Enel and Seedstars award Africa’s best innovative energy access startup at RES4Africa event

  • Winning startup SolarFreeze was selected for its innovative solution that provides solar-powered cold storage units for smallholder farmers and traders in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Following the award, SolarFreeze will enter a three-month programme worth approximately 50,000 US dollars in acceleration services and cash funded by Seedstars

AA – The Enel Group, through its new division Enel X, and Swiss-based group Seedstars World SA (“Seedstars”), have awarded the Africa Energy Prize to Kenyan startup SolarFreeze. The local company was recognised as the best energy access startup in the continent upon the successful conclusion of the RES-EXPO conference “Renewable Energy in East-Africa: New Frontiers” organised by RES4Africa in Nairobi.

SolarFreeze was selected for its solar-powered cold storage unit systems that provide refrigeration services to smallholder farmers and traders with no need for grid connection. “We are glad to support a company promoting development in rural villages through innovative electrification solutions,” said Riccardo Amoroso, Head of Innovation and Product Lab at Enel X.

“During the selection process for the Africa Energy Prize, we have identified a number of startups bringing unique energy projects to the Continent. These new business models, which couple socio-economic growth with the development of commercial and productive activities, are truly key to making Africa’s future greener and more sustainable.”

“Almost 600 million people are lacking access to electricity in Africa. Solving energy issues through entrepreneurship and technology is therefore a critical agenda point at Seedstars where we aim to find real solutions to real problems. Seedstars is glad to have Enel onboard to help support some of the greatest entrepreneurs, disruptors and innovators in this space.” said Alisee de Tonnac, CEO at Seedstars.

Following the award, SolarFreeze will enter a three-month programme worth approximately 50,000 US dollars in acceleration services and cash funded by Seedstars. Enel’s collaboration with Seedstars began formally in July 2017 when the two signed a cooperation agreement. The partners engaged the small-scale entrepreneurs who are providing innovative energy solutions focused on electric mobility, storage, distributed generation and energy efficiency, thereby tackling UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG7 – ensuring affordable and clean energy for all. The agreement established the Africa Energy Track challenge aimed at identifying innovative startups in the field of electricity access in Africa within the framework of the Seedstars World startup competition.

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