The team over at ClimateLaunchpad brought Andrea and me over to Cyprus for the epic ClimateLaunchpad Grand Final this year and we were blown away by the stretching solutions posed by the 105 startups in attendance.
To support the startups that make it into the Grand Final, the ClimateLaunchpad team has assembled an impressive lineup of mentors, trainers, and national leaders to help nurture their ideas, creations, and dreams from seed to fruition, which is watered and fed by a groundswell of energy and passion to help solve the climate change crisis through these annual ClimateLaunchpad events.
In this Startup Spotlight series, I have compiled a few of the startups that we connected with and interviewed over the course of the 1½ day event. We were eager to more broadly share the exciting work they are doing and the energy from the event. Considering that it was nearly impossible to even see all of the 105 startups in such a short time, we divided and conquered, running around like crazy people chatting up excited entrepreneurs until the sun went down … and perhaps even a bit longer.
One Computer — Decentralizes Server Loads With Smartphones
An exciting thing about ClimateLaunchpad is the diversity of ideas — innovators looking to upgrade construction soil analysis best practices competing head to head against small startups looking to implement community-scale pyrolysis systems stand on stage with a couple of gals extracting color from dead bacteria that they plan to dye clothing with. It was in the midst of that amalgam of ideas that I ran into two brothers seeking to change the world with an app that would only use your cellphone when you weren’t.
Two Persian brothers operating out of Estonia aspire to compete with the likes of Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud computing game but don’t want to buy any servers to do that. They have plans to utilize the massive amount of idle internet-connected computing power that charging smartphones represent. Put simply, they want to pay you to use your smartphone’s processing power while you sleep.
One Computer will take processing tasks that can be executed in parallel and break them out into bite-sized chunks that your phone can handle. From there, your phone crunches through the task and sends the result back to homebase. Scale this up to 100, 1,000, or maybe 100,000 smartphones and you start racking up some serious computing power. This type of parallel processing capability is perfect for tasks that don’t need to happen in any particular order, like rendering a very large, high-resolution image.
Perhaps you’re asking why what is essentially an IT solution is at a ClimateLaunchpad event focused on elevating startups solving climate change issues. The answer is actually rather straightforward. Developing a distributed network of server processing power using existing assets means fewer servers need to be built. Those servers won’t need to sit in air-conditioned server farms or take up valuable land. Giving those resources back … or rather, eliminating the need for them in the first place, has the potential to have a massive impact on climate change.
The brothers are currently validating the solution, with major next steps along the road to production including finalizing the encryption protocol to be used and securing 100 pilot users to validate the proof of concept solution. If the solution is validated and a financial model can be developed that benefits both the smartphone owners and the customers making use of the distributed processing power, the sky is truly the limit, but it is surely a delicate balance to strike.
I, for one, am optimistic about the potential, but I’m a bit of an IT geek and have a background in globally scalable solutions from my time at Procter & Gamble. I enjoyed chatting with these two and will be keeping an eye on them moving forward. For more information about One Computer, check out the official landing page over on the ClimateLaunchpad site … after watching my interview with them below, of course.