Ghanaian, Kenyan innovations win Africa leg of hardware challenge

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Two Ghanaian innovations and another from Kenya have been named winners of the regional final of the ASME ISHOW in Nairobi.

Disrupt Africa reported last week eight socially-minded African hardware inventors had been picked by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to take part in the regional final of its annual ISHOW.

Three social entrepreneurs – one from Kenya, and two from Ghana – were named winners at the event, securing a ticket to the ISHOW Bootcamp in New York in October where they will compete against winners from other regions for a share of US$30,000 in seed grants and technical support to help bring their design innovations to market.

The Ghanaian winners, both from Kumasi, were SAYeTECH, which has developed a multi-crop thresher to reduce grain waste and empower grain farmers, and Sesi Technologies, which built the GrainMate Grain Moisture Meter, a low-cost grain moisture tester that helps grain farmers reduce post-harvest losses. GrainMate was also declared “fan favourite” and awarded a US$1,000 cash prize.

The Kenyan innovation named winner was Savanna Circuit Tech, for its MaziwaPlus Pre-Chiller, a mobile solar-powered chilling in-transit system that can be mounted on motorbikes.

In addition to the three grand prize winners, Kenya’s Solar Freeze received special recognition and an in-kind prize of 20 hours of design support, courtesy of Catapult Design, for its portable solar-powered cold storage innovation.

“We are proud to offer a forum for engineering problem-solving that truly improves lives,” said ASME executive director Tom Costabile. “We are continually impressed by the creative talent of ASME ISHOW participants and their passion for helping underserved communities around the world.”

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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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