South Dakota entrepreneur Brian Gramm was tailgating outside a college football game one sunny day when he wondered why he couldn't use that energy to plug in a radio.
The first-world inconvenience led him to develop the Forty2, an all-in-one "utility in a box" that Gramm now thinks could change millions of third-world lives.
The device from Peppermint Energy looks like a quadruple-sized laptop computer.
Gramm, of Sioux Falls, says it can generate and store enough solar power in a remote African village to run a dorm fridge filled with medicine, a couple of fans and a dozen LED lights.
The company is set to produce 250 first-run Forty2s, which will ship to 18 different countries. It raised more than $83,000 for the venture on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.