The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

16 year-old teen from Sierra Leone signs $100,000 contract to develop solar panel technology

Photo courtesy of Spanginator on Flickr |

He may be only considered a high school sophomore in North America, but Kelvin Doe is already working on developing his solar panel technology with a $100,000 investment from the Canadian company Sierra Wifi. The investment will cover associated hardware and design costs of the solar panels as well as research.

The young innovator started building things when he was 11. By the time he was 13 he made an alkali battery that his neighbors used to light up their homes. When he was 14 he even started DJing at local parties using equipment he himself created, eventually earning himself the name DJ Focus.

Last April, Doe received the Presidential Gold Medal Award from the President of Sierra Leone. He was also the youngest MIT visiting Practitioners Program participant to the 2012 World Maker Faire, after he caught the eye of MIT Media Lab graduate student David Sengeh who invited him.


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