About Us

Village Innovators is a startup not-for-profit with a mission to create homegrown technologies in East Africa.

Our work:  to democratize technology production for humanitarian purposes.  We design humanitarian, reproducible, low-cost devices like wind turbines.  Then we invest in people in East Africa with the knowledge and cash to build them.  Our vision is for every home and every school to have basic stuff like electricity.  

We already have proofs of concept.  In Kenya we gave $650 to an impromptu team of young adults, and in only 3 days, they built a wind turbine that now powers lights and computers in their school.  They proved that a crazy idea could actually work.  

Andrew Amis

Founder and CEO

After teaching chemistry in a Tanzanian village school, Andrew founded Village Innovators in the OwlSpark Startup Accelerator at Rice to share engineering with his former students. He piloted Village Innovators with students in war-scarred Gulu, Uganda, and invested in the team’s first wind turbine in Kenya, built by Kenyans, to power lights and computers in their school. A Truman Scholar, Andrew graduated from Rice University (chemical engineering and history) and Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program, where he co-founded a biometrics company to streamline international travel. He has worked on teams designing low-cost microsatellite launch devices and mobile biofuels plants for developing countries.

Baek Ho Jang

COO

Baek Ho (Beko) Jang is a junior at Rice University majoring in Bioengineering and coordinates outreach with Peace Corps Volunteers in East Africa, overseeing Village Innovators‘ investment in solar power for a girls’ dormitory in Kenya. He currently conducts research with the Texas Children’s Hospital investigating human immunology with the focus on Natural Killer cells. After graduation, he plans to pursue a medical degree with the ultimate goal of practicing medicine and formulating policy for global infectious diseases. Born in Seoul, South Korea, he served in the Korean Army from January 2010 to October 2011 under a two-star United States General. A first-generation Korean American, he spent most of his teenhood in the Midwestern United States, in Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska.