FAQ

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Is there a dollar limit on how much I can apply for in my tech distribution project proposal?

Tech distribution projects typically have a budget of less than US$10,000.This includes the cost of the technology, shipping, customs and clearance fees.

If I request technology from Kopernik, how do I find out how much shipping will cost?

We will calculate the shipping costs for you once you have completed the project proposal.

If I request technology from Kopernik, what costs does my organisation have to cover?

Kopernik only funds the purchase of the technologies and the cost of delivering them to you. Kopernik purchases the technologies directly from the technology producer, and we do not transfer funds to tech distribution partners directly. Tech distribution partners are expected to cover all other costs related to the technology distribution. If you are a non-profit organisation you can propose for a portion of the sales revenue (up to 30%) to cover your organisation’s awareness-raising and distribution costs.

What should I put in my tech distribution project budget?

Kopernik believes in total transparency. We share the budget breakdown of all projects on our website under the budget tab on the project page.

A typical budget includes:

  • Product costs
  • Shipping costs
  • Custom clearance & local duty costs (if applicable)
  • Credit card processing fee (for donations received through our website)
  • Wire transfer fee (for purchasing technologies from the technology producer and receiving repayments from the local partner) 
  • Kopernik 10%, which covers our due diligence and project support costs

Please note that Kopernik only funds the purchase of the technologies and the cost of delivering them to you. Kopernik purchases the technologies directly from the technology producer therefore we do not transfer funds to local partners directly.

As the technologies are sold at a locally determined price, there will be sales revenue that you will need to repay to Kopernik. If you are a non-profit organisation you can propose for a portion of the sales revenue (up to 30%) to cover your organisation’s awareness-raising and distribution costs.

What should I include in my tech distribution project proposal?

If you want to request technology for your community, the first step is to contact Kopernik. We will discuss your idea with you and determine whether to proceed with an invitation for you to submit a full project proposal. We will initially ask you what technology you are interested in distributing, how you will distribute it and why it is needed.

If we invite you to submit a full proposal, we will require more information about your organisation (including proof of legal registration in the country where you operate, annual and financial reports) and the proposed technology distribution project, including the distribution, pricing and payment details. We use these details to conduct due diligence on your organisation and project proposal. A template is provided which has questions listed that will lead you to submit the right information.

How does Kopernik monitor and evaluate tech distribution projects?

Our tech distribution partners report to us through a standardised reporting format in which they describe the distribution mechanism they used, amount of revenue collected through product distribution, anecdotal evidence of change, user feedback and rating of the technology together with photos of the distribution process and the technologies being used. Kopernik also sends team members and fellows on monitoring visits to selected projects, to conduct rapid impact assessments. When a potential tech distribution partner submits a proposal to Kopernik they agree to receive a team member or fellow on a monitoring visit. In addition Kopernik partners with leading universities to conduct in-depth impact assessments of selected projects.

How do I request technology for my community?

We are currently only accepting proposals from organisations in Asia. Please contact us if:

  • You represent an NGO, cooperative, savings and loans group or social enterprise in Asia.
  • Your organisation serves a last-mile community where there is demand for life-changing technology.
  • Your organisation is able to set a locally-affordable price, offer payments in instalments, collect payments and return the sales revenue to Kopernik.

Does Kopernik only partner with NGOs or also businesses and social enterprises?

Kopernik usually partners with non-government organisations, cooperatives, and savings & loans groups, but we have recently also started to partner with social enterprises and even small family-owned businesses that work in last-mile locations through our Tech Kiosk initiative. 

What kind of due diligence does Kopernik conduct on its tech distribution partners?

When we consider partnering with an organisation we undertake a due diligence process that includes legal and financial checks of the NGO, reference checks with prior donors and interviews with the head of the organisation, in order to assess the reliability and capacity of the organisation. This fulfils the basic requirements to partner with Kopernik. As we implement the first phase of a project with the partner, we may send a Kopernik Fellow or team member to visit the partner to complete full due diligence, assessing the capacity to expand the partnership.



Does Kopernik sponsor obtaining a patent for new technology?

Kopernik does not sponsor obtaining patents for emerging technologies. We currently only distribute ready-to-go technologies that have been tested to withstand tough conditions in the developing world.

However, if your organisation is interested in finding out how your technology performs in the last mile with in-depth product trials, we can offer our Last Mile Consulting services. Last Mile Consulting provides professional advisory services to corporations, aid agencies and foundations, specialising in the testing and distribution of life-improving products. The revenue earned from Last Mile Consulting funds Kopernik’s work connecting simple technology with last mile communities to reduce poverty.