SolSource (made by One Earth Designs) is a solar powered stove that seemed promising to both investors and consumers. It certainly isn’t the first to hit the market, and many people make their own solar stoves, but it was certainly one of the most popular.
Dr. Catlin Powers, one of the founders of One Earth Designs, gave an astonishing pitch on the show Shark Tank in February 2018. She was seeking $500,000 in investment in exchange for 3 percent equity in the company, and Mark Cuban took the bait and made a deal.
Everything was fine and dandy, up until the sudden announcement to “cease operations as of January 1, 2020.” being posted on their website, not long before the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, customers could still buy remaining solar cookers from distributors in the US, Europe, and Asia while they were still in stock.
At the end of everything, the company parted with this statement:
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
And this is what you’ll find when trying to access their original website:
The Whatever happened on the inside of the company is still unknown, but it looks like they won’t be coming back. Hopefully, there will be another company that will come along and pick up where they left off in developing an energy-saving cooking solution.