- March 26, 2017
- Posted by: Bunmi Eyiaro
- Category: Trailblazers
Jessica O Matthews is an inventor, entrepreneur and the founder and chief executive officer at uncharted play- a tech start-up dedicated to creating products that create renewable energy that makes kinetic energy-harnessing products in order to democratize energy access worldwide.
Her career as an inventor and entrepreneur began as a teen age 19, when she invented the “Soccett” an energy generating soccer ball that provides off-grid power for the developing world. Soccet is a soccer ball that when kicked around, stores energy that can power small appliances using the principle of physics kinetic energy to create off-grid power literally. Soccet can power a lamp after a few hours of play, which could provide enough light to help kids in communities without power do their homework once it got dark out.
Soccet idea was conceived when Jessica went to her aunt’s wedding in Nigeria. During the party, the power went out and the diesel generators were brought out. This was a normal way of life in Nigeria due to unstable power supply. Jessica said that the fumes from the generators was disturbing and irritable. She mentioned it to her relatives and guess what they said? They said ” Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it” Jessica said that they were in essence telling her to get used to dying. Funny isn’t it? What was appalling to Jessica was the fact that they had gotten used to a bad condition as such. At that moment was when she thought of coming up with a solution, which was to create an alternative to diesel generator, one that was reliable and provided cleaner energy. She took advantage of the love her friends and relatives had for soccer, the idea for an energy harnessing soccer ball was a good fit.
Her company uncharted play sold the balls to charities and corporations that distributed them to improverished communities.
Uncharted play recently raised $7 million the largest amount raised by a woman of colour ever.
At the age of 26, Jessica became a co-founder and Executive Director for KDDC, a 30 megawatt hydropower dam in Nigeria. She currently serves as an ambassador of entrepreneurship for Nigeria.
She’s a dual citizen of Nigeria and the US. She has a degree in psychology and economics from Harvard university and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jessica has been nominated for the founder of the year at IDTechex show Europe on May 10,2017.