Technology has the potential to help make our world a fairer place and companies like Swarm Technologies are finding innovative ways of making this a reality. The Digital Revolution has already enabled many young entrepreneurs to breakthrough financial and cultural disadvantages and build successful, innovative businesses that disrupt traditional models. It has also brought new opportunities to Third World countries that were struggling to keep up with infrastructure advances.
However, like most things, its power for good or evil depends on who is wielding it. With the constant push for more innovative products and higher profit margins, technology can also be what further widens the gap between rich and poor. On the one hand, we see multi-million-dollar smart homes containing every possible technological aid to make life easier and, on the other, the toxic environment of the E-waste dumps in places like Ghana.
Technology innovations that are aimed at narrowing the poverty gap are so often overlooked in favour of more profitable ventures. It is refreshing, therefore, to hear of an investment company that is prepared to back such start-ups and enable them to develop into successful businesses. I’m referring to NJF Capital and their newest success story, Swarm Technologies, which has recently been acquired by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Swarm Technologies is the brainchild of Dr Sara Spangelo, an aerospace engineer based at the University of Michigen, who saw how costly satellite and mobile network connectivity was marginalising many remote and poor parts of the world. With the ever-evolving space exploration sector in mind, she wanted to find a way of providing an accessible connectivity solution for things like industry, agriculture, disaster relief and to enable more people to connect to the internet. The solution she found was the world’s smallest satellite that has enabled the creation of a low-cost satellite communications network across the globe.
With the help of visionary international investor, Nicole Junkermann, Dr Spangelo and her business partner Dr Ben Longmier have managed to launch 120 out of their projected 150 tiny satellites and offer a much-needed, cost-effective data plan to small businesses around the globe. Their success brought them to the attention of Elon Musk, who has just sealed the deal to add the company to his SpaceX venture. A new chapter awaits them, but one that will, hopefully, maintain the same values.
For Nicole Junkermann and NJF Capital, the search is on for the next innovative start-up that will challenge the status quo, disrupt traditional practices and create new technologies that will make our world a fairer and safer place. Nicole has already been instrumental in the success of new companies in the Femtech and Foodtech sectors, bringing innovative technology solutions to issues such as gender equality, health and climate change. She is committed to seeing technology wielded as a force for good, while also understanding how the world of business and finance works. She believes that business and philanthropy can go hand-in-hand. How does the phrase go…?