Agora to launch 2 new products
Last Updated: 15:57 October 31, 2013
The Agora Projects is set to launch two products at the party to be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 11.
Agora Hot Spots are solar-powered wireless Internet and charging stations and community gathering pavilions geared toward bringing Internet connectivity to developing nations. Agora Sanctuaries are similar pavilions but built for the developed world and geared toward restoring stressed individuals with light, sound and aromatherapy.
Architect and artist Marina Nash founded the Agora Projects. Chief executive Scott Rodwin and Bud Wilson also are partners in the company.
Rodwin, also founder of Rodwin Architecture, said the group is expecting the Hot Spots to take off first because of its mission of serving.
The Hot Spots – which are 40 feet in diameter, 20 feet tall and can serve several dozen people at a time – cost $250,000 to build. Agora plays the role of designer and builder as well as matchmaker. Communities interested in receiving a Hot Spot are matched with donors, whether they be telecommunications companies looking for a marketing opportunity or private philanthropists.
Donors either pay Agora directly or pay through a nonprofit organization with which Agora is aligned; that organization then pays Agora. An ongoing financial commitment of about $400 a month also is covered by the donor to cover Wi-Fi service and tablet replacement.
Rodwin said the company – with about $75,000 in startup costs invested – has been in talks with several interested recipient cities as well as multiple potential donors, although Agora is still trying to raise the money to build the first Hot Spot.
“Our intention is these communities can use this resource to change their whole future,” Rodwin said Thursday. “We know that once we build the first one, this has such a potent story connected to it that it’s going to get a lot of attention.”
While the developing world is underserved when it comes to Internet connectivity, developed nations’ populations often need a respite from an inundation of technology in their daily lives. The Agora Sanctuaries essentially are the same concept as the Hot Spots, only with an “interactive multistimulus” option package instead of the Wi-Fi charging station options.
Rodwin said the Sanctuaries will be targeted at large companies, universities and health-care systems.
“If we can increase productivity by 1 percent per year, this will pay for itself overnight,” Rodwin said.
The public is invited to the Nov. 11 launch party. An RSVP to email@example.com is required.
More breaking news...
Dillard's 'price' case starts Wednesday
Vail Resorts reports loss for fiscal Q1
Business hall of fame seeking nominations
Each year the hall identifies five to eight businesspeople who exemplify business, cultural and philanthropic initiatives that