Accelerator launched for African off-grid energy projects

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UK-based firm EnergyNet, which organises a global portfolio of investment meetings, forums and dialogues focused on the African power and industrial sectors, has launched a business accelerator facility for off-grid energy projects.

EnergyNet is launching its ‘Off the Grid Club’ with backing from the UN Foundation and the Electrification Financing Initiative, aiming to accelerate market-ready micro-grid and off-grid technologies across Africa.

The Off the Grid Club is a membership programme developed to bring together credible off-grid technology providers, financiers and regional leaders to invest in and accelerate the development of reliable and scalable power solutions for Africa.

Members of the facility will be given a platform and branding at EnergyNet conferences to showcase their products and network with potential investors.

“In emerging markets where economies are growing at a rapid pace, the fact that market ready technologies are not reaching millions of people disconnected from the grid is a major concern,” said EnergyNet managing director Simon Gosling.

“I’m delighted some of the world’s most powerful investors will finance innovative technology companies that are struggling to get to a point where they can say “see, it works”.”

The company is also using conference sponsorship fees to invest into the ‘Not Just Talking Fund for Energy Access’, which selected members of the initiative will have access to.

“The fund is ideally positioned to do what commercial funders cannot – finance ‘proof of concept’ commercial and sustainable projects of up to GBP50,000 (US$71,000). The simple fact that we’re investing sponsorship money and drawing on our partners’ knowledge to help entrepreneurs succeed is incredibly dynamic, and we fully encourage other conference companies to follow,” Gosling said.

Founding Members of the club, who will also invest into the Not Just Talking Fund and advise members on product launches, include Shake Your Power, PowerTurtle and Solektra International, the company that launched the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative.

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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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