Travels from New York, New York, USA
Jessica O. Matthews's speaking fee falls within range: $20,000 to $25,000
Inventor, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist, Jessica O. Matthews is disrupting the global power infrastructure. At age 19, she invented the Soccket, a soccer ball that doubles as a power generator. After graduating college, she launched Uncharted Power (previously Uncharted Play) to further develop the Soccket, taking it into ten countries and counting. She has also shrunk her MORE technology (Motion-based, Off-Grid, Renewable Energy) to fit into an energy-generating jump rope called Pulse.
A psychology and economics major at Harvard, Matthews was taking a course that challenged students to identify a problem and create a solution. She recalled attending a family wedding in Nigeria where the power went out resulting in the family turning on noisy diesel generators that emitted noxious fumes. In brainstorming solutions, Matthews thought about how frequently people across Nigeria – and most of the world – play on soccer, and through a bit of online investigation and reverse engineering was able to come up with a soccer ball that with 30 minutes of play would generate a LED lamp for three hours.
Matthews’ work was recognized by the Obama Administration and she was invited to represent small companies for the signing of the America Invents Act in 2012. She also served as an Ambassador of Entrepreneurship for Nigeria and has been the recipient of numerous honors including the Ebony Power 100, Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30, Fortune’sMost Promising Women Entrepreneurs, and Crain’s 40 Under 40.
Matthews is currently shifting her technology from toys to a variety of other everyday items. Her company has an estimated value of $57 million and to date she holds the record for the highest Series A funding among African-American female founders. As of 2018, Disney is also an investor in her company, one of seven worldwide that was selected as part of the Disney Accelerator.
Jessica O. Matthews is the founder and CEO of Uncharted Power, an award-winning energy and data technology company that develops infrastructure solutions for communities, facilities, and Internet of Things. The company was founded by Jessica when she was only 22 years old.
Uncharted Power first began as Uncharted Play, a new kind of social enterprise grounded in play and the happiness of life, that would show the world how play could be a tangible tool for inspiring social innovation.
Jessica was invited by President Barack Obama to the White House to represent small companies for the signing of the America Invents Act in 2012, and currently serves as an Ambassador of Entrepreneurship for Nigeria. In 2016, she raised what is presently the largest Series A ever raised by a black female founder in history, and was selected to ring the NASDAQ opening ceremony bell, representing all Forbes 30 Under 30 alumna.
Jessica’s research and career centers around the intersection of disruptive technology, renewable energy, human behavior, and the psychology of self-actualization. A dual citizen of Nigeria & the U.S., Jessica has a degree in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is listed on over 10 patents and patents pending—including her first invention of the SOCCKET, an energy generating soccer ball, at the age of 19.
Her list of accolades include Fortune’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs, Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Inc 30 Under 30, and Scientist of the Year by Harvard University. She was also recently nominated by TechCrunch for Founder of the Year. Jessica has appeared on the cover of Forbes and Forbes Africa, as well as featured in Marie Claire, Wired, Inc, TechCrunch, The New York Times, and Fast Company, among others.
Inventor and entrepreneur Jessica Matthews admits that on paper she is a very unlikely candidate to have created an electricity-generating soccer ball. The founder of Uncharted Play was not an engineer, scientist, nor even a soccer player, and she feels that’s good news for the rest of us when it comes to changing the world.
Matthews details step-by-step how she invented the Socket, from getting the idea at age 19 to just a few years later launching and growing her start-up, which is now generating clean electricity via kinetic energy in Nigeria, Swaziland, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada.
“Really it was just a question of ‘why not?’” she insists. “The cool thing about starting young and just pushing is that you really have nothing to lose. At the very least, you have an amazing failure to talk about in your college essay. And at the best, you can create something that the world has never seen.”
Clean energy maverick Jessica O. Matthews is a stand-out in a field dominated by white men, something that she hopes to change. Matthews, who built innovative tech from a knowledge of basic high school physics and Google, makes the case that more young people – especially young women – can break into the tech industry and leadership roles. Her relatable background and uplifting experiences becoming an inventor at age 19 and then internationally influential entrepreneur at age 22, are a resonating revelation that we are already equipped to break out of the status quo and create the world we want to live in.
GET MORE: USING PLAY TO POWER THE FUTURE OF IDEAS
In today's society, everything in our lives is smart and connected—providing data that will help us know ourselves and improve the world. Which means we are more reliant than ever on energy access to contribute to this development. Unfortunately, access to clean energy, or any energy, is a struggle in many developing nations, greatly affecting the health, education, and welfare of its people. During this talk, Jessica will take you through her journey from her first experience developing products that utilize MORE (motion-based off-grid renewable energy), starting with something as simple as a soccer ball, and will explain how her company's development of clean technology that turns kinetic energy into electricity is leading environmentally sustainable economic development around the world. Audiences will walk away understanding how you too can embrace the energy movement that is around us to power and empower communities worldwide.
POWER, REDEFINED: LEADERSHIP ACUMEN FROM THE NEW TECH FRONTIER
Successful tech companies with a $7 million Series A Round typically start in Silicon Valley, not Harlem. But why is this the overriding norm? In this talk, Jessica reveals the obstacles she faced in wanting to move her company to Harlem, and discusses why it's important to question the status quo, go against the grain, and create something that works for you—no matter your location, background, or circumstances. Jessica will share how applying her leadership skills in unconventional ways has led to changing the renewable energy game. Her motto "succeed not despite of who you are, but because of who you are unapologetically" encourages individuals and organizations to embrace differences and recognize that personal struggle and challenges can give birth to solutions, if you let them. By leading with the simple understanding of focusing on what you can control, she inspires audiences to start with daily achievable goals and to lead by example.
EQUITABLE INNOVATION: THE UNCHARTED POWER EFFECT
Jessica O. Matthews is no stranger to inequality—both gender and race—when competing in the behemoth industry sectors of renewable energy and technology. But her struggle is not unique. With technology giants such as Facebook, Google and Twitter all with less than a 20% female employee composition, the lack of diversity that is so unreflective of the global population drastically affects the quality, relevance and diversity of innovative ideas that companies can produce. Uncharted Power tackles the intersection between innovation and empowerment through their impact program, UPlift 1 million, where they use their curriculum "Think Out of Bounds" to teach STEM, design thinking, and innovation to underrepresented communities. In this talk, Jessica shares her own struggles to succeed in a traditional industry and empowers audiences to discover ways to combat the intrinsic biases against people who do not adhere to the norm, regardless of industry, as a means to cultivate innovation and creativity from within. A firm believer that innovation is shaped by struggle, Jessica uses her story to show people that look like her what's possible—inspiring audiences to seek out ways to contribute to both positive and sustainable economic development and personal growth.
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