Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Seven local renewable energy start-ups which have demonstrated innovative excellence at a recent ideas’ incubation exercise have been promised $10,000 each (N26.6 million) from Shell-funded impact investing firm, All On, to spend in developing their respective ideas.
The seven start-ups included Jambekcom, Txone, AlterBio Renewables, RenewCykle, Fli-tech, Hacer Hub and Greenera Technologies. They emerged to be awarded the financial support from the Clean Technology Incubation and Acceleration Foundation (CTIAF) incubation program sponsored by All On.
According to the CTIAF, the firms represent small businesses across Nigeria whose innovative products span a variety of renewable energy services from mobile solar-powered charging systems, battery operated solar generators, waste to gas technologies and patented solar inverter system.
CTIAF explained that the programme was implemented in partnership with Aba based Clintonel Centre and Start Innovation Hub which is based in Uyo.
It further stated that besides known technology innovation centres in Nigeria, the programme sought to identify promising off grid energy start-ups in other emerging centres of technology innovation in the country.
The program, it added has helped the entrepreneurs to up skill significantly and the grant winners are expected to use the $10,000 each to refine their product concepts, build out prototypes, recruit staff and pilot solutions.
“We are particularly proud of our continued collaboration with All On, this time in supporting the upscaling of young, Nigerian entrepreneurs who are the future of the sector,” said Ify Malo, Co-founder and Executive Director at CTIAF.
CTIAF further explained that the seven beneficiaries were selected from 13 businesses which went through the entire incubation process; 107 businesses had applied in May 2020 for the programme and were taken through a variety of courses aimed at developing their knowledge and skillsets in the areas of strategy and planning, product development, regulatory environment, finance and capital raising.
It added that the objective of the CTIAF program was to incubate energy entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and enable them to move from ideation to concept phases of their businesses.
Similarly, the Hub Manager of All On, Sele Inegbedion stated that: “It’s been exciting to be part of this process and particularly to see that over half of the participants included in the incubation program were women-led ventures.
“This is a deliberate part of All On’s strategy to ensure gender inclusiveness in the growing Nigerian renewable energy sector,” Inegbedion added.
Also, in her remarks, the Director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Power and Climate initiative, Caroline Eboumbou, which supports the All On Hub, stated that the beneficiaries would be expected to help develop Nigeria’s renewable energy sector with their innovative products.
Eboumbou said that: “We are proud to again see the All On Hub’s success in identifying, developing and championing innovative sustainable off-grid energy businesses in Nigeria.
“The seven companies receiving the grant are all examples of excellence in their field. These are the kinds of innovators that will change the trajectory of energy access for underserved and energy poor communities in Nigeria – and I for one, am excited to see how they will develop as they move forward and bring their visions to life.”