About Us

Grey-box is a social innovation startup in the research and development phase. We aim to provide wireless access to digital resources in remote areas where internet access is unreliable, so individuals and organizations can access vital resources offline.

THE CHALLENGE

Traditional computer and server development in the field is generally difficult to transport, expensive, requires advances technical knowledge for operations and maintenance, and is sensitive to environmental conditions (dust, humidity, or power cuts).

Many local communities and NGOs do not have the technical expertise and culture to properly deploy IT tools on the field. Digital education content allows more interactivity, personalization and access to larger databases. 

THE CHALLENGE

Traditional computer and server development in the field is generally difficult to transport, expensive, requires advances technical knowledge for operations and maintenance, and is sensitive to environmental conditions (dust, humidity, or power cuts).

Many local communities and NGOs do not have the technical expertise and culture to properly deploy IT tools on the field. Digital education content allows more interactivity, personalization and access to larger databases. 

OUR STORY

During an educational mission in West Africa back in 2012, Grey-box’s founder, Valentin Kravtchenko was working in a cyber-coffee shop when the following thought came to mind—how can his students do online research for their projects without easy and fast access to the internet?

A few years later, while on a Bolivian mission with OXFAM, a similar question arose. What about the communities located in remote areas, where internet and electricity access is unreliable? Is it possible to build a tool that promotes empowerment and autonomy in the field? 

Grey-box was created to address this specific social and technical issue.

CORE PHILOSOPHY

Our main value proposition is to provide access to tools and content that promotes better living conditions

We do this by curating the best tools and content and make sure that everyone has equal access to them—regardless of their gender, culture, or localization in the world. We perceive digital education as the most efficient way to sustain a mens sana in corpore sano.

Grey-box wants to push the best methodologies and practices in the field of social innovation and modernize traditional non-profits by promoting transparency, real-time impact assessment and a startup-like environment.

CORE PHILOSOPHY

Our main value proposition is to provide access to tools and content that promote better living conditions

This is done by curating content that will help communities in accessing better resources. We also make sure that everyone has equal access to these resources, regardless of their gender, culture or localization in the world. We perceive digital education as the most efficient way to sustain a mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body).

Grey-box wants to push the best methodologies and practices in the field of social innovation. We also strive to modernize traditional non-profits. Our aim to fulfill this is by promoting transparency, real-time impact assessment and a startup-like environment. 

OUR STORY

In 2012, Grey-box’s founder Valentin Kravtchenko was on an educational mission trip in West Africa. While working in a cyber-coffee shop, he thought of something rather peculiar: how would his students be able to complete online research for their projects without easy and fast access to the internet?

A few years later, while on a Bolivian mission with OXFAM, a similar question arose. What about the communities located in remote areas where access to the internet and electricity are unreliable? Is it possible to build a tool that promotes empowerment and autonomy in the field? 

Grey-box was created to address this specific social and technical issue. Our product, UNI offers offline educational resources and digital classrooms in a tiny box.

Interested in testing our product, UNI?

VISION

Everyone should have access to the same tools and resources in order to empower themselves and their community.  

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MISSION

Build accessible digital tools that promote autonomy and empowerment within communities located in remote areas— where the internet and electricity are unreliable. 

COLLECTIVE EFFORT

In 2016, Grey-box was awarded the Best Business Model Validation at the District3 Innovation Centre—a first for a social innovation project in that incubator. 

In 2017, the first prototypes of UNI were deployed in 5 countries in Central America. In 2017 and 2019, Grey-box was a finalist in the biggest social innovation hackathon in Canada, the Cooperathon (backed by Desjardins).

L’esplanade is the first accelerator dedicated to social innovation entrepreneurship in Quebec, Canada. They provide coaching and support to Grey-box’s strategic activities.

Want to get in touch?

Are you interested in learning more about us? We’d love to hear from you.