One Earth Designs, maker of SolSource solar cooker, shuts down after raising $500,000 from Mark Cuban
Back in February 2018, we wrote about SolSource solar cooker after solar tech startup One Earth Designs raised $500,000 from Mark Cuban on the popular ABC Shark Tank show. Everything seemed to be going well until late last year when the Burlingame, California-based startup announced on its website that it would “cease operations as of January 1, 2020.” The company said that customers will still be able to buy its SolSource Solar Cookers from SIC in the US and Asia or from Solar Brothers in Europe.
In Episode 22 of ABC Shark Tank show, Mark Cuban decided to invest $500,000 in exchange for 3 percent equity in SolSource, a solar cooker that harnesses solar energy at a 90% efficiency to power zero-emissions cooking. The Burlingame, California-based One Earth Designs was founded in 2012 by Dr. Catlin Power. She received her doctorate from Harvard University, holds two solar energy patents, and serves on the technical advisory committee to the International Standards Organization.
Catlin pitched Solsource as an innovative products that have won numerous global invention awards and been recognized by MIT, the US National Science Foundation, and the United Nations. “Our next product is a solar battery system,” she explains. “It stores energy in organic molecules over multiple days at a time.” Before investing in SolSource, Cuban asked Catlin, “Do you think you could put the fear of God in Elon Musk and put them out of business?” “Yes, I think we have the potential to do that,” Catlin answered without hesitation.
It wasn’t really clear what led to the company’s collapse. In a message to its customers, the company said the following: ”
Dear Customers and Partners,
One Earth Public Benefit Corporation (doing business as One Earth Designs and seller of SolSource Solar Cookers) will cease operations as of January 1, 2020. Our non-profit branch will continue to carry out our global social impact mission through humanitarian projects and the continuing evolution of solar-thermal technologies alongside our partners worldwide.
We want to express our sincere gratitude to the customers, partners, and supporters who have taken this journey with us from our humble origins in the Himalayas to delivering solar energy for cooking to families in more than 70 countries around the world.
Those of you who are SolSource users continue to make a difference every time you choose solar energy over fossil fuels. To support your commitment to renewable energy, we are offering customers up to 6-months of continuing customer service from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 while replacement parts last (shipping at customer’s expense). No refunds or returns will be processed following cessation of trading. You can continue to reach customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org or +866-218-8980 through June 2020.
To protect our customers, we will delete all contact information after Dec 31, 2019 except that necessary to maintain customer service support. We will delete customer service records on July 1, 2020.
We want to thank you for being part of this journey with us.
The One Earth Team
Below is the original Solsource video.