Negawatt Accelerator Nairobi Chapter, What’s Cooking?

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Team Plugin, one of the Finalist Teams in Negawatt Accelerator Nairobi

Nairobi Kenya! The startup world is a buzz and every day there is a Kenyan Startup taking the world by storm! Something has been cooking, the Negawatt Accelerator at @iBizAfrica-Strathmore University.

The Negawatt Challenge is an innovation challenge launched by the World Bank focusing on solutions for energy efficiency across four big cities in the world: Nairobi, Accra, DaresAlam and Rio.

In the Kenyan Chapter, after a successful first phase that consisted of a Design Thinking Workshop, a Hackathon and Bootcamp, two teams Plugin and Pawa Tele emerged and proceeded to the second phase, the Negawatt Accelerator at Strathmore University’s @iBizAfrica.

Quietly the two teams have been working over the last two months to build smart devices for energy efficiency as well as develop and implement business models to take these new innovation to market by storm.


Training Session with Prof. Da Silva from Strathmore Energy Research Centre

Plugin is a startup company that provides energy date profiles for various consumer households in easy to understand visualizations. The team is addressing the lack of reliable and accurate energy data for different consumer clusters in Kenya. They have develop the Plugin Pulse a device that is able to collect and send data to plugin data servers for analysis and reporting.  The team is led by Dr. Winnie Waudo, a renewable energy specialist.

Pawa Tele on the other hand is has developed the Pawa Tele smart switch that is able to provide grid energy consumers for the first time with a multiple access smart switch. The device not only enables energy consumers to automatically use the most optimal energy source at any given time, but also provides users with an affordable and gradual grid to solar power plan.

During the Accelerator program under the @iBizAfrica incubation program, Plugin and Pawa Tele have been provided with additional training and coaching on legal and IP issues, business planning and solar energy PV systems training, testing and piloting. The teams have also continued to receive mentorship support from National Instruments, the Negawatt challenge Platinum sponsor.


Mentoship and Coaching Session

To ensure the teams develop hardware innovations that meet the highest quality standards, the physicists and engineers from Strathmore University Energy Research Centre have worked closely with the team to offer technical advisory, training and mentorship to both team on renewable energy technologies.

On Friday 16th October Pawa Tele and Plugin will face the judges for an opportunity to be declared winners and flag bearers for Nairobi in the Negawatt Global Negawatt Study Tour taking place at the World Smart City Expo in November.


Anthony from Team Pawa Tele preparing to Pitch. NI Technology showing in Slide Deck.


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