A 45 day online campaign to raise funds to take the breakthrough Kite patch for testing in Uganda has been described as a “smashing success” after California based global technology firm iecrowd raised $557.254, way above the target the company needed.
The indiegogo crowdfunding campaign raised almost six times the $75.000 iecrowd wanted, an indication that backers believe the new technology is what is now needed in the global fight to end the more than six hundred thousand annual deaths from malaria related illnesses annually.
The funds raised will help iecrowd to enter the next stage in the development of the Kite mosquito patch and the Kite technology platform. The next stage will be a 6.7 million hours of large scale field testing of the patch in Uganda in east Africa.
11.254 supporters from around the world helped to raise the money in a campaign during which some people contribute only a few dollars while other backers can donate thousands of dollars.
A large number of supporters and a robust response by communities on social media sites elevated Kite Patch to become the most popular fundraising campaign on Indiegogo for four weeks of its six-week duration.
Iecrowd has partnered with Pilgrim Africa, a Ugandan based NGO that operates throughout the east African country including areas that have some of the highest prevalence rates of malaria on earth.
140.000 Kite patches will be taken and tested for three months in the areas to help evaluate its use, durability and adaptability
The results from the field test will help ieCrowd’s product development and science teams further refine and optimize the Kite Patch for its applicability around the world, to include a range of climates, cultures, and economic conditions. ieCrowd and Pilgrim Africa have benefited from close collaboration with the Government of Uganda. Field tests remain on schedule for the later part of January 2014.
Commenting on the conclusion of the Indiegogo campaign, Amro Albanna, ieCrowd’s Chairman and CEO, said: “We are very proud of and grateful for the support we received from the crowd in this campaign. True to ieCrowd’s mission, we asked the crowd to support us in developing this world-changing technology, and they responded with overwhelming generosity, excitement, and optimism. In fact, the success of the Kite Patch campaign is a perfect example of the power of ieCrowd’s model. By working together, and by empowering the crowd, we can transform an innovative discovery into actual market-driven solutions.”
The Kite Patch is being developed by Olfactor Laboratories, Inc (OLI) an ieCrowd company, and will be the first consumer product using the company’s patent-pending, non-toxic, spatial compounds capable of blocking mosquitoes’ ability to detect carbon dioxide. OLI’s work over the past three years has been supported with business infrastructure from ieCrowd, a grant from the National Institutes of Health, and collaborative agreements with federal agencies and non-profits.
OLI’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Michelle Brown, commented, “the comprehensive and invaluable field testing that we are now able to undertake will help us obtain valuable data that will allow us to further optimize Kite Patch. Our next steps include finalization of the first run of Kite Patches and their deployment to the field test in Uganda. We anticipate our field work to begin in January,” she said.
“Repelling mosquitoes away from humans is only one step of a broader effort we’re conducting. We’re looking forward to announcing a number of new developments soon that will highlight the power of ieCrowd’s approach and the great work being done at OLI,” Brown concluded.
The Kite is a small patch that anybody can wear and it helps protects them from mosquitoes that bite and transmit malaria
You can read more about the Kite patch from it’s website here
Have you been a victim of Malaria? Do you think the kite patch is the best way to fight malaria? Please post comments below.