Four start-ups win $40,000 in All On clean energy challenge

A generator that runs on water instead of gasoline with zero emission, a battery storage and inverter system capable of giving real time update on energy consumption, a torchlight powered with water, and a device that cools the environment without electricity are some of the smart innovations that won $10,000 (N3.6m) seed capital each in the Clean Energy Innovation Challenge sponsored by All On and supported by CoCreation Hub,

Four early stage companies including Aspire (solar energy, battery storage and smart inverters to monitor solutions and deliver clean energy solutions to customers), Hydrolite (home lighting system powered purely by water and is designed for off-grid communities), Hydrotriciton (water-powered generator) ZeroElectric (climate controlled system that cools the environment with water) were awarded $10,000 startup capital.

In addition to startup capital, these companies and the five other finalists will receive top class incubation support from Co Creation Hub to take their ideation phase businesses to the next level.

The hall at the Yaba office of Co-Creation Hub, an organisation that says it wants to use technology to solve societal problems was electric as 10 different clean energy entrepreneurs pitched their ideas.

The panel of judges consisted of clean energy industry practitioners, financial experts and those with technical competence in business development.

“We were looking for scalability and impact of the innovation, we also looked at what impact $10,000 will make on the business as well as quality of delivery during presentation  to arrive at our decision,” Chuks Umezuluora, one of judges said.

All the contenders were taken through a boot camp on how to pitch ideas by Co-Creation Hub and it showed. Five minutes were enough for the audience to understand the purpose of the innovation, the problems it will solve, how it will scale and produce profit within a few years.

Wiebe Boer, All On CEO, speaking on the impact of the challenge remarked “The quality of applications received and the winners selected for the Clean Energy Innovation Challenge are a demonstration of the potential that exists in the renewable energy sector in Nigeria.

“With our startup capital and Co Creation Hub’s incubation expertise, we are hopeful that these companies will mature to become sustainable businesses, employers of labor and on track for exponential growth to address the access to energy challenges that exist in the country,” Boer said.

All On is an off grid energy impact investment company that works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services for under-served and un-served off-grid energy markets in Nigeria, with a special focus on the Niger Delta.

The organisers say the Clean Energy Innovation Challenge will enable All On to further its mandate of supporting innovative models to improve energy access to unserved and underserved segments of the Nigerian population.

Femi Longe Co-Creation Hub’s director for innovation said he was pleased with the partnership with All On and the challenge was necessary, “With Nigeria’s increasing energy requirements to achieve its developmental goals, amidst the threat of climate change, there is a need to find and support our clean energy innovators to build successful and sustainable businesses around their solutions.”

Choji Bare, CEO of Jos-based Hydrotriciton, who developed the zero emissions electricity generator said, ”To have won this competition will really spur our growth. Our next step is to produce massively and launch into the market.”

Promise Amaha, of Hydrolite who developed a torch that can last up to 2 weeks after contact with water, suited for offgrid communities, says the device will support people in ID camps and people in poor communities.

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