Course of Impact

Students from Stanford's Design for Extreme Affordability class have executed more than 130 projects in 14 years. Here are 10 of them.

d.light (Myanmar) Class of 2006

Invented a fast-charging LED lantern aimed at the 1 billion people worldwide who live without electricity and who often resort to kerosene lanterns, which are fire and respiratory hazards. Has sold more than 10 million lanterns, phone chargers, and lighting systems in 62 countries.

Embrace (Nepal) Class of 2007

Supplies portable, easy-to-use, $100 infant incubators for the 20 million premature and low-birth-weight babies born worldwide each year. Traditional incubators cost as much as $20,000. Embrace warmers have treated more than 200,000 babies in 22 countries. Now headquartered in India.

Sanku (Nepal) Class of 2009

Provides a simple, one-size-fits-all automated device that enables rural grain millers to easily add nutrients to the flour people eat every day in Africa. Hopes to end the malnutrition that affects 2 billion people worldwide. Has reached 500,000 people in Tanzania (where it is now based), Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, and Mozambique, and is on pace to reach 100 million by 2025.

Miraclefeet Brace (Brazil): Class of 2012

Invented an easy-to-use foot-abduction brace to treat the 175,000 children worldwide who are born with clubfoot each year but don’t receive treatment. Traditional braces were either too expensive (up to $1,000) or not effective. Won a $1 million Google Impact Challenge grant in 2016. Has distributed 6,000 braces in 12 countries as of the summer of 2017.

Noora (India): Class of 2012

Conceived and implemented a hospital-training program that brings family members into the patient-recovery process by teaching them how to perform tasks traditionally performed by healthcare professionals. This reduces costs and improves care both in the hospital and, later at home. Has trained 100,000 family members in dozens of hospitals throughout India.

EarthEnable (Rwanda): Class of 2013

Makes washable, paved flooring that’s 80% cheaper than concrete, aimed at the 2 billion people worldwide who live with dirt floors. Hygienic flooring reduces diarrhea by nearly 50% and parasitic infection by more than 75%. On track to install floors in 3,000 homes in Rwanda in 2017. Won a $590,000 Green Challenge grant in September 2017 to help scale the business. Aims to install 2 million floors by 2025.

Pelle Bongo: (Cote d’Ivoire): Class of 2013

Invented a safe and efficient tool to harvest cacao beans, work that traditionally has been done with a machete, leading to poor fermentation and unsafe working conditions. The new hand tool improves farmer efficiency and productivity by not only opening the pod but also enabling the farmer to remove the beans without the unwanted connective material inside. Has distributed more than 10,000 tools to 8 countries.

Healyx (Bangladesh): Class of 2015

Negative-pressure wound therapy device for large, slow-healing wounds such as pressure ulcers. In India alone, more than 20 million patients suffer from non-healing, chronic wounds, and treatment can result in months in the hospital and overwhelming debt. The student team just launched its startup, Healyx Labs, which is working toward a clinical trial in 2018.

Super Habla (Ecuador): Class of 2016

Developed game-based speech therapy for children who’ve had cleft palate surgery and who lack regular access to trained speech therapists. Daily speech practice is critical for children to get to understandable speech. Is currently developing a hub-and-spoke network of trained therapists to extend access to remote populations throughout Latin America.

d.lala (South Africa): Class of 2016

Created a side-laying, posture-support device for children with cerebral palsy, the most common developmental disorder for children. The positioner continues crucial posture therapy while children sleep at night and play during the day. The device will enter a clinical trial in 2018.