Shine’s History & Development

Solomon Olshin, a Catlin Gabel student, founded Shine to bring the prototypes created by Catlin Gabel School’s InvenTeam and Community Engineering team to homeless Portlanders in need of them.

What are these school organizations?

  • InvenTeam ideates innovative products to address social and environmental problems.

  • Community Engineering designs and prototypes InvenTeam’s product concepts.

Shine develops, refines, funds, produces and installs these and other environmentally-sustainable, cost-effective products to bring light, electricity, heat, and water to Portlanders living off-grid in “tiny house” communities (“villages”) as they transition out of homelessness. Shine receives mentorship on project development and implementation from architects, environmental sustainability experts, engineers, affordable housing agencies, local faith groups and other nonprofits, and villagers.  Shine has raised more than $60,000 from local companies, nonprofits, and individuals. Shine projects have been featured on local, regional, and national news.

Shine’s Products Developed in Collaboration with Catlin Gabel InvenTeam and Community Engineering Programs

JuiceBox: A solar powered electrical system that provides light, power, and (as of fall 2018) heat to residents of “tiny house” communities (“villagers”).

    • As InvenTeam project leader, Solomon Olshin co-led students in the ideation and prototyping of JuiceBox. The InvenTeam won a $10,000 EcoChallenge prize and invested this money into JuiceBox development (2016-17).

    • Shine has improved JuiceBox based on production experience and user feedback.  We are currently completing JuiceBox 3.0 which uses a denser, longer-lasting lithium-ion battery to provide heat in addition to the light and electricity provided by JuiceBox 1.0 and JuiceBox 2.0.

    • Shine has trained and paid villagers to build and install JuiceBoxes.

    • Shine has produced and installed more than 85 JuiceBoxes in five off-grid “tiny house” villages in Portland.

WashPod: A mobile, solar-hybrid hygiene facility that gathers, filters, heats, and recycles rainwater to provide shower and laundry services.

  • Catlin’s Community Engineering Program was inspired by JuiceBox’s success. WashPod was its inaugural project.

  • As the Community Engineering Project Manager, Solomon Olshin led the invention of WashPod. The Community Engineering team won another $10,000 EcoChallenge prize and used these funds to create the WashPod prototype (2017-2018).

  • Shine installed WashPod at Agape Village (Summer 2018).

  • Shine developed a rain-and-waste water system used in combination with WashPod to irrigate a communal greenhouse to grow food for villagers.

  • Shine is fundraising for and building upgraded WashPods for use in additional villages.

Shine’s Independently Developed Products

ShowerPod: A mobile solar-hybrid facility that provides hot showers.

  • ShowerPod was developed through an experiential learning week for high school students. This program was led by Solomon Olshin and the Catlin Gabel robotics instructor (Spring 2017).

  • Shine modified ShowerPod’s design to increase its durability and power capacity and installed it at Hazelnut Grove Village where it is used daily.

  • Shine trains villagers to maintain ShowerPod.

GeekPod (coming soon): A mobile solar-powered computer training and refurbishment facility.

  • As of Fall 2018, Shine is partnering with Free Geek, a local nonprofit, to bring computers and internet access to underserved populations in rural Oregon.

  • Shine is using its solar energy technology to power computer workstations, lights, and heating for the GeekPod.

Shine’s Partnerships and Outreach Initiatives

Shine Summer Internship

  • Shine established, fundraised for and led the paid Shine Summer Internship for students from public, private, and vocational high schools where participants learned technical, entrepreneurial, and teamwork skills while contributing to design of next-generation JuiceBox (2018).

Autodesk Portland Incubator Experiment

  • This fall, Shine is joining Autodesk’s Portland Incubator Experiment. This relationship provides Shine with additional resources and mentorship that will enable us to further incorporate evolving technologies, reduce product cost, and increase production quality, quantity, and efficiency.

Corporate Community Engagement

  • eBay

  • Zapproved

  • Lloyd EcoDistrict

Corporate and Nonprofit Partnerships

  • Tivnu

  • Grape Solar

  • Battery X-Change

  • Shanghai Shenshi Battery Tech Company

In addition, Shine:

  • Receives mentorship on project development and implementation from architects, environmental sustainability experts, engineers, affordable housing agencies, local faith groups and other nonprofits, and villagers.

  • Negotiates business agreements with corporations to lower production costs.

  • Developed a fiscal partnership with The Rebuilding Center, a local nonprofit.

  • Raised more than $60,000 from local companies, nonprofits, and individuals.

Thank you for exploring Shine’s history and development. If you have any questions, please email Solomon Olshin.