Pakistani entrepreneur invents power bank that charges in just 14 minutes

Published: March 13, 2016
Tech in Asia
Publishing Partner


Young Pakistani entrepreneur Abdullah Soomro noticed a very real problem while building his first startup, a hyperlocal delivery business. His delivery riders would be on the road for hours on end and in constant touch with customers on their smartphones. This activity drained their batteries far too quickly, but with charging facilities few and far between, there wasn’t an easy solution in sight.

Abdullah, who’s a mechanical engineer by training, didn’t think existing battery packs were a viable solution. They required hours to charge on their own and were too unwieldy to be lugged around. Realising that this was a problem undoubtedly faced by others, he took it upon himself to figure things out.

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After speaking to some professors at his university to validate his idea, Abdullah forged ahead with his plans and started Micropowerlabs with the aim to build a better, more efficient power bank. He was accepted at an incubation program run by the government of Chile, which gave him US$35,000 as seed capital, and spent six months in the country along with his co-founder.

More juice

What he came up with is Flashpack – a power bank that is able to charge fully in just 14 minutes. Abdullah claims he was inspired by the tech behind batteries for electric vehicles as they are capable of charging ten times faster than regular batteries.

However, the tech hasn’t been properly applied for use in smaller, consumer products yet, he says. “I took the technology that was larger in scale, applied the same principles, and shrunk it down,” explains Abdullah.

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Flashpack is currently live on Indiegogo with a “super early bird” price of US$50 + shipping. It differs from other power banks available today in the sense that it doesn’t rely on micro USB slots for charging.

There’s a larger, circular slot that is compatible with all PC laptop chargers. Macbook chargers are also supported – the startup will ship a connector pin for those who request one. And, if anyone still wants to use a standard micro-USB charging cable, that’s also an option – but it’s slower and won’t supply the required juice for a 14-minute charge.

Spoiled for choice

So why would someone opt for the relatively unknown Flashpack over a tried-and-tested brand like Xiaomi? “It [Xiaomi] may give you double, triple the capacity but you still have to charge them for hours,” affirms Abdullah.

“And that’s the fundamental problem with power banks. If you have to charge them with the same speed that you’re charging your phone, what’s the point. With Flashpack, users don’t even need to plug their phones into their wall chargers anymore.”

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Abdullah hints that his product is aimed more towards people who remain away from power outlets for several hours at a stretch. “The idea is to simplify your life. If you’re traveling, or constantly on the go, we don’t want you to carry a bunch of chargers – one for every different device you own. Just take this one and have peace of mind,” he outlines.

Flashpack is currently undergoing another cycle of incubation, at Google-backed Nest I/O. Manufacturing of the device will be done in Shenzen, China and early backers should expect to get their products by June.

Abdullah says there are plans to develop more power banks too, and may decide upon a 5,000 mAH variant which will retail for approximately US$70. However, he’s waiting to see how well this campaign performs before jumping in.

This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Asad Soormo
    Mar 13, 2016 - 3:08PM

    Good show abdullah; Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Mar 13, 2016 - 4:29PM

    this probably is the best news in the whole newspaper today,Recommend

  • Naveed Ahmed
    Mar 13, 2016 - 7:57PM

    @roadkashehzada: well said.Recommend

  • Mar 14, 2016 - 1:58AM

    Very proud of you Abdullah. May Allah help you to invent more products like this. Wish you all the best of luck.Recommend

  • Sid
    Mar 14, 2016 - 2:39AM

    This is good. Way to go Abdullah.Recommend

  • Random Passerby
    Mar 14, 2016 - 4:03AM

    This is absolutely fantastic.Recommend

  • Syedpk
    Mar 14, 2016 - 4:05AM

    Good work, but a loophole in the motivation.. There are hundreds of card chargers available :P but i guess here on his part ignorance was a bliss.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Mar 14, 2016 - 4:45AM

    Attaboy ! That’s what we wanna hear ! Not the usual downers that make the country a laughing stock or a place to dread by the rest of the world.Recommend

  • GIKI
    Mar 14, 2016 - 10:16AM

    He was my senior at Ghulam Ishaq Khan institute, great lad. P.s this invention has nothing to do with card rechargers. He also just got seed funding by the government of Chile. I hope the gov of pak takes notice and invests in its people.Recommend

  • Asif
    Mar 14, 2016 - 7:04PM

    Too good to be true. If he is able to prove this he will be even richer than Gates not to mention target of Corporation trying to make him disappear. Imagine Tesla cars charging in 1 or even 2 hours. The American $200 Billion dollars market will crash or …. is this just to gain fame for all the wrong ways and means?Recommend

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