BEIRUT – A team from Rafik Hariri University in Lebanon has created a mattress which will help to keep refugees in tents warm at night.
The university team created a startup company, called Heatechs, which has discovered how to integrate a material into mattresses that releases heat accumulated during the day for up to seven hours at night. The technology for the mattresses is now patented after three phases of development, software simulation and prototype testing.
The discovery has also resulted in a seed grant of $250,000 for Heatechs from the first edition of Hult Prize Lebanon. Starting this year, Hult Prize Lebanon will donate $1 million annually in seed capital to a startup idea that judges choose as being the most profitable and sustainable.
According to the Lebanon Daily Star newspaper, the program is in partnership with the BLOM Bank and the Lebanese Central Bank.
“The mattress technology,” said Adam Choufi, Heatech’s CMO, “makes it especially useful for refugees, who, when they turn their stoves on at night to stay warm, risk fires inside the camps.”
The founder of the Hult Prize Lebanon is Ahmad Askhar, a Palestinian-American social entrepreneur. He says that the prize offers him a great way to give back to his home country from his success.
“As I get older, more gray-haired,” said Askhar, “it becomes more important for me to give back to my roots.”
The various teams vying for the Hult Prize were challenged to harness the power of energy to improve the lives of 10 million people. The Clinton Foundation and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals team also partnered with Askhar on the competition.