Solar power has become increasingly widespread over the past decade, and we can now harness the sun’s energy to supply power to technology that we use in our everyday lives. At the forefront of this energy revolution is GoSun, a Cincinnati startup that creates solar-powered products that encourage independence and resilience among consumers.
“GoSun builds portable, solar-powered appliances to help people thrive when they’re off the grid for recreational purposes,” founder and CEO Patrick Sherwin said. “We’ve been involved in solar development for over 10 years, and we are taking the solar that used to be up on rooftops or used on a utility scale and we’re bringing it down to a personal level. Portable appliances are easier and more convenient than the standard outdoor gear that you might find from other brands that are otherwise using propane, charcoal, or throw-away batteries.”
GoSun has seen impressive growth in the decade since Sherwin founded the company. In 2000, he was one of a few engineers in the state working on solar installations. As the industry grew on a commercial and utility scale, Sherwin saw an opportunity to revive solar’s original appeal, resilience, and self-sufficiency in an off-grid setting.
“About a decade ago, I was taking a solar water heater off a rooftop, and I discovered that it was an incredible way to cook food,” he said. “Then I found the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. I took an invention and launched it on the platform, which began GoSun and a series of other solar-related appliances that help people in a kitchen setup when they’re off grid, whether that’s in their backyard, at the beach, or a campground. It’s been my mission to figure out how to get the sun into our lives in more effective ways.”
But Sherwin says the company is “so much more than just a product manufacturer.” While many of the appliances it offers are designed with recreation in mind, the products also serve as critical resources in disaster or humanitarian crises where access to electricity isn’t readily available. For GoSun, giving back is the driving force of its mission.
“We try to create social impact and give our products where they’re needed the most, whether that’s through disaster relief or to developing countries,” Sherwin said. “We’ve done a lot of work in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, and we’ve donated a bunch of our coolers to carry critical medicines for refugees in Ukraine. We’re helping people in Florida after Hurricane Ian to keep power and fresh water running. The core of our business is to find where there’s a real need and where we can come in with simple and efficient solutions that use the sun.”
GoSun’s sights are set on the future of efficiency and how it can continue to develop its products to further its mission of independence and resiliency for all. As the company continues to grow its business and operate at the forefront of energy innovation, Sherwin is confident that Cincinnati and its resources give GoSun the tools it needs to move the needle forward.
“GoSun is planning to be the leading consumer technology brand in solar,” he said. “There’s so much room in the realm of efficiency, and we’re really just scratching the surface when it comes to potential. And we love being in Cincinnati with the access to great talent and hard-working, industrious people. There are countless resources available with respect to fabrication and materials. We love it here, and we love to inspire people here to find a better way for the future with our technology.”