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.
Finally! We are delighted to announce the winning teams of the Nairobi edition of the Negawatt Challenge. After much deliberation from our expert judges, the following are our finalists:
Plugin: The team’s solution, Plugin Pulse, will drive solar energy adoption and provide solar energy providers and energy data consumers with a myriad of energy usage data across different consumer groups including households, organizations and factories. The team, positioning itself to be the ‘Google Analytics’ of energy data in Africa is composed of Dr. Winnie Waudo (CEO and clean energy expert), Graham Ingokho (Operations and technology lead), Michael Mugo (CFO), Kelvin Micheni (Lead product development and R&D) and Pharis Kahama (Lead designer user experience).
Angaza: The team unveiled a solution to help energy consumers’ move from grid to solar bit by bit. The Angaza Smart Energy device also promises to help consumers keep track of consumption, reduce monthly utility bill by optimally connecting different home appliances to different energy sources. Starting off with Kshs 15,000 for a Kshs .100,000 system, users will enjoy affordable and stable power supply, as well as smart energy management and monitoring. The team behind this innovation are all young engineering students and include:Phillip Ochola (Team Leader), Frankline Mogoi (User Experience), Clement Nzau (Marketing) and Caroline Njeri (Business Lead).
Congratulations Plugin and Angaza!
These two teams will proceed to the Acceleration phase where focus will be on MVP development and launch of their products.
We want to pass our congratulatory message to the other teams for making it this far! We will continue to engage with you at different levels in the journey towards making your innovations a reality.
(NOTE: This article was first published on the *ihub Website.)
The Demo day was a culmination of the Boot-camp phase of the Negawatt Challenge where 4 teams showcased working prototypes of energy efficiency innovations. Two top teams will be selected to advance to the final stage, The Acceleration, where the focus will be go MVP launch and development as well as go-to-market.. The different teams, Angaza, Wattsaver, Wezesha Huduma and Plugin had one month of mentorship and entrepreneurship training at @iBizAfrica.
The team unveiled a solution to help energy consumers’ move from grid to solar bit by bit. The Angaza Smart Energy Device also promises to help consumers Keep track of consumption reduce monthly utility bill by optimally connecting different home appliances to different energy sources. Starting off with Kshs 15,000 for a Kshs .100,000 system, users will enjoy affordable and stable power supply and smart energy management and monitoring. The team behind this innovation are all young engineering students and include: Phillip Ochola (Team Leader), Frankline Mogoi (User Experience), Clement Nzau (Marketing) and Caroline Njeri (Business Lead).
Composed of Joseph Kanyi (team leader), Daniel Simiyu (Research & Software design), Brian Mutwiri (Hardware and Software architect), Dennis Mwanza (IT and Business Lead), Alloice Lagat (UI/UX lead) showcased Wattsaver. Wattsaver is a smart devices that automatically switches off power supply to a fully charged device and electronic gadget on standby. The energy saving gadget not only guarantees savings in energy bills but also preserving and extending the life of electronic gadgets and batteries.
This team launched smart biogas production and monitoring technology. They unveiled the automated Green Cell Energy Technology. The solutions is a redesign of the traditional bio-gas dome, where the dome structure is replaced with a new greenhouse structure and layered tanks. The new design is incorporated with internet of things technology where sensors are able to detect the temperature and methane gas levels required for optimum bio-gas production. The teams intends to roll-out clean and affordable green energy in slum areas in Nairobi. Team Wezesha Huduma is comprised of Paul Kimanga (Team leader), Lenah Wanjiku (lead engineer) Joseph Gitonga ( Lead Software architect), John Ngugi (software developer) and Alex Kachu (Sales and Technical Lead).
Team plugin showcased the Plugin Pulse, a device that will drive solar energy adoption and provide solar energy providers and other energy data consumers with a myriad of energy usage data across different consumer groups including households, organizations and factories. The team, positioning itself to be the Google Analytics of energy data in Africa is composed of Dr. Winnie Waudo (CEO and clean energy expert), Graham Ingokho (Operations and technology lead), Michael Mugo (CFO), Kelvin Micheni (Lead product development and R&D) and Pharis Kahama (Lead designer user experience).
The teams wait with baited breath for the announcement of the top two teams to proceed into the final stage of the Negawatt Challenge, a two month accelerator program, whose aim is to set the teams on the path for MVP development and launch and go-to-market.
The winners will be announced this week through a blog post by @iBizAfrica and the iHub.
The Negawatt Challenge has been a great opportunity for participants to come up with great energy saving solutions. The Journey begun on Saturday 21st , where @iBizAfrica together with *iHub hosted the Negawatt Weekend challenge. The event was attended by over 70 participants who had registered to take part in the challenge and develop solutions that would solve energy problems in their community.
Four teams were shortlisted to take part in the next stage which was the Negawatt Bootcamp Series. The teams included:-
- Plugin – Winner
- Watt Saver – 1stRunners Up
- Angaza- 2ndRunners Up
- Wezesha Huduma – 3rdRunners Up
After the bootcamp series, the final stretch is the Demo Day.
What is Demo Day??
The home stretch. In this final phase, local Negawatt semi-finalists are invited to compete with their international counterparts. With one month of mentorship and entrepreneurship training under their belts, each of the teams in Nairobi: Angaza, Plugin, WattSaver and Wesesha Huduma are ready to showcase ground Breaking innovations at the Negawatt Demo Day.
What next after Demo Day?
Two top teams will be selected at the demo day to advance into the final stage of the challenge which is a three month accelerator program that will focus on taking the Innovations to market.
All are invited to witness the latest innovation in the energy sector by registering here.
Venue : Strathmore University, Student Center- 4th Floor.