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Feb. 13, 2013 9:45 am

Spore: solar powered battery charger wins Lean Startup Machine 3

The team of Drexel students behind Spore, a solar powered battery charger idea, was called this weekend the winner of the third local Lean Startup Machine, the national network of paid conferences that aim to teach efficient early-stage principles while building a business idea over a weekend. “Our product allows consumers to power devices while […]

Spore, a solar battery charger, won the third Lean Startup Machine Philly weekend competition. From L to R: Mark Brandon

The team of Drexel students behind Spore, a solar powered battery charger idea, was called this weekend the winner of the third local Lean Startup Machine, the national network of paid conferences that aim to teach efficient early-stage principles while building a business idea over a weekend.

“Our product allows consumers to power devices while not near an outlet, removing the stress of said device dying at presumably the worst time ever,” said Jason Browne, 22, a Drexel business and entrepreneurship student who first pitched the Spore idea to his two teammates. “While it is not a unique function, the value we add is by allowing each unit to be daisy chained to others, via USB port, in order to speed up the charging capacity.

“This allows users to easily scale up or down their systems to fit a wide range of applications with various power needs.

The product is still just a prototype, without a complete 3D rendering yet, said Browne, a native of Atlantic City who now lives in Powelton Village. The team is submitting to the Baiada Institute Concept Pitch Competition. The team joined Lean Startup through Baiada Institute recommendations, specifically Executive Director Mark Loschiavo for Browne.

The three team members:

  • Jason Browne, who organizes the IDEA student entrepreneurship team at Drexel, tries to keep up with the local tech scene, as a member of NextFab Studio and attending Cofounders Wanted among other meetups.
  • Mark Brandon, 23, who is president of the Drexel Robotics Club and a mechanical engineering student. He lives in University City, grew up in Audubon, N.J. and in June will start work at Sunoco.
  • Dylan Kenny, 22, is a Drexel University computer science student currently working at Lockheed Martin and a native of Tacony in Northeast Philadelphia.

The team won three prizes: one month of desk space at Center City incubator Seed Philly, a free email marketing account with AWeber and incubation time with VenturePact.

“Lean Startup Machine was a great way to network with individuals who have a common interest of using their innovative personality to better society through both software and hardware,” said Brandon.

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Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a cofounder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Wink worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. He writes regularly about news innovation and best business practices on his personal blog here. The bicycle commuter loves cities, urban politics and squabbling about neighborhood boundaries.

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