Blueprint to Business

In this class we discuss a more about the applied aspect of AT and prototyping. Students were given the Prototype Expenses Form for processing the prototype financial support, list of materials, target users and blueprint sketch. This form will help the students put in a logical order their ideas and projections about their prototype. After that we had the Blueprint Presentation from the three teams. Students presented many exiting and original prototypes. The blueprints were from ranges from Dengue educational tool-kits to futuristic grape magnet-carriers. The rest of the session was focused in the sustainability of the product and how some pioneers of the field (e.g. Paul Polak; The Death of Appropriate Technology) and our guest mentor (Engr. Felix Ipanaque) succeeded with their start-up companies. Next session will be focused in the appropriateness of the products and conceptualizing the business model of each team’s technology!

Consolidating the Fieldwork Experience

Another exiting class full of discussion and ideas! In this class we set the requirements of the Final Pitch and showed examples of how senior students did it. Final Pitch is the climax of all the effort and applied ideas to team’s project. During this presentation, the actual prototype will be presented along with an explanatory poster, and presentation of their “AT-journey” video. 

Moreover, we discussed the 8 steps of AT Journey Tracker from Introduction to Business model with a special focus on Consolidation. This was done in order to clarify to the teams the crucial aspects of identifying the Issue, target Users and What could you do from them. Finally, all three teams (Manila PH, Shiga JP and Yamanashi JP) presented their field trip findings and potential ideas. The session ended up with great discussion and useful feedback exchange between the teams. We are waiting for all the teams to give a shape to their ideas and present their blueprints in the next session!

Prepping for School Year 2019

AppTech will be offered to the new Ph.D. in Humanics Program. We expect more diversity in class this school year. The classrooms were also renovated to improve the learning environment. Also, a new room (4F-308) will be available for class activities like workshop and prototype construction.

The class have also prepared some equipment and tools to make the design and construction of prototypes much easier. These include solar-powered devices, drones, Arduino computer with basic sensors, drinking water filter, and thermo-generator among others. A 3-D printer will also be available for the student’s usage. We hope to build more exciting projects this school year!

Academic Year 2019

The schedule of classes for the Spring Semester 2019 is now available. Classes will start on June 7 (Friday). Please prepare a “one-slide” presentation for your “Self-Introduction”. See you there!

Medical Science Bldg 4F (Room 305/308)
[Google Map]

Schedule of Classes (Spring Semester)
Every Friday, 18:15-20:00

Introduction to Appropriate Technology (1-credit)
June 7
June 14  
June 21    

Appropriate Technology (5-credits)
June 28    
July 5    
July 12

Field Research
To be conducted around August to September (to be arranged by students)

Kopernik Japan will join Demo Day 2018

Students of Appropriate Technology throughout the years have heard about the story of Mila. This video was frequently used to explain the concept of “Appropriate Technology” or “Improving the Quality of Life”. This video was produced by Kopernik.

This company is founded by  Toshi Nakamura and Ewa Wojkowska in 2010. Their motivation was despite the availability of life-changing and affordable technologies, these technologies weren’t reaching the people who lived in the most remote and hard to reach parts of the world – the last mile. They have been bridging the technology gap ever since.

For this year, we have invited them to participate our Demo Day. They will be evaluating the student’s projects and will share about their current strategies to bridge the gaps in technology especially in developing areas.

Fermenting sustainable technologies

Lina (Sakai) Watanabe, the President and Representative Director of Fermenstation Co., Ltd. conducted a lecture and workshop for AppTech students last November 30, 2018. She shared her stories and insights about working with the local communities in Iwate Prefecture. Introducing technology into a community could be tough, that’s why it is crucial to work with the people and the local government for its implementation. She discussed about the importance of branding and design in promoting new technologies.  She have given some advice on what are the funding options available for a seed technology and how to communicate with investors. She also tackled about the issues caused by wild animals especially in rural areas in Japan.

External mentors were also invited during this session. Felix Ipanaque (Entrepreneur/Engineer) and Marita Ibanez (Visual Artist/Designer) were there to advise students about the sustainability of their projects. During this workshop, students have presented the current developments of their projects and what are their long-term vision for it. Then each team received advice from external mentors and course facilitators.

The discussions focused on answering questions like: Why will their target users continuously use their products? Who will fund/buy their products, What is the business model? What are the strategies to be used in introducing their product to the community?

The take-home message during this workshop is to always include the community in the branding of your product and always seek the support of the local government for its implementation. To achieve this, the product should have a clear mission/vision that various stakeholders could easily relate to.