Nokero Providing Light To 10 Million People Around The World
While Steve Katsaros wanted to fix a problem he saw at construction sites, he’s ended up providing light to people around the world. Katsaros noticed construction sites using light bulbs hanging from extension cords for light. He thought there was a better option, creating a light with solar panels. A few days after he filed for a patent, Katsaros realized he could make a bigger impact in the world.
“I realized the real opportunity was to bring this across the developing world, to change the quality of life for the 1.3 billion people who live without access to electricity,” said Katsaros, Nokero International CEO and Founder.
Based in Denver, Nokero was formed in 2010. Short for no kerosene, the Nokero solar light bulbs are helping people in developing countries get rid of dangerous kerosene lamps.
The fumes from kerosene lamps emit 190 million tons of carbon dioxide in the air each year, and create respiratory problems for those who burn them. Here’s how the light works, the solar panel on the back of the light charges a battery during the day, and at night, the light lasts for fifteen hours on the low setting. In six years, Nokero Solar has sold 1.5 million lights impacting 10 million lives around the world.
“We have delivered lights to over 120 countries. We’ve sold 450,000 of these lights into Indonesia, 150,000 into India, 100,000 into South Africa,” said Katsaros. “I can go on about all these countries around the world that have no access to electricity.”
In 2013, Nokero received the US Patent Office’s ‘Patents for Humanity Award’ for its work providing solar energy to the developing world. The award recognizes patent owners who use creativity, design and ingenuity to solve humanitarian problems.
Nokero is now branching out to the U.S. market. Katsaros believes it’s the perfect product for people who camp and want to enjoy the outdoors without leaving a footprint. In September, the Colorado Outdoor Industry Leadership Summit presented the first COILS Innovation Award to Nokero.
“It’s great to receive this COILS Innovation Award. We haven’t found our voice for how to bring this product to the U.S., being at the Summit this year made me realize just how important sustainability and climate change activities are in the camping community,” said Katsaros. “This award is really going to help us to accelerate our activation in the US market.”