Nairobi, January 24th, 2017 – The development of African start-ups and its entrepreneurial innovation scene plays a key role in driving the region’s sustainable energy transition. To that end, Enel X, Enel’s new advanced energy services division, in partnership with Seedstars World, awarded a particularly innovative start-up with the Africa Energy Prize, following a competition launched in April 2017. RES-EXPO hosted a side-event on innovation, including the awarding ceremony of the competition’s winning African start-up.
The Enel Group, through its new division Enel X, and Swiss-based group Seedstars World SA (“Seedstars”), have awarded the Africa Energy Prize to Kenyan startup SolarFreeze. The local company was recognised as the best energy access startup in the continent upon the successful conclusion of the RES-EXPO conference “Renewable Energy in East-Africa: New Frontiers” organised by RES4Africa in Nairobi. SolarFreeze was selected for its solar-powered cold storage unit systems that provide refrigeration services to smallholder farmers and traders with no need for grid connection.
Following the award, SolarFreeze will enter a three-month programme worth approximately 50,000 US dollars in acceleration services and cash funded by Seedstars.
Enel is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global, power, gas and renewables markets. It is Europe’s largest utility in terms of market capitalisation and figures among Europe’s leading power companies in terms of installed capacity and reported EBITDA. The Group is present in over 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with around 86 GW of managed capacity. Enel distributes electricity and gas through a network of over 2 million kilometres, and with over 65 million business and household customers globally, the Group has the largest customer base among European competitors. Enel’s renewables arm Enel Green Power already manages around 40 GW of wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower plants in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and has recently arrived in Australia.
Seedstars is a Swiss based group of companies which has the goal of impacting people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. Seedstars connects stakeholders within these ecosystems, builds companies from scratch with public and private partners and invests in high growth startups. Through different activities of startup scouting, company building and acceleration programs, the team has now access to entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, corporations and government officials from 80+ countries. The Seedstars group includes Seedstars World, a worldwide startup competition; Seedstars Growth, a four month virtual acceleration program; Seedspace, a network of coworking and co-living spaces and Seedstars Academy, a six months program to train aspiring local entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses.