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Kenyan start-ups, Drop Access and Inno-Neat have won the Startup|Energy Award presented at the end of the Energy Camp East Africa yesterday.

The Energy Camp East Africa is a programme held by Startup|Energy which helps start-ups in the field of decentralised, renewable energy supply in East Africa to grow and develop. This year, a total of 46 East African start-ups applied for the Energy Camp and only five were selected to participate in the Energy Camp and be entered into the finale.

Each start-up received three coaching sessions on markets and customers, product, sales and financing. At the end of the two-month coaching period, the five start-ups presented their business ideas and gained valuable insights as to other start-ups and experts critically evaluated and questioned each idea. All five participants were then entered into the finale.

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The judges included representatives from Power Africa Off-grid Project (PAOP), Unconventional Capital, Kenya Climate Ventures, Venture South and GIZ. The judges considered the level of innovation, market size and the start-up team as the key criteria when making their decision. After much deliberation, two winners were announced.

The winners of the Startup|Energy Award

The first winning business idea was Drop Access’s innovation, the VacciBox. The VacciBox is 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 system.

The second winning start-up was Inno-Neat. Inno-Neat manufactures Solar Ready Repurposed Lithium-Ion Batteries from recycled cells for use in solar and e-mobility applications. The start-up offers a practical solution for the old batteries of Africa’s millions of solar home systems.

Each winner was awarded 2,500 Euro for the further development of the business idea. They will also receive a free virtual stand at the Off-Grid Expo in Germany.

A group of innovative runner-ups

In addition to Drop Access and Inno-Neat, there were three other innovative start-ups that participated in Energy Camp East Africa:

  • Fin-e: a Ugandan fintech start-up on a mission to decentralise and scale funding for local SMEs who support livelihood improvement across sub-Saharan Africa.
  • SolarPipo: a Ugandan start-up 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: this Kenyan start-up’s 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 March 2022.