The #LetsStopFire Campaign Will Save Many Lives

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Lumkani is a technology start-up that has designed and deployed fire detection devices in informal settlement communities in South Africa. Nunnovation spoke to Mr David Gluckman, Director of Lumkani.

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 NN: What drove you to start this campaign and how did it come into existence?

DG: As part of winning the South African leg of the Chivas Regal campaign called “The Venture”, an Indiegogo campaign was a requirement as part of the build-up, where 16 teams from around the world will meet in Silicon Valley to compete for $1 million funding for their ventures. Please read more about it here: www.theventure.com. There are 2 main call to actions for our campaign:

  • Vote for us on the Venture website (live 11 May 2015) – the more votes we get the more money Chivas contributes to our Indiegogo campaign.
  • Contribute to our Indiegogo campaign (launching 11 May)

We are raising money to deploy 3000 devices in high fire risk communities across South Africa. 1000 devices in each of these cities; Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Some of the perks of our Indiegogo campaign include:

1) Buy a device for a household in SA

2) Buy a device for a household and get a device for yourself

3) Beaded Lumkani gifts made by local artisans, laser-cut wood flash drives

4) Social media mentions

5) Post-cards designed by up and coming SA artists

NN: How has the response been thus far from all the people who are aware of this campaign?

DG: People are very excited about the campaign, but until it launches on 11 May it is hard to tell what the response will be. We want to get as many South Africans motivated to contribute to our campaign, even though this is something most South Africans have not contributed to in the past as they are not familiar with crowd-funding. Our goal between now and the campaign is to really activate our network to get people excited so that as the campaign launches we raise the funds we need.

NN: Have any organisations shown interest, if so, which ones and how?

DG: At this point we haven’t got any corporate sponsors but we are spending time over the next 2 weeks trying to get as much corporate sponsorship as possible. We have designed a specific corporate perk, for $1500, we will install 100 devices in high fire risk communities and we will put the corporate’s logo inside the device box letting our end-user know who sponsored it. We will put the corporate’s brand at the top of our home page and create opportunities for corporates to visit the community to where they contributed devices and create media opportunities.

NN: What are the main objectives of this campaign?

DG: The main objective of the campaign is to raise funds for 3000 devices in high fire risk communities across SA. Should we exceed this target we will scale up the number of households in which we deploy devices in what is called a “stretch” target.

NN: Which areas will this campaign be focused around?

DG: We want to put devices in high fire risk communities in Jozi, Cape Town and Durban. The campaign is targeted at any person around the world who wants to contribute to creating a societal impact by decreasing the risk of loss of life and property caused by shack fires in SA.

NN: How much would 1 fire detection device cost and are you getting any funding for the production thereof?

DG: The lowest perk in the campaign is buying a device for a household in an informal settlement. This will cost the person contributing to the campaign $15 – the perks increase based on the more devices bought etc.

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