The Foundation had to deal with several technology challenges in connection with its role out of its V’ice Micro-Franchise model
V'ike: last mile transport
The last mile has always been a challenge for any social venture attempting to impact the BoP. Delivery of products and services to the poor where they reside is key but often highly expensive and difficult to navigate. To deal with the last mile delivery problem, the Foundation developed the V’ike a three wheel recumbent bike that is pedaled (thus totally carbon neutral) and can carry up to 350 lb of goods. To instill “homeownership pride” and create local jobs, the V’ike is engineered and manufactured in Haiti. Electrification for the V’ike is on the Foundation’s drawing board.
V'ice: Shaved Ice Vitaminized Toppings
The Foundation invented a vitaminized formulation for the V'ice 1.0 toppings in a variety of flavors. It then conducted extensive market research in Haiti prior to roiling out the micro-franchise. Once the market research demonstrated a market need and receptivity, the Foundation shared the formulation idea with its International Food Partner, Griffith Foods, who then perfected the formulas and facilitated their production. The V’ice cone is sold between 10 and 15 cents.
V'bar: Vitaminized Protein Bar
The Foundation invented a protein bar made from locally sourced ingredients found in Haiti, including cornflakes and peanuts. The bar is sold at between 5 and 10 cents and provides crucial vitamins and protein.
V'icebox: Refrigeration for the Bottom of the Pyramid
The Foundation invented and designed a poor man’s refrigerator that utilizes sheet metal and insulation made from the Styrofoam that litters the streets of Haiti. The V’ice Box keeps ice cold in the back of the V’ike and a smaller version keeps ice cold when it is sold in schools and in neighborhoods as part of V’ice standalone micro-franchises.
Green ice: Low-Cost Ice Freezing Technology
To accommodate the lack of steady electrical power in Haiti, the Foundation is currently working with partners to develop a carbon free ice block freezing technology.