Canadian-Armenian Melanie Kalinian and Ahmad Jawarneh launch their green energy multi-functional booster
Canadian-Armenian Melanie Kalinian and Ahmad Jawarneh launch their green energy multi-functional booster –
Since launching their Kickstarter campaign just a over a week ago, Concordia graduates Melanie Kalinian, BA 08, and Ahmad Jawarneh, MEng 14, haven’t been able to get much sleep.
They’ve been overwhelmed by media requests from all over the world in response to the launch of their green energy multi-functional booster.
The device, known as the GoldEye Bar, can be used to power laptops, mobile phones and other electronics — or even jump start a car — all through the power of solar technology.
Kalinian and Jawarneh have already received pledges amounting to more than a third of their $20,000 goal to fund the project through the popular crowdfunding platform.
Although the application of solar energy devices in everyday life had already been a pet project for Jawarneh, who completed a Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a focus on telecommunications, the GoldEye Bar was born out of necessity.
While developing a backpack with a built-in solar-powered charger, Jawarneh’s laptop kept dying. His car also became a bit of a liability during the harsh Montreal winters.
So when he met Kalinian, now a graduate of women’s studies from Concordia’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute, while the two worked at a restaurant in Montreal’s Old Port, they came up with the idea of a multi-functional solar-powered booster.
“You don’t generally expect an engineering student and women’s studies student to cross paths,” says Kalinian. But she encouraged him to continue pursuing the idea and turn it into a crowdfunded project.
With her background in multimedia production, they produced a sleek website and a couple of videos to demonstrate the GoldEye Bar to potential funders.
Since launching, they’ve been surprised to learn that contrary to the grassroots image of do-it-yourself crowdfunded projects, many Kickstarter campaigns actually have large PR and marketing firms behind them to help raise their profiles and attract funding.
“So far it’s going well,” says Jawarneh. “We have gotten calls from magazines and online publications that want to know more about our project.”
With the launch of their Kickstarter campaign, Kalinian and Jawarneh have been equally pleased with like-minded people from the green energy community reaching out to express their gratitude — and even suggest how to improve their product.
“Not only has the campaign given us the opportunity to get our project off the ground but it has also connected us with a lot of people,” says Kalinian. “They’re telling us how they plan to use our charger or what we might try to develop going forward. It’s really giving us a lot of hope.”
“Our goal is to develop a solar-powered product that is well designed, of high quality and durability and especially affordable,” says Jawarneh.
“We believe that we have a great idea and we know that solar energy is the future so we feel quite confident about it.”