Lesley Silverthorn Marincola

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Lesley Silverthorn Marincola

2013 Global Fellow
Founder of Angaza Design, Inc.

Lesley Silverthorn Marincola 2013 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Combat poverty in emerging market countries by enabling low-income, off-grid families and small businesses to purchase solar home systems through a cellular-based pay-as-you-go platform. 


Angaza Design removes the upfront price barrier of solar energy systems in emerging markets like East Africa with our embedded pay-as-you-go technology. Using their cell phones, our customers pre-pay for clean solar energy with micropayments tied to their usage. Like airtime minutes on a cell phone, energy use is metered, and an Angaza-compatible solar product deactivates when the pre-paid energy is consumed. By enabling payments to fit customers' cash flows and tailoring energy prices to local markets, we redirect expenditures on kerosene, candles, and disposable batteries towards the purchase of solar home systems. Angaza is reshaping the off-grid market so millions of consumers can purchase modern energy alternatives for the first time.


Lesley Silverthorn Marincola is the founder and CEO of Angaza Design. Angaza removes the upfront price barrier of solar home systems sold in under-electrified emerging markets like East Africa with their embedded pay-as-you-go technology. A product designer (BS) and mechanical engineer (MS) from Stanford University, Lesley has also worked at Amazon (Lab126) with the Amazon Kindle design team, and at Bay Area design consultancy, D2M Inc. with clients including DirecTV, Genentech, Qualcomm, and Volkswagen. Lesley is a recipient of the Santa Clara University Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) scholarship and was named a 2012 Tech Awards Laureate, in recognition of Angaza's pay-as-you-go technology. She was recognized by Businessweek as one of "America's Best Young Entrepreneurs" in 2011, received the 2012 Astia International Women's Day Scholarship, is a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, and was named a Forbes 2012 "30 Under 30" Social Entrepreneur. Lesley's vision is to solve the world's most widespread problems - like energy access - with market-driven technology innovation developed from a human-centered design approach.

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