BioLite is on a mission to bring Energy Everywhere™ with revolutionary products that transform the way we Cook, Charge and Light our lives off the grid. We are a team of engineers and designers, operators and analysts, story tellers and evangelists, who believe that advanced technologies, built on sustainable business practices, have the power to change the world. Our unique Parallel Innovation business model pairs the needs of families living in energy poverty with the passions of outdoor enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of life outdoors and on the go.
Our founders, Jonathan and Alec, met at Smart Design in New York City where they quickly bonded over their interest in sustainable design. Alec, frustrated that almost all efficient camping stoves required fossil fuels, had the idea of a wood-burning stove able to utilize its own thermal energy to improve combustion. Jonathan, an avid camper, quickly brought his engineering background to the table and the two began the design process. Countless nights, weekends, and prototypes later, the BioLite CampStove was born: a portable biomass stove that leveraged thermoelectrics to create a smokeless fire all while charging personal devices.
A Mission Ignited
In 2008, Jonathan and Alec took their working prototype to a combustion conference where they discovered their technology could have an impact: half the planet lives in energy poverty, lacking safe and reliable ways to cook, charge, and light their lives; three billion people cook over smoky open fires every day, leading to 4 million premature deaths annually. It was with these shocking numbers that Jonathan and Alec committed to building a business capable of bringing safe, affordable energy to those who needed it most. Based on the same heat-to-electricity technology as the CampStove, The BioLite HomeStove, is a large format biomass cookstove that cuts fuel consumption in half and reduces toxic emissions by ninety percent, all while charging mobile phones or LED lights. But to bring this technology to life, they needed a business to make it happen.
WATCH: Our Mission
To solve a challenge as big as energy poverty, we need a business model that can operate at the same scale as the problem. We believe that bringing energy access to half the planet will require a business that scales on the value it delvers to its customers, not on philanthropy. To achieve this, BioLite operates using a unique business model called Parallel Innovation: our team incubates core energy technologies and then turns them into products unique to our outdoor and emerging markets customers. Revenues from our outdoor markets are reinvested in building a commercially sustainable business that can bring safe, affordable energy to families living in energy poverty across India and Africa. Through the support of our recreation market customers and community, we are given the resources and runway to build a business that will bringing energy everywhere™.
The Road Ahead
Fast forward to today and our team has grown from two guys to over 80 BioLiters working across the US, Uganda, Kenya and India. We have expanded our energy ecosystem from one stove to over 20 products across cooking, charging, and lighting, and continue to design solutions that are revolutionizing the way people worldwide experience energy on a personal scale.
Distributing HomeStove in Bungoma, Kenya
It takes a lot of work, and we want you along for the ride – check out our special series The Road To Impact, and get a behind-the-scenes look at our offices and what it really takes to bring energy everywhere.
2016 Impact Report
In January 2017, we published our first ever Annual Impact Report. Inside you will find highlights from 2016, a summary of our company sustainability report, and stories from partners and customers around the world. You make our impact possible and these are just a few of the ways that manifests in our organization.
Alec and Jonathan begin weekend project of “making a wood camping stove,” and CampStove proof of concept is born.
Jonathan and Alec learn about clean cookstove movement and HomeStove work begins; BioLite bifurcates the business and develops Parallel Innovation model.
BioLite hits the market and CampStoves ship to customers around the world.
Pilot programs begin for the launch of the BioLite HomeStove across India and Uganda.
BioLite raises over $1MM on Kickstarter with the BaseCamp Stove, BioLite’s outdoor recreational grill, inspired by the HomeStove.
BioLite expands beyond stoves into lighting with the launch of the NanoGrid system featuring breakthrough edge-lighting technology.
BioLite’s emission-reducing HomeStove is issued carbon credits for its performance; BioLite uses the first batch of credits to erase its entire carbon history and commit to carbon neutrality for the future of the company.
BioLite extends its Energy Ecosystem offering with the launch of the SolarPanel 5 Series and expansion of The NanoGrid. Full-time HomeStove operations begin in Kenya.
BioLite launches the CampStove 2 as part of its Spring 2017 lineup.