Startup|Energy launches new accelerator program for African energy startups


Do you have a mature product or business idea and/or a first prototype for the decentralised renewable energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa? Then the Startup|Energy Accelerator is the right place for you! Startup|Energy is a startup support program for local, early-stage, African energy startups providing:

  1. A local & global support community made of other African Entrepreneurs, Mentors & Investors
  2. In-depth and continuous coaching through experienced Entrepreneurs and Investors
  3. Increased (international) visibility through events, awards, and press releases
  4. Support to become attractive to investors by funding pilot projects and connections with local and global investors

Startup|Energy does so through a combination of online mentoring, in-person deep dive workshops (Energy Camps) and strong community building.

What makes Startup|Energy different from other startup accelerators?

Many accelerators are primarily focussing on providing capital and short-term coaching to the startups. This leads startups to do what is commonly known as “accelerator hopping”.

The startups have an incentive to go through multiple accelerator programs as a means of raising capital. In doing so, they adjust their strategy not towards building the best possible business, but rather to getting accepted by as many accelerators as possible.

This is not a sustainable approach to start a company.

To address this, Startup|Energy’s main value add over is the strong focus on long-term support through continuous, high-quality coaching and building and maintaining a thriving sub-Saharan startup community that will support you over a long period of time.

Our impact

Since 2021 Startup|Energy has accompanied and supported a total of 10 startups from 5 countries in their business development. The young entrepreneurs received intensive one-to-one coaching from experienced entrepreneurs and further developed their business idea in Energy Camps lasting several days.

The startups have won 12 awards during this time and have already been able to raise close to USD 1 million from various sources to further develop their business.

What the startups say

Here are just two comments from participants:

“The Energy Camp was a moment for us to meet, share, learn and grow. The openness and brutal honesty environment helped us a lot to think deeper on some aspects of our business. This helped us greatly in understanding our market and building a stronger business.”
Leandre Berwa, Founder SLS Energy, Rwanda

“I have participated now in several startup programmes. Startup|Energy was important for me in a special way: Because the coaches are experienced entrepreneurs who have accompanied me for a long time (and still do!), always very close to my practical needs. The exchange with the other startups also helps a lot. We have now become a real startup community!”
Norah Magero, Founder Drop Access, Kenya

We invite startups to join Startup|Energy Accelerator and become a Fellow!

Startup|Energy is now expanding its offer and will push the development of a startup community. To select the participating startups we follow a unique three-stage approach:

  1. Application
  2. Accelerator
  3. Fellowship

In addition to the existing Fellows, other energy startups are invited to have their business ideas supported in a professional and practice-oriented manner. Learn hear more about the eligibility criteria. Does everything fit? Then you can apply here. Please note: An application is possible at any time.

Startup|Energy is a joint initiative of Stiftung Solarenergie (Germany) and the University of Freiburg.

More about the Startup|Energy Accelerator and the application procedure here.



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Jesse Njehu
3 months ago

Your description of startups, is good however some, startups with good ideas, but have not take off due, due to the complication of raising the small capital needed. for example I want to start, a small transport service to hospitals, from up Country destinations. the challenge is the women and youth rid on moto bikes that have no insurance, poorly maintained, no licenses to operate and are driven on a raff environment. the security of the client is at risk. they have no choice due to lack of alternative means. my idea, is to introduce a safe means of transport with electric cars, that will be insured safe to dive, to hospital destination. Can I get support for this project idea l will come up with a budget and work plan, and full proposal where required. Jesse

3 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Njehu

Hi Jesse, thank you for your comment. If you are active in emobility you are welcome to apply for the new program of Startup|Energy. It might also be interesting for you to get in touch with a fellow from Startup|Energy who already offers eMobility solutions: TryKe in Nairobi.
Regards, Harald