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Student Startup Outreach - Mobile, Human-Powered Energy Generator for Backpackers

Hi Team REI and REI Members,

By way of introduction, we are a group of student researchers at Brown University dedicated to building a portable, human-powered energy generator unit that enables the recharge of your basic consumer electronics within span of minutes, regardless of the time or location you are in. We are building this device to be delivered to the hands of millions of people living off-grid, being temporarily dislocated due to natural disasters, as well as the outdoor community who has intermittent energy needs for important communication and guiding purposes. The idea, in a nutshell, is about transforming kinetic energy generated from high spinning velocity by easily and horizontally pulling the tool into electrical energy stored in a light-weighted battery that in turns charges up your iphone, GPS trackers, cameras, among others.

We are currently in the process of reaching out to our prospective customers and would love an opportunity for these potential customers, such as REI and its members, to user test our products and share your feedback. In order to hit these milestones of product optimization and user testing, I wanted to get in touch to seek for a quick letter of support from you, simply and solely to serve as a potential support and interest to test our initial product. If this sounds comfortable and you might be interested, I'd extremely appreciate if you could let me know and be willing to quickly draft couple quick sentences around our initial interaction, your interest in test-using the product, and your support to us as students in pursuing our endeavors and tackling a problem that we sympathize with and want to impact on. If easier, we'd also be more than happy to draft quick sentences and send over to you for your consent and signature. 

We truly appreciate your time and consideration in advance, and we look forward to hearing back from you.


BuzzButton (Sebastian Sheng, Eli Silvert and Sai Allu from Brown University)

1 Reply

@lyn87928987 thanks so much for thinking of REI and reaching out to us with this idea! Although we are not able to provide a formal letter or signature, we have 2 alternate suggestions:

  • If you wanted to reach out to members of this community for potential product testers, you could post on a different board here in the community (maybe on the Getting Started Outside board) and provide an appropriate method for those who are interested to contact you directly.
  • If you are interested in having REI consider your product, you can email us at You'll want to provide your company and product name, contact information, and what you love about the product you're recommending. Because we are always on the lookout for the best and new outdoor products for our customers, we do evaluate every submission (however we may not respond to all).

We hope one or both of these suggestions will help with your endeavor!

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