Kenyan startup wins share of $50k at US tech innovation competition


Kenya-based tech startup Paygo Energy, which has developed a smart energy meter, was named one of the three winners of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) ISHOW in Washington DC, United States (US) last week, winning US$50,000 in prize money.

Ten budding hardware entrepreneurs participated as finalists in the event, with contestants showing prototypes and pitching their ideas to a panel of judges that included successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, business mentors, industry representatives, product designers and engineers.

Paygo Energy was named amongst the winners for its Paygo smart meter, which allows payment flexibility for customers while at the same timing weaning communities in developing and rural areas off environmentally damaging charcoal and kerosene.

The startup will share US$50,000 in prize money with the two other winners, US water usage monitoring device Buoy and Portuguese bioengineered prosthetic socket AMPARO.

Keith Roe, president of ASME, commended the level of innovation evident in Paygo’s prize-winning solution.

“This product demonstrates the potential of technical entrepreneurs to make a social impact in healthcare. Paygo Energy and the other competitors display the creativity and ingenuity of tomorrow’s engineering problem-solvers and business leaders,” he said.

“ASME congratulates all the finalists. They are making a difference in a world increasingly reaching out for new ideas and innovations to solve problems and improve the lives of all people.”


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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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