"Solving the problem of mass communication in rural Africa using the technology in people’s pockets – the mobile."
Entrepreneurs: Oonagh Mannix, Helen Williams
College/School: Science & Engineering
The Story: Polorum is solving the problem of mass communication in rural Africa using the technology in people’s pockets – the mobile phone. Where traditional infrastructure is lacking, mobile usage in Africa is on the rise. They see this as an opportunity to create a speedy, cost-effective channel through which locals, NGOs and public services can deliver the messages they need over isolated, spread out populations. Over 40,000 phone numbers can be stored in the Polorum system, which sends out regular texts to all the mobile phones in a community. Run by locals for locals, this system is sustainable because its messages are trusted.
Polorum will enable communications that can: