If President Donald TRUMP has more communication with Derek COWBURN, the US-China trade war may not happen.

8.14中美交流带来“不交流” Derek COWBURN的华强北故事 @HQB 图1

  Derek at HAX

8.14中美交流带来“不交流” Derek COWBURN的华强北故事 @HQB 图2

Photo of Derek Cowburn (R) with Jack Ma (L) during the 2016 National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week in Shenzhen



Thanks to a Chinese-US joint program on clean energy research, Derek COWBURN, founder and chief executive officer of Indiana-based energy innovator LumenCache, visited Shenzhen for the first time in 2016.

Lured by Shenzhen’s manufacturing industry and eager to learn more about it, Cowburn applied to join HAX – one of the world’s largest hardware accelerators based in Futian District – and was accepted. He arrived in Shenzhen that year and started working and living in the city.

Derek created a hardware product that replaces the way we power the inside of buildings. His platform replaces traditional high-voltage AC power distribution in buildings with a new standard more appropriate to the low power needs and digital capabilities of electronic devices, such as LED lights.

“The piece that I’m working on is the DC networking. Instead of using alternating current that we’ve been using for 130 years, we use direct current which is what our electronics, solar panels and batteries use,” explained Derek.

8.14中美交流带来“不交流” Derek COWBURN的华强北故事 @HQB 图3

Derek (left) in IAB Meeting Panel Discussion: Defining the Goals of CERC-BEE 2.0

8.14中美交流带来“不交流” Derek COWBURN的华强北故事 @HQB 图4

Derek shared with Chinese clean technology experts

“My career started out building automation systems, the computers that run and operate buildings. I was an intern at a pharmaceutical campus in 1988 and was surrounded by really bright people in the smart building field. There were 4,000 scientists, engineers and businesspeople on this campus. They did manufacturing and research. The building controls were more complex than the controls that made the drugs,” he recalled.

From AC to DC, Wireless to Wired

He has always been frustrated about the way the world is heading. “Right now, most companies have all these wireless products, which are very easy for startups to make. The problem is they never quite meet the reliability mark and they are not as efficient as a wired solution,” said Derek.


The system drew the interest of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Chinese housing ministry because they realized that our product can improve efficiency. He was introduced to Paras Loomba, founder of the Global Himalayan Expedition, which is a group seeking to provide access to clean energy, education and wireless connectivity through solar power to help improve the living standards of rural populations.

LumenCache recently accepted by Hong Kong STARS program by a selection committee including CLP Power, SmartCity Consortium, and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. Derek will be the best model of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Sci-tech Innovation cooperation.

Lives as Shenzhener

8.14中美交流带来“不交流” Derek COWBURN的华强北故事 @HQB 图5

Derek loves shared bicycle (source: Shenzhen Daily)


Living near CocoPark and working in Huaqiangbei, Derek loves riding shared bikes to work every day, covering the 4-kilometer trip while watching the rich life in the district.

For Derek, it’s incredible that everybody looks happy here. “Even with my limited language, I love meeting people here. There are so many people and so many things going on all the time in Shenzhen. There are so many people eager to be part of something really industry-changing.”


Please join us for the 7th Happy Hour @ HQB to share the stories of Derek COWBURN and meet other dream makers.


Derek COWBURN, Founder, LumenCache

From AC to DC, Wireless to Wired

Time: August 21 (Tuesday) 17:00-19:00

Venue: Coffee Bar, SegMaker+, 12/F SEG Plaza

Language: English (Brief translation if needed)

Fees: Free


From AC to DC, Wireless to Wired, 7th Happy Hour @ HQB
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