Innovators Forum: The Last Mile Entrepreneur with Steve Johanns, Founder of Villedge Solutions


12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Event Type

The Last Mile Entrepreneur

Steve Johanns, Founder, Board Director, Last Mile Entrepreneur

Moderated by Dean Daniel Robison, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Steve has been a passionate pioneer in bottom-up innovation in rural developing markets.  Steve served at Eaton Corporation in the development of energy infrastructure worldwide for nearly two decades before founding his own company in 2016, Veriown Global, to focus on “the last mile”: those villages and homes that are off traditional infrastructure grids and therefore lacking basic utilities.  Steve continues to serve on the Board of Veriown Global to guide its continued success in India while he spearheads a parallel initiative in sub-Saharan Africa called Villedge Solutions.  Villedge Solutions is focused on bringing an even greater level of turn-key infrastructure to create solar-powered, satellite connected “smart” villages, including cutting edge tele-medicine technologies that can serve to launch and anchor village hospitals throughout sub-Saharan Africa.  In collaboration with the Government of Luxembourg’s SatMed initiative and SES, the world’s leading satellite company, Villedge Solutions has just recently received board approval by the U.S. Trade and Development agency to launch a series of pilots in the northern region of Ethiopia to establish a series of smart villages and village hospitals in the northern region of Ethiopia.  Steve has advised and presented to financial institutions, universities, as well as government and utility officials in developing markets globally; has  been an invited speaker to events sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, IEEE, and during WEF in Davos on the opportunity of ‘Hyper Innovation’ that exits in the last mile. A talk at Singapore Management University (SMU)   ‘Connecting the Invisible Woman in India’ led to a case study published by Harvard Business Review.

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