Students attends clean energy innovation bootcamp

Students attends clean energy innovation bootcamp

Startup|Energy a joint initiative of Stiftung Solarenergie (Germany) and the University of Freiburg  recently held a clean energy boot camp in Nairobi. Mount Kenya University sponsored three students namely Bettinah Lucy Maruti, Esbon Ogetto and Abdi Mohammed to participate in the event alongside their fellow innovators from Kenyatta University (Kenya), Makerere University Business School (Uganda) and Universität Freiburg (Germany) to a week-long residential program at Masai lodge in Nairobi to nurture their innovations in solar powered cold rooms, decentralized energy and solar-powered atmospheric water harvesting system.

The boot camp kicked off with an intensive training program, by local and international coaches and professionals, among them being the University’s head of Innovations, Intellectual Property and Community Engagement, Donatus Njoroge.

As a kind of “reality check”, the participants visited four local start-ups on the third day and were able to discuss about the practical experiences with the founders. These are:

  • Llyord Mwaniki Gitau, Co-Founder of Zuhura Solutions, which has developed for the first time in East Africa a food vending cart powered by renewable energy: the “Halisi Trolley”
  • James Mulatya, Co-Founder of Drop Access, whose flagship product is a mobile solar refrigerator for medicines and vaccines
  • Omondi Makalliwa, Founder of TryKe Group Limited: a booming startup in the e-logistics sector in Kenya
  • Chris Maara, Founder of Kiri EV, operating with a disruptive business approach for electric bikes.

The Bootcamp concluded on April 15 with a public pitch event at Kenyatta University infront of officials from Kenya climate Venture, Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), National Environmental Management Authority, ICT Authority of Kenya and hosts of seasoned entrepreneurs. This was to ensure that the startups thrive by giving them direct access to an international network of the most relevant partners, investors, and mentors in their field.

“the bootcamp has proven to be an exceptional program to help us to take first steps in launching our startups. The team has been extremely supportive to help us to validate our ideas, as well as to develop our pitching skills, I feel a foot taller as an entrepreneur, I learnt things I didn’t even realise I need” says Ms. Bettinah Maruti, a Mount Kenya University Engineering Student

The three innovators are set to continue receiving mentorship from the German-based organization in additional to the ongoing accelerator program at the university’s innovation and incubation centre.