The Kenyan startups Drop Access and Inno-Neat have won the Startup|Energy Award at the end of the Energy Camp East Africa on 29. September 2021. A total of five start-ups from the decentralised energy sector in East Africa presented their innovative products and services. The judges included representatives from Power Africa Off-grid Project (PAOP), Unconventional Capital, Kenya Climate Ventures, Venture South and GIZ.
About the winners:
- Innovation of Drop Access is the VacciBox: a portable solar-powered refrigerator that provides cold storage and safe transportation of vaccines and drugs. It also includes an innovative real time medical data management.
- Inno-Neat manufactures Solar Ready Repurposed Lithium Ion Batteries from recycled cells for use in Solar and E-mobility application. The start-up thus offers a practical solution for the old batteries of Africa’s millions of solar home systems.
Key criteria for the decision of the jury were the level of innovation, market size and the start-up team. The prize money for each winner is 2,500 Euro for further development of the business idea. They also receive a free (virtual) stand at the Off-Grid Expo in Germany.
The five start-ups participating in the Energy Camp East Africa received intensive one-to-one coaching from experienced local entrepreneurs over the past months. In addition to Drop Access and Inno-Neat, these start-ups participated in the Energy Camp:
- Fin-e (Uganda): a fintech start-up on a mission to decentralize and scale funding for local SMEs who support livelihood improvement across Sub-Saharan Africa.
- SolarPipo (Uganda): a startup who makes solar accessible for the dairy sector. SolarPipo unburdens dairy customers’ process of acquiring solar for cooling, water pumps and other productive uses.
- Zuhura Solutions (Kenya): Their product, the Halisi Trolley, is a completely solar-powered street food vending trolley that allows vendors to eliminate the time and cost of sourcing and maintaining charcoal to heat their food.
The next Energy Camp for Africa will take place in 2022. The application phase for the Energy Camp in Germany for start-ups in the local decentralised energy sector begins on 15 November 2021.
Startup|Energy is a joint initiative of the University of Freiburg and the Solar Energy Foundation (Freiburg) to promote regional and international exchanges between start-ups in the field of decentralised, renewable energy supply. The focus is on energy camps in Germany and Africa for local start-ups. The next Energy Camp for African start-ups will take place in March 2022.
The Startup|Energy initiative is among others supported by GIZ and GET.invest, a European programme supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria.