Inveneo Uncategorized Archives

Inveneo Enhancing Educational Offerings and Spinning Off a Broadband Startup

  1. Posted by Aaron Mason on September 12, 2013 in the categories: News, Uncategorized

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Delivering sustainable computing and wireless connectivity is at the heart of Inveneo’s mission. Our belief is that technology can fundamentally transform the way a community engages with the world and pursues economic opportunities. Our commitment to this belief has brought us through designing and manufacturing sustainable hardware, serving rural organizations and building partnerships with local ICT entrepreneurs. The results have spanned from placing solar powered computer labs in thousands of schools to deploying large-scale broadband networks for healthcare, economic development and relief.

Earlier this year we revisited our strategy and began to make a few significant changes. We moved away from building and selling our own equipment to focused on identifying and sharing the best equipment and software solutions for education and connectivity. Now, nine months later, we’re using what we’ve learned to make a few more changes to our model, intensifying our focus on technology and connectivity for education and spinning part of our broadband connectivity team off into an independent venture.

Sharpening our Focus on Education

Education is going through a technological revolution on a global scale. With equipment costs plummeting, low-power device options multiplying, and with content and online education availability increasing rapidly, the potential for vibrant, sustainable models for technology in underserved schools is finally emerging.

At Inveneo we believe that this shift in the development landscape makes education the single most important place for our technology and expertise to focus. With recent large-scale education projects in Haiti, Tanzania, Uganda, and smaller projects in many more countries, we’re focusing on how to scale rollouts of computing and tablets to maximize sustainability and development impact with education partner experts. Our education technology solutions encompass all of the things we do best – low power computing, power systems, robust networks, management software and very importantly local partners to design, deploy and support the systems. We’re making education top priority moving forward. Our local partnerships are fundamental to Inveneo’s vision and approach, and we look forward to continuing our work with you, our partners, on implementation, support and maintenance, and business development.

Spinning Off Broadband

Another key decision is to spin out a new entity focused on accelerating access to broadband in emerging markets. Almost two years ago Inveneo launched our Broadband for Good (BB4G) initiative to determine how to drive critically needed broadband access by deploying cutting-edge broadband technology and new partner delivery models in developing countries. The BB4G initiative allowed Inveneo to explore the needs of countries, carriers and governments around the world and to deliver high quality, cost effective network models with local partners. This includes our Haiti network used by two major telecoms and covering a quarter of the country, as well as networks serving three education programs across the West Bank of Palestine and connecting islands and schools in the South Pacific. However one thing we’ve learned is that broadband, in a not-for-profit setting, is best suited for project-specific implementations. Inveneo will continue to deliver broadband projects for education.

However, the more we understood the vast need for broadband in the countries where we work, the more we realized that deploying project-based broadband networks, while highly impactful, would not deliver broadband at the same speed as a for-profit model.

Introducing Volo

Inveneo is proud to introduce Volo, Inveneo’s first spin-off, which will center its efforts on broadband services for emerging markets.

Volo’s goal is to deliver broadband in emerging markets around the world. Using our experiences during BB4G, the new Volo team will be working to provide connectivity using cutting-edge technology and a network of partners. Mark Summer and Kristin Peterson will head the new Volo team, however they will continue to serve on the Inveneo board and support our efforts.

What this Means for Inveneo and You

Refocusing our efforts and modifying our team will of course have an impact on Inveneo, as we are an exceptionally close-knit organization. There have been a few additional staffing changes, including the announcement of Bruce Baikie as Inveneo’s new Executive Director.

We want to make sure that you understand that while we’re excited to make our internal changes, these changes will not affect our current projects. We’re excited to have the opportunity to use technology to serve the communities we work in, and we aim to continue this as we push forward. We believe that this new focus will help us grow even faster, allowing us to help even more communities around the world.

We hope that as part of the Inveneo family you’re as excited as we are about these changes. Thank you for all the support you’ve given us over the past eight years, and we look forward to eight more!

Yours,

The Inveneo Team

For questions please contact either our partner manager FJ Cava at fj@inveneo.org or executive director Bruce Baikie at bruce@inveneo.org.

Digital Literacy Brings Hope to Women in Rural Haiti

  1. Posted by Michelet Guerrier on March 19, 2013 in the categories: News, Uncategorized

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Nancy Jean-Pierre speaking on the last day of her training on how much she’s learned.

The Haitian town of Dessalines sits in the middle of the country’s northern Artibonite Department. Spread out over 460 square kilometers the rural countryside around Dessalines is home to just over 12,000 people, as well as two of the 25 schools participating in a digital literacy program funded by the Intel Foundation. Launched by Inveneo and NetHope, Digital Literacy for Haiti Rebuilding (DLHR) offers basic computer training in Haitian communities like Dessalines and provides schools with the resources to continue the courses once the program ends. To date more than 500 people have taken part in the training, nearly 60 percent of whom have been women.

Nancy Jean-Pierre is one of these women. 20 years old, single and without children, Nancy was among the 27 attendees at the program’s first course given earlier this month at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In 2012 the school received a solar-powered computer lab as part of Inveneo’s Haiti Connected Schools program and is one of the many sites that DLHR uses as community training centers.

Having not yet passed the state exams, Nancy’s still considered an 11th grade student.

“After I failed the baccalaureate last year,” Nancy said, “I felt ashamed and hopeless. I did not want to go back to school. I wanted to learn something to be my profession. I went to a computer course for several months but did not learn much because the school did not have computers for practice.”

“So when I learned about Inveneo coming to give a special course here in Dessalines, I did not want to miss it. I came and I have learned so much with the instructors that I feel I can teach now. I would have lost a big part of my life if I had missed this course. I will continue to learn computers and help others who do not know. And that will be my profession.”

Nancy believes technology has the power to change her own life as well as the lives of people in her community. Dessalines may by a rural farming center, but there is overwhelming interest in learning how to use computers and the Internet. Farmers and businesswomen alike have taken the course, wanting to stay current with technology to make sure they’re not left behind. They hope that their experience learning to use computers will open their eyes to better ways to do their jobs and run their businesses. Younger participants are considering entirely new career paths focusing on IT.

The standard computer course involves 24 hours of class time and covers computer fundamentals (mouse, keyboard, etc.) and the basics of Microsoft Word, email and the Internet. Two sections of twelve students each – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – ensure that 24 participants get hands-on training with computers throughout the entirety of each course.

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Nancy receiving her certificate. From left: Rigaud Bel, Nancy Jean-Pierre, Michelet Guerrier

And while providing substantial benefit to participants, the courses are also proving to be economically sustainable. Attendees at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau paid 400 HTG, the equivalent of roughly US$10, for the full course. Future classes – which are already filling up – are being offered at 750 HTG. With the course fee that the schools collect, they can pay for trainers, Internet connectivity and ongoing maintenance of the lab.

Looking back at the training, Nancy feels she’s learned most of the important basics:

“I can type and format all kinds of texts. At least I can work as a typist now and I will make some money. I know how to do research on the Internet, which I think is very important for everyone because here we do not even have libraries. But with the Internet, we can find information about everything.

“For this reason, I am in this computer lab almost every day. Sometimes I stay here on the computer 3 or 4 hours a day to do typing exercises and research on the Internet. And with the Internet, email and Facebook, I am happy that I can connect with people everywhere. I am a member of a Facebook group that has many people with whom I can share everything I want. I love the Internet!”

Inspired by the patience and teaching skills of her instructors, Nancy offered to assist in future classes at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In response the school has agreed to hire her previous instructor and to bring Nancy on as an assistant. Nancy will have access to technology, mentorship of her instructors and the possibility of a small salary.

Rigaud Bel, one of the program’s community IT instructors, hopes to help Nancy develop the confidence needed to take over the course entirely, teaching future classes on her own.

Women like Nancy are inspiring examples of how DLHR is changing lives. With more than 500 past participants and another 200 women expected in the coming weeks, schools are looking to expand their programs to include courses in Microsoft Excel and advanced Internet usage.

With these skills women coming out of the program will be able to do more than simply compete in Haiti’s emerging job market. They’ll know they’re not alone, and they’ll be able to stay connected online where collaboration, sharing and learning continue to thrive.

Michelet Guerrier is a project manager for Inveneo working in Haiti.

Ubiquiti Training Academy

  1. Posted by Aaron Mason on March 11, 2013 in the categories: Uncategorized

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This hands-on course provides both the background of foundational knowledge and the hands-on experience of building out a wireless communications system using Ubiquiti equipment.

  • Course outline
  • RF Fundamentals
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Links Calculations
  • Installation Best Practices
  • Ubiquiti’s Unique Features
  • And More!

Become a Ubiquiti AirMax Certified Admin! If you are interested in participating in the class or have any questions, please contact Jen Overgaag (jen@inveneo.org)

Class details

  • Location: Inveneo headquarters, San Francisco, CA
  • Dates: Thu, March 21, 1-5pm
  • Tue, April 2, 1-5pm
  • Thu April 4, 1-5pm
  • Trainer: Jen Overgaag, Inveneo Senior Project Engineer

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Commits Support to Inveneo

  1. Posted by Aaron Mason on February 6, 2013 in the categories: News, Uncategorized

WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has announced its final grants to organizations promoting economic opportunity in Haiti, including support for Inveneo.

The Fund will support Inveneo as we complete the Haiti Connected Cities project, which is bringing broadband connectivity to underserved regions throughout Haiti. In December 2010, the Fund made their first grant to Inveneo to launch the project. With this final grant we’ll be able to deploy the network in a sixth and final region, increasing broadband wireless access for businesses, schools, and individuals in the municipality of Jéremié. It will also help as we transition the network to Haitian ownership.

By dedicating $54.4 million raised after the January 2010 earthquake to support more than 50 organizations, the Fund has helped Haitians create a better future through smart, sustainable economic development. While much work remains to be done in Haiti, the Fund has now met its main objectives—to serve as a bridge from post-disaster relief to longer-term reconstruction.

For more information on the impact Inveneo and the Fund are making in Haiti, watch a short video or visit the Fund’s website.

CLS Deploys Solar Computing Solutions at 52 Ugandan Schools

  1. Posted by Inveneo on June 9, 2010 in the categories: Education, News, Projects, Uncategorized

The Computers for Schools programme in Uganda is an effort by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to establish functional computer laboratories with modern equipment in selected schools.

In August 2009, the UCC held a competitive bidding process for a contract to supply computer labs to 52 schools. These schools are all located in regions with limited or non-existent electricity supply, so the computers must rely on solar power.

CLS, a certified Inveneo Partner, bid and won the competitive tender for 52 ICT centers by offering the best value for the UCC – Inveneo High-Performance Computing Stations and the solar power to operate them.

This March, CLS completed the installation of all 52 labs ahead of schedule. At each school, they installed ten Inveneo High-Performance Computing Stations, one Inveneo R4 server, a wireless LAN hub, and 7W DC lamps. Read the installation report (PDF) for the full details.

Solar Power Computing

To power the electronics, CLS installed eight 90W solar panels, three 200Ah deep cycle batteries, two 30A charge controllers using the Inveneo power configuration model.

The solar panels convert sunlight into energy, which is stored in the batteries through the charge controllers.

The solar power system is designed to require an average of five hours of sunshine to fully charge the batteries. At full charge, the batteries can run the ten computing stations and server for up to ten hours.

CLS is the leading supplier of low-power computing in Uganda.

Inveneo Empowering the Hajj in Nigeria

  1. Posted by Inveneo on September 17, 2008 in the categories: Government, News, Projects, Uncategorized

For Nigerian Muslims, the Hajj is a very special event. An annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj is one of the seven pillars of Islam and an obligation that every able-bodied Muslim should complete at least once in their life.

Nigeria’s government helps its Muslim citizen experience Hajj through its Pilgrim’s Board — an agency that facilitates trips for both Muslims and Christians to visit Mecca and Jerusalem respectively. Each year, the Pilgrim’s Board sends thousands of Muslims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the Hajj.

Typical paperwork for pilgrimsIn order to get this many people to the Hajj, the Pilgrim board must work through a visa process that requires Excel spreadsheets feeding into a Oracle database file running on the server, that is then sent to Saudi Arabia. Inveneo Certified ICT PartnerAurora Wireless, installed eight Inveneo Computing Stations and two Inveneo Communication Stations at the Pilgrim Board offices in Niger State.

This innovative technology backbone has increased the efficiency of the Piligrim’s Board, showcasing how Inveneo solutions improve communications across Africa — even spiritual communications.