooking than from aids and malaria combined. Each year, 4.3 million individuals die.
Once she realized this, she was unable to resume her studies in the usual manner. She began collaborating with nomadic families in an attempt to find a solution. She has sold SolSource for $1.3 million to date.
They made $100,000 in sales last year. This is a modest number that attracts the Sharks’ interest. Catelyn wishes to inform them about the company’s evolution throughout time.
They began in the Himalayas and created a barter-based business, as the majority of their clients lacked access to cash, exchanging solar cookers for agricultural commodities.
They distribute to consumers via horse, yak, and motorcycle. Robert claims that this is the first time they’ve ever had a product delivered via yak on Shark Tank.
They built a successful enterprise in the Himalayas before encountering a major setback in the form of ethnic strife.
They had the military seize them, reducing their profit margin to minus $4 per unit. As a result of the threat to the team, Catelyn made the difficult and soul-wrenching decision to restructure the business model entirely.
It was the most trying period of her life. Lori inquires as to why, and the answer is that it was because they witnessed what their clients were going through and knew there’s nothing they could do to help.
Catelyn was dangerously close to death twice, both times due to parasite infections, indicating that she was not doing well at the time. She relocated the business to America, which they are currently adjusting to.
They have sold units through Amazon and their website. They anticipate revenues of $500,000 by year’s end. It only took a month to release the product – the project was accelerated by manufacturing the goods.
The response has been overwhelming, and the SolSource incorporates a new reflecting material that is 92 percent efficient in terms of energy use.
They have utility patents on the product’s design and newly created materials, but the new product is a solar battery system. It stores energy in the same way that plants do-over days.
This is a naturally occurring biomimicry system that will enable them to cook at night and also indoors.
Mark argues, with all the things she can do with her technology, why a grill when harnessing the sun and creating more energy quickly?
Catelyn says the consumer market can enhance technology by working with it to be implemented and grown.
Mark adds that she is engaged in a struggle for efficiency in technology and then in a battle for consumer marketing, which is much more costly.
Lori describes Catelyn as intelligent and daring. However, the issue is that barbecuers are opportunistic when it comes to taste and fragrance. Regrettably, she is the first Shark to walk away from the agreement due to the market’s extreme volatility.
Robert notes one of his favorite sayings is that someone made a daring decision in a tiny firm. Catelyn is all about bravery, yet she possesses tremendous technology and desires nothing more than to pitch a barbeque. It does not convince him to believe the presentation, and as a result, Robert is out of the agreement.
Catelyn begins to explain that she is involved in various aspects of the business, but Barb cuts her off. To demonstrate Robert’s perspective, it’s somewhat strange that Catelyn has an answer for everything, and it’s all balanced.
She has the impression that she is interacting with a very intelligent robot, but there is some suspicion.
Rohan asserts that he is unconcerned about her IQ. Barb, on the other hand, claims that she finds the evaluation unbelievable. Barb, on the other hand, is not a believer and thus is excluded.
Catelyn is appreciative of Barbara’s point of view. Rohan states that he has the impression that the dog’s tail is wagging. Catelyn entered the room with a “diamond in the rough” and demonstrated a grill.
If she had arrived with a more acceptable form of technology rather than a grill, her presentation would have been far more applauded. The solar power battery is also intriguing because Catelyn’s story is not contained within the grill.
In an ideal world, the batteries would have transitioned cities and economies, but the issue currently is that Rohan has too many questions about part B, given how much time they spent on part A.
Regrettably, Rohan is the fourth Shark to withdraw from the transaction, leaving only Mark Cuban.
Mark begins by enquiring whether Catelyn is capable of adapting the reflectors to function in automobiles. Yes, Catelyn confirms.
SolSource is currently focusing on micronizing the material, which is effectively solar skins, she explains. They will be made of a malleable substance.
Mark then inquires whether Catelyn believes she can instill terror in Elon Musk and convince him that Tesla will go bankrupt. Catelyn feels she is capable of doing so.
Mark then advances a $500,000 offer in exchange for a 5% stake in the company. Catelyn counters with 4% and a board seat, which Mark gratefully accepts.
Finally, Catelyn has acquired a partnership and executive position with Mark Cuban. Barbara informs Mark that she is not an entrepreneur but a scientist.
Mark asserts that 99.999 percent of individuals who enter the Shark Tank do not represent billion-dollar chances.
In the worst-case scenario, Mark will have the best-tasting steaks in the United States without spending a cent on barbecue fuel.
What Happened To SolSource After Shark Tank?
Solsource was profitable compared to Nanosolar and Upsolar, but RECOM outperforms them in annual revenue but loses market share.
Since the Shark Tank episode aired, SolSource has made no significant announcements. However, their opportunity may have just increased.
Reuters reports that Tesla will close a significant portion of its SolarCity sales network (12 locations in nine states) and sever ties with Home Depot, a major sales source.
Solsource has announced that it would cease production on January 1, 2020. They provided a six-month window till June 2020 to purchase their remaining inventory and after-sales services.
SolSource has ceased operations as of today.
SolSource After Shark Tank Update
With Mark’s investment, SolSource brings solar electricity right to your front door. It seems that the technology has still not been applied for other applications since SolSource’s classical grill and the sport edition are the only two goods available.
SolSources is an easy-to-use, clean and safe, 100% recyclable alternative that produces no pollution.
The SolSource website, currently listed as One Earth Designs, contains several times SolSource can use – mostly half an hour after sunrise till half an hour before sunset.
San Francisco, for instance, can grill in the summer between 7 am and 6:30 pm, but only in the winter between 9 am and 10:30 pm. In the summer, Stockholm may grill from 5:30 to 6 p.m., but not in the winter.
As indicated before, SolSource Classic and SolSource Sport are the only two models available.
Both are solar ovens – the classic model begins at 648 $, and the sport model begins at 369 $. A SolSource Classic Bundle is available, even if it is not available now.
The Bundle includes the SolSource Classic, a grill with a lid, and a cover for your solar oven before it was made unavailable.
The SolSource Classic Grill Pan is still available, but SolSource Sport has its distinct cookware line specifically designed for the oven. It sold for 799 dollars.
It will be interesting to see where SolSource technology fits into next. However, it is quite deceptive to note that the two variants of SolSource ovens remain rather expensive, and the technology has not yet been applied to any usage.
Still, this Shark Tank episode is only one year old, so SolSource has a long time to accomplish much good.
Is SolSource Still in Business?
Many were shocked when One Earth Designs revealed that SolSource would stop producing on 1 January 2020. Why the company fell was unclear.
The company, however, guaranteed its consumers that it would still obtain the SIC product in Asia and the US.
Everything seemed to be up to the plan until the start of last year. They declared that they would stop their operations on their website.
However, they assured their clients that humanitarian programs such as SolSource would continue to promote a social global impact purpose.