Space-Age Technologies Foster Entrepreneurship in Emerging Industries June 9, 2008Posted by jgarciaalvarez in Clean Environmental Solutions, Colombia, Entrepreneurship, USA.
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. In 1969, Neil Armstrong declared these words as he put his left foot down on the moon. Only a few people back then could have foreseen how this small step would serve as inspiration for Plantronics to develop a hands-free operation technology that today is used in call centers worldwide. Talk about six-degrees of separation: Neil Armstrong’s headset is the predecessor of modern call centers solutions!
Entrepreneurial stories like this are part of the documentary series The Discovery Channel launched yesterday, titled “When we left Earth, the NASA Missions”. I am looking forward to seeing how the program evolves, since many of these space-age technologies have the impact to foster entrepreneurship, to improve people’s life in urban centers, and to expand the adoption of environmentally-friendly materials.
For example, NASA inspired the development of self-illuminating materials to increase safety in public areas. Reflective traffic signals and vests of airport operators may well have a parallel origin with the “EXIT” sign used office walkways. Today, Cyclestock.com, headquartered in Colombia, South America, sets the difference between visibility and risk by providing reflective and fashion wear for the bike commuter and night runner. As gas hits a U.S. national average of $4.00 per gallon, biking to work not only translates into a healthy and eco-friendly attitude, but it also adds money to your pockets!
Similarly, NASA inspired the development of lightweight and comfortable materials to protect against the cold and to absorb the moisture and excessive heat. Today, 180s, a #1 company in the 2004 Inner City 100 list, has developed an array of products like gloves, eye gear, and apparel, equally suited for the mountains or city streets.
What other applications of space-age technologies do you know about that have great growth potential to both be profitable and positively impact our urban areas and environment?