Let's throw back to 2018
- The big issues in the last half of the year that we have missed -
By Kim, Flint Lab Inc.
Updated March, 2019
In the last half of the year, Flint Lab had quite a bunch of challenges and achievements
that we want to share with you before they are missed.
▶ [October 2019] '2019 Citypreneurs Competition'
The Citypreneurs Competition contains three missions and two tracks. The missions are firstly, 'Global Goals' : Accelerate the achievement of the SDGs through bringing together innovators with policymakers. Secondly, 'Smart Sustainable Cities' : Find innovative solutions to growing urban challenges. Thirdly, 'Youth for Change' : Grow the innovation ecosystem for youth-led start-ups to create positive social impacts.
The tracks are divided by Seed and Growth. The Seed track is designed for early-stage startups looking for validation of their venture. Next, the Growth track is only for Startups with 3+ years of experience. The market-tested prototypes are invited to pitch in this track.
On October 31s, the '2018 Urban Innovation Challenge: Citypreneurs Young SDGs Start-Up Competition' was
hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Digital Foundation, World Federation of United Nations Associations, United Nations Development Programme and the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organization. The Citypreneurs competition kicked off in 2017, to provide an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to gain recognition and garner investment funds to turn innovations into practical solutions that help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an urban context.
In 2017 Citypreneurs, 147 start ups from 47 countries participated. Flint Lab moved up to the finals but much to our regret, we could not reach the top in the energy field. However, in 2018 competition, we suggested a project to disseminate sustainable and clean energy to developing countries.
Driven by the mission to provide accessible energy for all, Flint offered a bio-energy technology that uses biofuel and produces less carbon emissions. Our core product, the Flint Cookstove, was invented with the goal to reduce increased energy costs and indoor air pollution in developing countries by burning waste cooking oil or plant oil. We proposed offering sessions to help the capacity-building of the local people and find way how our solution can solve climate change issues and energy problems while sharpening our pitch to the partners, officials and investors.
▶ [December 2019] Solving the Mongolian air pollution problem with KOICA CTS
Korea International Cooperation Agency(KOICA) started off a challenge program in 2015, and it has been seeking innovative ways to solve development challenges in developing countries. It’s called CTS(Creative Technology Solution). CTS selects start-ups with creative technologies from the five categories. Those are such as Global Health, Education, Water, Energy, and Emerging Issues.
Through this program, international issues that were used to be difficult to be solved within the existing measures, have been resolved by Korean start-up’s innovative solutions. Also, the program assists an entry into the enormous BOP (Bottom of the Pyramid, or low income class) market, which accounts for 4 billion people or 72% of the global population, with annual income totaling 5 trillion USD.
Flint Lab in Mongolia with the support of KOICA Creative Technology Solution (CTS)
In 2018, Flint Lab Inc. got to cooperate with CTS team under the theme of Energy. We were targeting Mongolia as a beneficiary country, with the business of " Development project of eco-friendly bio-fuel heaters for the improvement of air quality in Mongolia".
Mongolia is one of the most polluted countries in the world. The citizens of Mongolia usually use coal to heat and firewood to keep the residual heat stay longer in the cold winters. However, the pollution that occurs from burning coal is detrimental to its atmosphere.
In particular, poor 'ger' districts, a sprawl of traditional tents that have sprung up on the edge of the city, account for about 80 percent of Ulaanbaatar’s winter smog, which has sparked protests from residents. In these areas, harmful breathable particles known as PM2.5 can reach levels well above 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter during the winter, 40 times the maximum recommended by the World Health Organization.
Many citizens, including women and children, are breathing the polluted air filled with fine dust in Ulaanbaatar. Flint Lab wanted to solve this problem by replacing coal heating with clean bio fuel heating thus making access to the cleaner and affordable energy source.
Flint clean heater pilot product
On December 2018, Flint Lab went to the first business trip to Mongolia, for the clean and sustainable bio heater dissemination in Ger areas. In our trip, we found our that the citizens of Mongolia were aware of how serious their atmospheric environment was, and were looking for a variety of ways to solve this problem. In this regard, having recognized the feasibility of Flint technology, Citizens Representative’s Council of Sukhbaatar District (hereinafter Sukhbaatar) concluded an MOA agreement with Flint Lab to distribute products around the district. In addition, thanks to the cooperation of the citizens, we were able to carry out an environmental survey on user culture, advantages and disadvantages of existing products, technological development goals, and user convenience and safety.
Quite serious air pollution in Mongolia
Currently, we are continuing our experiment with newly developed test products by installing a laboratory in Mongolia. This project, together with Sukhbaatar and KOICA CTS, will continue until 2020. We aim to test the most environment-friendly products that are best suited to Mongolia. Alongside, Flint Lab will keep sharing a new solution that solves the cross-cutting issue of the world with you.