Factor[e]’s Jason Prapas presents at the 2nd Annual BoP Global Network Summit in Burlington, Vermont

FACTOR[e]’s Chief Technology Officer, Jason Prapas attended the 2nd Annual BoP Global Network Summit in Burlington, Vermont. The main objective of this year’s summit was “to present and discuss real-life BoP business initiatives being implemented by entrepreneurs and corporate innovators who are driving sustainable innovation from the bottom up.”

The summit brought together 200 academics, students, international and local NGOs, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, national governments, international aid agencies, impact investors, multilateral organizations, and development advisory services from more than 30 countries.

Prapas was a speaker on the panel, “Distributed Energy Resources: Bridging the Gap Between Technology Innovators / Providers and BoP Markets” where the discussion determined that distributed energy solutions rather than centralized infrastructure will be the most economical, deployable, and cleanest approach in many regions of the developing world. Similarly, within these systems it is critical to build in modularity so that if demands grow within the populations incremental investments are applied rather than a complete overhaul of the existing infrastructure. Ventures working in this ultra-risky space (both technically and operationally) should look to find investment capital that is truly accepting of risk and following through with the customer value proposition and solving for pain points and strategically picking the first target markets.

Another notable point of the panel’s discussion was the need to change the existing culture of how BoP issues are addressed. What emerged from this discussion was moving from the traditional donation based mindset to a narrative based strategy where successful enterprise stories are shared in order to garner more support of scalable, sustainable, market-driven solutions.

The Summit was organized by the Enterprise for a Sustainable World (ESW) and the University of Vermont in collaboration with the BoP Global Network. Established in by Dr. Stuart L. Hart, the BoP Network work to bring together global leaders to share knowledge and disseminate information regarding the theory and practice of sustainable business at the base of the economic pyramid. Dr. Hart created, BoP learning labs “that promote research and development of entrepreneurial business methods in order to stimulate new enterprises that are economically competitive, environmentally sustainable, and culturally appropriate.”

The ESW, also founded by Dr. Hart is a national non-profit corporation “dedicated achieving global sustainability by helping corporations make the transformation toward becoming a sustainable enterprise.” Through consulting and education on effective clean technology, base of the pyramid customers (BOP), and green leap initiatives, ESW is able to focus on development of new strategies and remove barriers to innovation.

For more information on the Summit and the BoP Global Network please visit: https://summit2015.bopglobalnetwork.org/.