A dual citizen of Nigeria and New York, U.S. (her parents emigrated from the former to the latter), Jessica O. Matthews invented the Soccket Ball, a soccer ball that captures and stores motion-based, off-grid, renewable energy (M.O.R.E) to electrify under-served communities in the developing world, when she was just a junior at Harvard University.
In 2011, Matthews founded Uncharted Power (formerly known as Uncharted Play) with a mission of decentralizing and democratizing power, to create access to renewable energy all around the world, and in 2017, her team raised more than $7 million in Series A venture capital funding — the largest raised by any Black woman in history at the time.
Now in its fourth iteration, Uncharted Power’s Think Out of Bounds educational curriculum has created a movement to empower young inventors through partnerships with local nonprofits in the United States (New York, Maryland and Florida), Africa (Nigeria and Swaziland), Europe (Germany) and Puerto Rico.
Today, Matthews and her team are preparing to make even bigger moves to decentralize energy, as they tackle the current grid system. Their solutions demonstrate an alternative that is modular, clean and much more easily installed than the currently used infrastructure systems found in the U.S. Their infrastructure solutions will catalyze change for utility industries, land developers, community developers, Tel-Co’s and 5G service providers, Internet of Things (IoT), and more.
So, what sustains Matthews with all of this power?