Nokero keeps on the sunny side
Steve Katsaros has always been an innovator. He began inventing products for the ski industry in his late teens, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Purdue University so he could follow his dream of creating new technologies to improve the world. In the early 2000s, Katsaros came up with his first big invention: the RevoPower, an efficient motorized wheel designed to travel up to 20 miles per hour at over 100 miles per gallon.
In 2010, different wheels started turning in Katsaros’ mind when he thought of a portable solar light bulb that could be used to provide light in developing countries. Katsaros soon launched his Denver-based business Nokero, short for “no kerosene,” and set out on a journey towards brightening the lives of people without electricity.
“I think small businesses can play a really important role in innovating to solve long-standing problems,” said Katsaros. “That’s what I wanted to do with Nokero. I believe in the power of entrepreneurship to addressing our world’s challenges.”
Around 1.3 billion people live without electricity, and in many developing countries, productivity comes to a halt at nightfall. But because Nokero bulbs use solar power to charge during the day, they can provide light to homes and workplaces throughout the night in areas that don’t have access to reliable electricity grids.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to invent products that can improve the quality of life for people around the world,” said Katsaros. “At the same time, I’m also able to create jobs right here in Colorado. That shows how broad the reach of a small business can be.”
Katsaros’ innovation is one more example of how small businesses are reliable drivers of new ideas that can improve the world. During National Small Business Week, it’s time for us to focus on ways we can foster entrepreneurship so more small businesses are able to thrive and create economic growth.