Kenyan startups Drop Access and Inno-Neat have won the Startup|Energy Award at the closing of Energy Camp East Africa on 29 September 2021. A total of five startups from the decentralized 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:
- Drop Access ’ innovation is the VacciBox: a portable, solar-powered refrigerator that provides cool storage and safe transport of vaccines and medications. It also includes innovative real-time medical data management.
- Inno-Neat manufactures solar-grade, reused lithium-ion batteries from recycled cells for use in solar and e‑mobility applications. The startup thus offers a practical solution for the waste batteries of Africa’s millions of solar home systems.
Important criteria for the jury’s decision were the degree of innovation, the market size and the founding team. The prize money for each winner is 2,500 euros for the further development of the business idea. They will also receive a free (virtual) booth at the Off-Grid Expo in Germany.
The five startups that participated in Energy Camp East Africa received intensive one-on-one coaching from experienced local entrepreneurs over the past few months. In addition to Drop Access and Inno-Neat, these startups also participated in Energy Camp:
- Fin‑e (Uganda): a fintech startup that aims to simplify and optimize financing for local SMEs to improve lives in sub-Saharan Africa.
- SolarPipo (Uganda): a startup making solar accessible to the dairy sector. SolarPipo makes it easier for dairy customers to purchase solar for cooling, water pumping and other productive uses.
- Zuhura Solutions (Kenya): Their product, the Halisi Trolley, is a fully solar-powered street vending trolley that allows vendors to avoid the time and expense of purchasing 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 startups in the local decentralized energy sector begins on November 15, 2021.
Startup|Energyis a joint initiative of the Stiftung Solarenergie (Freiburg) and the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg to promote regional and international exchange between startups in the field of decentralized, renewable energy supply. The focus is on energy camps in Germany and Africa for local start-ups.
The Startup|Energy initiative is supported, among others, by GIZ and GET.invest , a European programme funded by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria.