SolarPocha

Oluwatobi Oyinlola, Nigeria

One to Watch candidate

SolarPocha is a solar-powered outdoor workstation where students and professionals can connect to both electricity and the internet and work comfortably outdoors. The idea came out of a creative group challenge, which Oluwatobi Oyinlola later decided to bring it to life in Nigeria. After further development, Oyinlola installed the first unit at his old university for students to use.

The workstation can be installed anywhere, giving people the opportunity to work in a variety of settings without needing to be near grid electricity or internet connections. They are ideal for schools, universities, parks and even restaurants.

In regions where power supply is unreliable and data costs prohibitive, students and professionals are not able to take advantage of the global digital economy. This puts developing regions at a further disadvantage, and students in particular struggle to compete for academic honours, opportunities and knowledge.

The SolarPocha accommodates wheelchair users and has enough room for all eight people with their personal laptops. Oyinlola also developed an online booking system so that users can reserve a spot at the table for as long as they need, promoting more time outdoors and making it easy to use.

Oyinlola’s background in solar pay-as-you-go systems and various Internet of Things (IoT) startups made SolarPocha a natural step. For this endeavour, the serial entrepreneur partnered with a local craftsman in Ibadan to ensure the workstation is built to a high standard.

Maintenance on the system is minimal, and internet bought in bulk, with both funded by the booking fee paid by users.

With more than 200 universities established across Nigeria, Oyinlola’s initial target market presents an opportunity to reach thousands of young minds, providing them with a reliable space to work, collaborate and connect with the world.

The workstation can be installed anywhere, giving people the opportunity to work in a variety of settings without needing to be near grid electricity or internet connections.

SolarPocha

Watch Oluwatobi Oyinlola's video pitch for SolarPocha.

“SolarPocha wields IoT and solar technology to solve three problems faced by students and professionals in urban settings: power, internet and space. It drives users outdoors into new environments, and requires little infrastructure or maintenance.”
Oluwatobi Oyinlola
“SolarPocha wields IoT and solar technology to solve three problems faced by students and professionals in urban settings: power, internet and space. It drives users outdoors into new environments, and requires little infrastructure or maintenance.”
Oluwatobi Oyinlola

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