Global startups pitching competition Seedstars World has announced a partnership with global power provider ENEL Group to host the Africa Energy Prize, offering innovative energy startups the chance to win three months’ acceleration and up to US$50,000 in funding.
The Africa Energy Prize seeks startups addressing the lack of grid-based power across much of Africa, as well as power shortages, through the use of renewable energy solutions.
The Prize aims to help the top startups bring their solutions and the resultant development opportunities and growth to rural areas hitherto without access to power.
The competition is run in tandem with the Seedstars World competition – energy startups applying to Seedstars can opt for their application to also be submitted to the Africa Energy Prize.
ENEL and Seedstars representatives will then evaluate applications from energy startups who “opted in”.
The winner of the Africa Energy Prize will be announced at the Seedstars Summit to be held in Switzerland in April 2018; and will win three months’ mentorship as well as US$50,000 in funding.
“The energy sector of sub-Saharan Africa is not yet able to meet the needs and aspirations of its citizens, with almost 600 million people lacking access to electricity. […] We believe this challenge is surmountable and the benefits of success are immense, as increasing access to reliable energy can turbo-charge economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa,” the partners said.
“The use of modern renewables is growing in Africa, and fostering this growth is imperative as African countries are in a unique position: they have the potential to leapfrog the traditional centralised-utility model for energy provision.”