On 14 November 2018 in Brussels at AidEx 2018, the Aid Innovation Challenge was been won by YOLK, a South Korean based start-up for their invention the Solar Cow and Power Milk– a solar powered cow tackling child labour, whilst improving education and energy distribution with milk-shaped power banks.
The invention was created over a year ago after co-founder Sungun Chang considered the ineffective long-run of existing solar lanterns and wanted to provide a solution to multiple social complex problems with one simple solution.
About the winner
The Solar Cow and Power Milk is a social engineering project that provides positive reinforcement to parents in the form of an electrical power source in exchange of sending their children to school.
When children arrive at school in the morning, they just attach their batteries to the Solar Cow’s udders’. At the end of the school day, they can leave with the full supply of valuable electricity.
Families can save 10-20% of the income they used to spend for charging a phone. This means that parents are incentivised to send their children to school to get free electricity where the source is, as opposed to sending them to work.
Yolk received initial recognition for its ‘million-dollar-selling Solar Paper’ as they surpassed the $1 million mark on Kickstarter which is the top 3% of the funding amount, and also became the first Korean company to succeed over 1 million.
Speaking to Chang upon winning the award, she said:
“I am very excited to participate in AidEx and win the competition. This event is a great platform to promote our product to the entire aid and development community, which can improve the livelihoods of families in developing countries.”
Speaking on what made the product stand-out, Chang added:
“Child labour, education and energy distribution are all very complex problems and are consequently addressed individually. With the Solar Cow, we can chip away at all of these problems simultaneously – this is the power of the Solar Cow and Power Milk.”