Starts today the new format “Call Of Talent”, which connects us with talents far from us in the map, but close in the spirit and passion. We got in touch with Solenica thanks to our event listed in the International Year of Light website. They are a young and brilliant Italian company which is working to let the Italian talent shine in our homes, with the rays of sun.
The product’s name is Lucy it is a transparent sphere with a mirror inside. It works as simple as to place it where you know the sun shines, to aim it where you want the light to go and that’s it.
The idea is not new: bring sunlight where it does not reach with a moving mirror, which follows the sun to light always in the same spot. It is called heliostat, and can be used for lighting or for energy generation. Sure, it requires some setup… you have to program your latitude, longitude and orientation, the wanted direction of the reflected light, so that the computer can calculate the position of the sun and rotate the mirror accordingly. But all of us know there is a simpler way, since when we played to bedazzle a teacher in a boring lesson on a sunny day!
This is the innovation proposed by Diva Tommei and her team at Solenica: let Lucy do all the job. It looks up where the sun is, and once it finds it moves the mirror until the reflected light goes where we want, and then follows the sun. It requires no power supply: the small energy required by the device comes from the sun itself thanks to some photo-voltaic cells. And by the way it is also a super cool Italian design object.
Solenica owns two patents on this toy, one technological and one industrial, and they are going to production soon.
The story of the company is very interesting: Diva Tommei is from Rome, and as the majority of italians, she is used to live with the sun shining. But living in Cambridge for her PhD she realized that the sunlight cannot be given for granted, having to work in gloomy rooms also in the few sunny days of UK. So she started working on a solution to let the sun shine in, simply and for the longest time. A course at the Singularity University at NASA kicked off her decision to transform her ideas in a product, so she recruited Alessio Paoletti for the industrial design,Mattia di Stasi for the Marketing and Business Development and she started up Solenica.
Recently the company have been selected to join the Qualcomm Robotics accelerator, powered by Techstars, so Diva, Alessio and Mattia are now in San Diego (CA) working hard in the 16 weeks of the program, toward the investors day on September 10th 2015. The accelerator is focused on robotics technology and the selection was very hard: tipically only 1% of companies applying to Techstars are accepted, and we can be proud that two out of the 10 in the program are driven by Italians!
The next targets for Solenica is to get the industrial partnerships and the funding, to go to production by the beginning of 2016. In the meanwhile Lucy can be pre-ordered at an early-bird price, and according to Mattia the response id very good from all over the world.
We wish Lucy and Solenica all of the best, and we will be happy to have them soon in a TalenTour event, to let the tell their story to a wider audience and to create new connections and opportunities.
For more information, here is the link to Solenica and Lucy preorder, and some videos to meet the team and see how Lucy works.