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Meet Mike Bellot, First Black Entrepreneur To Invent A Solar Powered Backpack

Mike Bellot is the CEO and Co-Founder of Solo Bag, an innovative school backpack powered by solar, which provides light for reading and power for charging mobile phones and tablets.

The backpack was cleverly designed with a built-in solar panel to help students in third world countries who have little to no reliable access to electricity.

Mike Bellot was studying global politics and international trade at Tamkang University, Taiwan, when he set out to create a solution that could lead to the provision of cheaper, accessible and cost-effective power in poor homes.

Bellot, who is 26-years old and from Haiti, studied global politics and international trade in Taiwan. He says he was inspired to invent the backpack when his cousin tragically died from a fire in Haiti.

His cousin, who aspired to be a doctor, had been studying late at night when the candle he was using caused a fire in his house and sadly he became trapped inside.

After the tragic incident, Bellot became determined to create a solution that would be safer, cost-effective, and accessible – not only to Haitians – but also to the other 1.2 billion people around the world who do not have access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency in 2016.

Solo Bag, which was created with the help of Mike’s friend, Torcel Wendianne, is embedded with a solar panel that absorbs energy that is stored in a battery bank. It powers the LED lamp installed in the bag, and it’s enough power to safely illuminate a room for up to 6 hours, plenty of time for students to do their homework at night.

The bag also comes with a USB port where mobile phones and other electronic devices can be charged and a GPS tracker in case they are lost.

Bellot was featured on Forbes as among ten Haitians helping to reinvent Haiti’s narrative. He was also among the 100 winners of Meaningful Business in 2020 and the Young International Chamber (JCI-Haiti) selected him as The Most Outstanding Young Person of the Year in 2019.

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