Smoke pollution kills an estimated 4 million people every year and Max Chinnah, a 26-year-old Nigerian has invented a smokeless stove ‘The Genesys Cooker’ to fix that. He’s also co-founded Terraoak Inc. to produce and sell his cookstoves to eliminate smoke pollution in homes.

The Abuja-born Chinnah was fortunate to have access to a computer
when he was just 10 because his family could afford one. By 2011, Chinnah had received a scholarship package which would eventually help him get to Wartburg College.

Chinnah, in a NextBillion podcast, explained that his passion to solve the world’s indoor smoke pollution problem was born out of the fact that his grandmother died of smoke pollution at a very young age.

Still, he says, being a computer science graduate of Wartburg College wasn’t enough. It was his experience at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in Miami that inspired him to become an inventor.

Terraoak inc. which is based in Iowa was co-founded by Chinnah and Godwin Attigah, to produce the smokeless stove at a large scale with the hope of selling it worldwide.

In 2016, Chinnah won $10,000 Innovation Prize at Unite for Sight’s Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale University, which funded field tests in Ghana.

He also received funding from The Resolution Project, Duke Energy and the Iowa Renewable Energy Association and won an innovation video competition sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Recently, Terraoak got seed funds from Red Cedar, a local organisation created to help startups and entrepreneurs connect with resources.

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