Usually for the startup entrepreneur, a single key publicity exposure can make all the difference. It could mean coverage by the press, maybe even by a world-class news publication like the Wall Street Journal. In terms of influence and buzz making, the WSJ might have to start deferring to TED. A case in point is Sam White, co-founder of Promethean Power Systems, a thermal battery maker that specializes in cold-storage preservation of perishable food, who hit the motherload.
White gave a presentation at a TED event in Boston, showing how his technology will transform the rural dairy industry in India (the world’s largest milk consumer), and it went viral. White is now stranger to start-up activism. He and co-founder Sorin Grama have won numerous innovator awards. But even White have been surprised when his video was picked by the World Economic Forum, receiving countless more views on its way to viral status.
White currently lives in Mumbai, and apparently has grown a rich network in India to power his new venture into a rapid growth phase. Sometimes, the concept can sell itself, although that doesn’t detract from the guiding business intelligence. For White, the idea of eliminating the need for diesel generators (due to frequent power outages) at the village level for chilling milk is clearly one of these do-gooder schemes that everyone can get behind. In fact, White would be bringing to India, a historical first. And India is notorious for the spoilage in its agricultural sector – at least 30% due to an underdeveloped supply chain.
It’s quite amazing that Sam White, someone without any special ties to India, could go on to lead a revolution in off-grid refrigeration. Innovations like White’s, of course, produce ripple effects, and may well transform the economic dynamics of rural Indian villages.