The open application phase of Red Bull Basement University 2019 ended in October, followed by the voting and judging phases in November.
National winners for the worldwide competition were selected and are now given support for one month during which they are required to develop their ideas. They are given all the resources required to bring their idea to life so they can present it during the global workshop of Red Bull Basement University in Toronto this December, where all the national winners will meet to discuss their ideas.
EnergyBrid – an idea by Nandhika Venkateswaran and Lajin Bhaskar Lal – was adjudged the Indian winner of Red Bull Basement University 2019.
The concept of EnergyBrid is based on a piezoelectric grid system; that is generating electricity through mechanics and motors.
Nandhika and Lajin plan to create a system where pathways in colleges which are frequented by students can be fitted with a system that converts the pressure and energy of footsteps into electricity. It would be a clean and efficient way to produce electricity that Nandhika and Lajin hope could be used to provide power to entire college and university campuses.
Nandhika is a first-year BE Hons student of Biomedical and BSc Microbiology at University of Sydney in Australia. Lajin is a first-year B Tech student in Mechanical Engineering at Presidency University in Bengaluru.
Nandika and Lajin are now working with the support and guidance of Helm of Eight and Headstart to bring their idea for EnergyBrid to life so they can present it at the Red Bull Basement University World Final. Helm of Eight and Headstart work as incubators and ecosystems to nurture startups in India.
Here are excerpts from an interview with them on their idea for EnergyBrid and how they hope to implement it through support from Red Bull Basement University.
Can you describe your idea in a few sentences? How did you come up with the idea?
It is a piezoelectric grid system which generates and stores electricity from the pressure and kinetic energy caused by walking. This electricity can be used to power other outlets later on. We have always wanted to make a change in the world; we want to help solve issues like global warming and climate change, even in the smallest way we can. Also, we thought about how we can help people in rural areas have access to sustainable sources of energy. This idea was our key to bringing about this change and helping the less fortunate.
What stage is your idea in at the moment?
Our idea has just entered the developmental phase and we are creating designs for our prototype.
What is the role of platforms such as Red Bull Basement University in helping young entrepreneurs such as yourselves?
Being given an opportunity by platforms like Red Bull Basement University gives us the chance to gain knowledge and network with likeminded people. We gain a lot of exposure from this, and also we get to put our idea into the world. Being part of Red Bull Basement University will help us bring our idea to life and implementation.
What’s the ideal course of action for your idea following the Red Bull Basement University development phase and international workshops?
The global workshop gives us an opportunity to debut our idea to the world. After the workshop, we want to continue to develop our idea further and bring it into the market as this will revolutionise the renewable energy market. We want to broaden the implementation of our idea and make it bigger than just harvesting electricity from the kinetic energy caused by walking.