The first time Olugbenga Olubanjo (MASc 2019) had access to round-the-clock electricity was the day he arrived in Canada, aged 24. Growing up in Ibadan, Nigeria’s third-largest city, Olubanjo was one of 70 million people in that country who get their power from intermittent sources like solar panels and generators. As an engineering student at the University of Toronto, he immediately saw the difference reliable electricity made to his ability to study and work. And it sparked an idea: create a long-lasting, portable and rechargeable power pack that could provide clean energy to communities back in Nigeria.
Olubanjo founded Reeddi in 2019. Its flashlight-sized lithium-ion power capsules are now available to rent for 50 cents a day at corner stores and solar-powered charging stations in Nigeria. Last year, the Reeddi power capsule was named one of the best 100 inventions of 2021 by Time. And Olubanjo has clearly now caught the entrepreneurial bug: with two University of Toronto classmates, he has started Fyyne, which connects clients with barbers and hairstylists who offer services for Black hair.
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