KinoSol is a Specific Benefit Corporation, focused on decreasing post-harvest loss in developing countries, via solar-powered food dehydrators that have storage components. KinoSol units help families living in developing countries to have more food, better nutrition, and their own entrepreneurial opportunities.
Over the past year, KinoSol has sought out partnerships for field-testing. Ideal partners have headquarters within the United States and Western Europe, and operate in developing countries year round, with a focus on agriculture, nutrition, gender equality, and sustainable practices. Partnerships have been established with organizations operating in over six countries, on four continents.
All partners receive a pre-ship survey that helps KinoSol better understand the needs of the communities partners operate in. Once a partnership is established, one to three KinoSol units, user guides, and data surveys are shipped to their location.
How does your innovation work?
A KinoSol unit is a small-scale dehydrator designed for families. This design is unique to other dehydration systems found in developing countries. KinoSol units use a natural convection system, and are capable of dehydrating fruit, vegetables, insects, and grains. Upon dehydrating produce, proper storage is provided to extend the shelf life and protect the dried produce from elements such as light, moisture, and pests. Each KinoSol unit’s storage component is protected by Kydex plastic. Inside the storage component are resealable Mylar bags that help extend shelf life by six months.
Other dehydration systems purchase fruit from local farmers, dehydrate it, and then ship the product to developed economies for large profits. KinoSol units keep produce within the community, where nutrients are needed, and promote entrepreneurship on local scale.
Each of the eight KinoSol unit prototypes were fully functioning. Every KinoSol unit prototype focused on improving efficiency and durability. Material choices evolved from plywood and plexiglass, to Lexan and Kydex plastic. KinoSol’s production model requires no tools for assembly, is fully collapsible, and is prepared for harsh conditions.
What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?
KinoSol has completed two successful rounds of in-country field-testing, in Uganda and El Salvador, verifying the need for post-harvest technology. Farmers in developing countries have stated that KinoSol units provide efficient dehydration for food that would otherwise be wasted.KinoSol units are unlike other dehydrators and drying methods, as dehydration has been combined with storage and mobility. KinoSol units surpass traditional drying methods by decreasing dehydration time by ninety percent. They retain nearly one hundred percent of the dehydrated produce, compared to fifty percent when using traditional drying methods.
Do you have current users or testers?
Current partners include St. Boniface Church, who works in El Salvador, Jacksally Youth Group, who works in Ghana, KKOVC, who works in Uganda, The Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, who works in Uganda, Machhapuchhre Development Organization, who works in Nepal, and Farmers of Sao Palo, who works in Brazil. These organizations have distributed KinoSol units to subsistence farmers in the communities they are working with.
What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?
After field-testing, partners transition to initial customers. Partners are able to witness, first-hand, the problems KinoSol units solve. Partners are already culturally accepted within developing regions. They also have the funding necessary for purchasing KinoSol units. Between partner aid organizations, NGOs, and churches, A majority have established microcredit and micro loan systems in regions they are operating in.
Beginning in quarter two of 2016, KinoSol will contact additional aid organizations, NGOs, and churches located in Iowa. The initial target market consists of 3,500 organizations who operate in developing countries. Moving on from Iowa, KinoSol will branch out to organizations in neighboring states.In quarter four of 2016, domestic KinoSol units will be introduced. Domestic units are intended for users living in urban and suburban environments within the United States and Western Europe, as they are designed for patios, decks, and windows. KinoSol’s campaign to bring food waste awareness and acquire initial funding for domestic prototypes will be launched on Kickstarter. Domestic units will be sold at a premium price, in order to help provide funding to send units to partners abroad.
All units support KinoSol’s mission to help farmers in developing countries decrease post-harvest loss, increase nutrition, and have entrepreneurial opportunities.