FOUNDER & CEO, UNCHARTED POWER; RENEWABLE ENERGY EXPERT
Jessica O. Matthews is the founder and CEO of Uncharted Power, an award-winning renewable power company that specializes in harnessing energy from motion to create entire ecosystems of power for communities around the world. 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.
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 PLAY 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.