Light Up Africa


Light Up Africa
NIU Social Venture Student Group  


Light up Africa is a group of NIU students whose ingenuity could help light an entire continent.


As part of Dennis Barsema’s Social Venture Competition class, NIU accountancy students Jason Schwebke, John Harkness, and Mike Sutarik joined forces with Alan Hurt (engineering) to create a business that would impact a large number of people.

The group invented the ZoomBox - a four-pound device that converts the motion produced by doing everyday things like walking or riding a bicycle to electricity. 

Visit to learn more about how this project could change millions of lives.


“Kenyan families are spending 20% of their monthly income on energy, and nearly 70% of Kenyans live this way, every single day.”







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