How a Pressing Problem can lead to Technological Innovation

Teenpreneurs Oct 24, 2019

This article isn’t just about another teenager who turned into an entrepreneur but is more of a story. A story about my journey from a child who played with LEGOs, to writing my first line of code 📱, and eventually publishing a patent for a product I developed. Success isn’t just an overnight achievement but of working hard, dreaming and believing.

Hey guys! My name is Shiv Kampani, and I am the 15-year-old founder of my own company, Scatter Innovations, which strives to provide technological solutions for problems that exist around us. Currently, I also study in grade 10 students at the Dhirubhai Ambani International School, in Mumbai.

The Beginning

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The Second Prototype of SENSAFE

As far as I can remember I have always liked to build things. I first began building with LEGO blocks, which my imagination quickly outgrew. I kept looking for opportunities to learn more, build more and create more. I came across Arduino and began learning about electronics, soldering, 3D design and 3D printing. It was during this time when I started programming as well. It’s been a few years since then, and I have shifted from Lego to 3D printing, from Mindstorms kits to Arduinos, but my desire and passion to create and innovate has never changed.

A Self-Discovered Path

My real journey, however, began on June 13th, 2018, due to a short circuit on the 32nd story of Beaumonde Towers 🗼. A high rise tower in Mumbai sparked a flame, which engulfed the top of this tower. The five hours that it took to extinguish the fire were the worst five hours of my life because I lived on the 30th floor of the same tower. At the time, I was not in Mumbai 🇮🇳, but I still remember the five hours of constant communication with my grandparents (who were forced to walk down 30 stories), down to the smallest detail. The blend of panic and fear that overwhelmed me made me sure of one thing: I didn’t want anyone to experience anything even remotely like what I felt that day!

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Pitching the Initial Prototype of SENSAFE to a panel of investors at YEA

I immediately began researching all about ‘fire safety’ and found that it was a huge issue affecting thousands of families across Mumbai. Two major causes of large fires like the one that took place right above my home are gas leaks and a delayed response. The gas ⌭ sensors and smoke detectors that are available today shine a bright light and make a loud noise when activated to alert people at home. But what if nobody is at home when the gas leak or the fire take place?! In Mumbai, a city that never sleeps, what use is a gas detector if nobody is at home to hear the alarms? This got me thinking. Gas leaks left unattended can cause fires that can take lives. It was something that deeply touched me and I knew that I needed to solve this problem!

The Achievement!

It was around the same time that I had been selected to be a part of YEA (Young Entrepreneurs Academy), a program that encourages and helps ambitious students with a vision to start their own companies. I decided that the best way to bring my solution to people’s lives was by starting my own company.

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A Gujarati article about the installation of SENSAFE in a robotics center in Surat

Using the ₨ 30,000 investment my company received from investors at YEA, I applied for a patent for my product. I was also invited to share my story at Fire Safe Mumbai, an event organized by the former MP Mr. Milind Deora, and it allowed me to interact with the chief of the fire brigade 🚒, Mr. Rahangdale. I have also presented my company at the entrepreneurship exhibit of Robotex ’18, held in Estonia.

My most notable achievement, however, was being invited to share my ideas in Gujarat, after a massive fire at a coaching center in Surat. After a press conference attended by Zee News Gujarat, VTV Gujarat, and several other news agencies 🗞, I installed my product at a robotics center in Surat.

The Road ahead

SENSAFE was just the beginning. I look around me and there are so many problems just waiting to be solved. Manual scavenging is another big problem in semi-urban India. To address this problem, I am currently building a robot called the “Pipe Cleaning Robot” 🤖, which can navigate and clean sewage pipes.

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Presenting SENSAFE at the Entrepreneurship Exhibit at Robotex ‘18

Failures aren’t obstacles but are stepping stones, which help you hop from one success to another.

Stay tuned to us for more reads on learning, building and collaborating.

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