The long awaited launch of Ushahidi’s ‘homemade’ modem/router, BRCK will take place next week on Wednesday at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi.
This is according BRCK Chief Executive Officer Erik Hersman as he gave a talk at the Tech4Africa conference that also spoke of the journey since the inception of the idea in South Africa in 2011 after he himself found it difficult to connect to the internet promting him to come up with the design of the BRCK whose success will mean that Ushahidi will never have to look anywhere else for funding.
“We are shipping BRCKS for 800 people, there are pre-orders in 45 countries all over the world,” said Hersman.
“We are doing our work here in Nairobi, in this building but our industrial and manufacturing is done in Austin, Texas in the USA,” added Hersman
During his talk the CEO pointed out that it has not been easy as some people would imagine as he knows quite a number of investors, he had to put in all focus on seeking fund.
“I know a lot people, you would think it will be easier to get money , you don’t know how hard it is to get money,” said Hersman adding that seeking for funds took him to San Francisco, Austin Texas, South Africa and Nairobi.
In total it took him 5 months to get the seed fund and he also obtained approval and licensing for the business in October last year while the kickstarter fund generated a total of USD 175 000.
There had been talk of the having BRCK for non-profit just as with Ushahidi but this would have hamstrung the business.
Input towards BRCK at the preliminary stages was mainly from volunteers and the testing of the prototype took the company one and have years and now Kenya, Africa and the world have an alternative source of power that also boasts a rugged, cloud managed, full-featured modem/router with built in fail-overs and programmable GPIO expansion to help accessing the internet simple and reliable wherever you are.