Negawatt Bootcamp to begin in Nairobi this week

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The Negawatt Bootcamp, the semi-final stage the the global Negawatt Challenge, gets underway in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday, April 24, with four teams taking part in a month of training before being narrowed down to the two that will proceed to the acceleration phase.

The World Bank’s Negawatt Challenge hosts innovation competitions in cities worldwide; with locations selected based on the government’s energy efficiency and low carbon growth, as well as the existence of dynamic and growing entrepreneurial and technology sectors.

Disrupt Africa reported last month four teams emerged winners from the Negawatt Weekend, having pitched their ideas aimed at transforming Nairobi’s use of energy to a panel of judges.

The four teams are Plugin, which looks to improve energy consumption patterns by collecting data on consumption; Angaza, a hardware solution that allows usage of solar energy in small amounts by many users; Watt Saver, which reduces power consumption by eliminating standby energy losses in fully charged plugged-in gadgets not in use at a particular time; and Wezesha Huduma, which provides biogas and solar energy to slum dwellers at reduced cost by incorporating affordable and efficient technologies.

@iBizAfrica at Strathmore University will now host the Negawatt Bootcamp, after which two of the teams will proceed to the acceleration phase, where they will be provided with additional training and mentorship worth a total of US$10,000. The overall winner will pitch head-to-head at a Demo Day in Barcelona, Spain.

“Four teams moved to the next round of the Negawatt Challenge competition, but all the teams demonstrated the ability to propose ideas that provide access to data and empower consumers to make smart decisions,” said Rudi Ngnepi, lead for Negawatt Challenge activities in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.

“I am thrilled about the potential of these ideas and look forward to supporting technology-based ideas through access to National Instruments’ products, training, and engaged technical mentors.”

The four teams will receive targeted business, technical, marketing, and communications training for an initial period of four weeks and then continue to strengthen the energy startup community through a series of engagements.

Disrupt Africa recently reported the Accra leg of the Negawatt Weekend was held in Ghana, with the four finalists selected; while a Tanzanian Weekend also took place in Dar-es-Salaam. Bootcamps will also be held in those countries.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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