shalton-mlothwa-_690x450_crop_80 Growing up with a grandfather who owned an electrical workshop profoundly shaped the person Mothwa is today. From a very young age he was fascinated with physics and discovering the fundamentals behind how things work. This drove him to pursue a BSc degree in Electronics and Physics, and an Honours degree in Applied Nuclear Physics, and it was during his post graduate studies that he started developing the idea for the AEON power bag. “I had a very old laptop and an old Nokia phone at the time and I couldn’t work efficiently because the batteries were depleted. It was a challenge for me because it meant I had to be confined to the library to work because my laptop had to be connected to a power point,” he recalls. Mothwa yearned for freedom of movement, and that was how the innovation was first conceived. Together with a partner, he developed the idea for a power bag that is able to turn radio frequency signals into electrical energy that can then be used to charge your smartphone, tablet or laptop wirelessly.
Picture credit: Facebook

                  Beyond being a technological solution, the power bag offers people from rural areas with no access to electricity the opportunity to get connected. Through support from initiatives like The Hook Up Dinner, Mothwa was able to secure around R1 million funding from the Technology Innovation Agency and the SAB Foundation, as well as technical support from the Tshwane University of Technology and business incubation from the Innovation Hub. Mothwa, who is an SAB Foundation social innovation award and Just Pitch 180 competition winner, says the power bag is currently in the final prototype stage and will soon go into the testing and pre-production phase. He expects the product to go to market by the fourth quarter of the year. Getting to where he is now hasn’t been an easy journey. He’s had to endure countless rejections and technical hurdles, but says the key to entrepreneurial success is never giving up in spite of the challenges. He says being focused, disciplined and having good people skills is critical to reaching greater heights. “Be clear on what you’re doing because it makes it easier for you and the person you are trying to communicate with to get behind what you’re trying to achieve,” he advises. He says he’s got a few other innovations jotted down, but for his next project he’s keen to develop some type of nuclear instrumentation as the government pursues its endeavours to expand nuclear power in the country. 10561708_677915558958367_5399599493400315888_n SOURCE: DestinyMan