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Tanzanian Entrepreneur, Erick Laizer ’19 Develops Phone-Operated Smoke Detector and Security System

After noticing a big problem with fires, electric shocks, and house break-ins in his community in Arusha, Tanzania, first-year student Erick Simon Laizer ’19 decided to do something about it. Following a joint effort with his former classmate in 2015, the two problem solvers designed a unique smoke detector that connects to mobile networks to send automatic alerts to emergency response units within five seconds. “It took us twelve months to finish the prototype. After testing it in someone’s home, we saw that it indeed worked well to protect the house against fire, electric shock and theft by making an automatic call-in within five seconds to the police and the house owner in case of theft, and firefighters in case of fire and electric shock in the house,” says Erick.

This device was so unique that the two inventors entered the 2017 Young Scientist Challenge in Tanzania and earned first place – an award that saw the inventors attend science fairs and represent their country across the world.

Today, Erick Simon Laizer is the founder of Epro Security, a technology company that builds affordable smoke detectors to serve communities in Tanzania and beyond. For Erick, ALA has provided him with the opportunity to think even more deeply about his business and how he can strengthen it. “ALA was my number one choice because I have always loved how the school brings students from different countries together and having them focus on their entrepreneurial skills. Through this, I am now able to present myself as an entrepreneur because of the knowledge that I have gained. I am now well aware of how I can package my product and present myself to potential and current investors. In addition, I am ready to share this knowledge with my community back home.”

This young entrepreneur has big dreams for his future. Being the only one out of nine siblings to have accessed secondary education, he hopes to further inspire his community by being an advocate of the power of education and its ability to provide opportunities and transform lives. “I will be the first person not only in my family but also in my village to get a chance to go to university. Therefore, I want to be able to impact my community, especially parents who see education as a waste of time. My biggest dream is to help people reach their dreams and I believe education is the foundation of that success,” he concludes.

Watch the video below to get a glimpse of the Epro Securities detector: