Open innovation challenge to create solutions for access to sustainable and affordable energy in Somalia.
An estimated 9 million Somalis survive every day without access to electricity; approximately 85% of the population. Somalia has one of the world’s highest electricity prices. Electricity is largely produced by diesel generators and some renewable energy.
Mogadishu Watt is an open innovation challenge for young innovators to come up new ideas or solutions that tackle energy challenge in Somalia.
iRise Hub, in partnership with the World Bank, has launched an open innovation challenge to find ideas that can improve access to clean and affordable energy in Somalia.
The Focus areas for the Mogadishu Watt Innovation Challenge were to unearth and support energy innovators across Somalia who may have solutions that:
- Deliver affordable, reliable and sustainable energy through new sources
- Use innovative business models to improve access to clean energy
- Use creative financing models to increase access to clean energy
- Reduce energy wastage across the value chain
- Save cost for producers, distributors or consumers of energy
We launched the call for application on 27th May and closed on 17th June 2018. We received 100+ applications from interested parties including smart energy experts, software developers, technicians, product designers, and innovators. We held two information sessions at our hub to give the applicants and interested parties a glimpse of what the programme is all about and answer their questions. The sessions also helped us in networking and formation of diverse teams that can tackle the challenges and build solutions that are affordable and accessible.
After a successful campaign and interviews, we selected six teams of four each to take part in the hackathon. We have been joined by our well-curate team of mentors and judges to give the teams the advice they need and motivations.
After 3 intensive days of hacking and spending late at the Hub. We reached the DEMO day which was on Thursday evening. The stage was set and the participants were ready to pitch their solutions to the panel of judges.
The startups were 5 minutes to pitch their business and the judges started asking questions on various aspects of their startup including the pricing of their products, competition, target market, originality of the idea etc.
After the pitching ended, the judges shared with us the comments, gave feedback to the pitchers and announced the winner of Mogadishu watt which was Bulsho bile, a startup that offers solar equipment and access to energy to IDPs & other poor families using the pay-as-you-go model. They provide easier access to energy by empowering ownership. They have been awarded $3000 cheque which is a non-financial commitment from iRisehub and the World Bank to support the startup for 3 months with office space, business development service, product development and access to investment either through angel investing or venture.
The other startups that pitched include,
Solar Remitt is a startup that provides access to energy to Somali families that receive money via remittance which accounts to 23% of the GDP of Somalia.
Solar Farm is a startup that provides access to energy to farmers & pastoralists in #somalia using a modern financial model. They allow them to adopt solar energy setups & pay in installment.
Dankeyd is a startup that provides a hardware solution to monitor energy usage in homes and businesses. The users can control the appliances to minimize the energy usage.
Beso Pay offers a web and mobile application platform to collect payments from electricity consumers to ease the inconvenience & high cost. This bridges & increase revenue, access and accountability in the payment processing.
RESWA: is a startup that provides a hybrid source of energy using solar and wind. This allows an abundant source of energy that is clean, accessible & affordable.
iRise hub will continue supporting the other startups which office space and needed consultation and connect them to partners and other service providers for collaboration.