Inaugural NegaWatt Challenge set for Nairobi


The inaugural World Bank Negawatt Challenge comes to Nairobi, Kenya, tomorrow (January 29), with participating teams given four months to innovate around local energy issues.

The Negawatt Challenge hosts innovation competitions in multiple cities worldwide; with cities 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.

The Challenge spans four months, and consists of four phases.

First, a Challenge Definition Day is held in each participating city, bringing together public and private sector stakeholders in discussions aimed at defining the key local energy inefficiencies and challenges.

In the second phase, members of the public are invited to expand on and contribute to the discussions held during Definition Day, helping to frame the competition’s Challenge statement.

The NegaWatt Weekend is the third element of the competition, during which participants form teams and execute their ideas addressing the challenges highlighted during the first two phases.  Teams refine and pitch their solutions in front of a jury.

The most promising ideas progress as semi-finalists to the three-week NegaWatt Bootcamp, where they receive coaching and training to help further develop and prototype their solutions.

The programme culminates in a Demo Day, where all the global semi-finalists pitch against each other via video pitches uploaded to the NegaWatt site, as well as to NegaWatt’s Kickstarter page.  Members of the public vote for the winner, and can opt to back their chosen startup.

The Challenge Definition Day for Nairobi takes place tomorrow, January 29 from 9am, at iHub; while the NegaWatt Weekend for Nairobi will be held at the iLabAfrica between March 20 and 22.

Challenges will also take place at Ghana’s iSpace, and in Dar-Es-Salaam, also further details are still to be announced.


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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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