Six months after the beginning of a challenge that mobilized more than 530 African entrepreneurs, the 10 finalists of EDF Pulse Africa gathered in Paris to promote their project in front of the Great Jury on November, the 21st
. 10 finalists. 10 projects. 10 countries. But above all, 10 innovations that convinced an attentive Jury intrigued by the diversity of the services and technics proposed. Strained deliberations, tight votes, divided opinions: the Great Jury took its time and eventually appointed not only 4 but 5 winners for EDF Pulse Africa third edition. Let’s discover those projects that are now in the spotlights.
1st Prize and winner of the 2019 edition: LIFI LED
Thanks to its 3-in-1 solution, Ange Balma, Lifi Led’s founder, has created a unanimous opinion amongst the Jury Member. Actually, his solution ticked all the boxes of tomorrow’s development stakes in Africa: this Ivorian product offers an access to Internet, electricity and educational content at the very same time. And what can be more convincing for a Jury than seeing the efficiency of a product by its own eyes, in live? Ange made his point by proving that Lifi Led was able to reduce the African digital divide while developing a clean and reliable access to electricity!
2nd Prize: AFRICA-TECH
Boutamékpo Adakpo’s project “Energy Cycle” has deeply aroused the Jury’s interest, and for a good reason. Why do Africa’s rural inhabitants use a motorcycle to reach villages where they can charge their phones, while they can use this very same vehicle’s energy to do the same in their own place? Now that the question is asked by this young Togolese who grew up in a rural area scarce in electricity, the answer seems obvious, isn’t it? “Energy Cycle” was born from this observation: it offers a USB device that can be directly plugged on two-wheeled vehicles, either they are owned by a person or a company. The 5V equipment charges up phones and lamps and doing so, increases the drivers’ security.
3rd Prize: HYDROBOX
Alice Mumbi, HydroBox’s operational manager, was the 10-employee start-up’s honorable representative during EDF Pulse Africa Finale. Their offer consists of containerized hydro power plants providing electricity to remotes villages in Kenya. Their assets? The use of an advanced technology and the standardization of the containers. Both of these differentiating features allow HydroBox to have a unique and profitable economic model. The start-up’s story-telling – quite reflective of Kenyan daily life – finished convincing the Jury about the social impact of the project. Have a look over here.
Special Prize of the Jury: CLEAN ENERGY SERVICES
Using local materials and a double source of energy (thermic and photovoltaic), Triomphant Tchulang managed to create a unique bisolar tech fridge. He came all the way from Cameroon with his photothermic solar fridge prototype to offer the Jury an operational model of his idea and project. Getting rid of the electricity scarcity issue, the solution intends to get into the African market with a triple ambition: preserve hospital’s vaccines and medicines, reduce loss of foodstuffs and improve thermic comfort of the user. Actually, the excess energy produced can be used to charge a phone or light up a room. Clearly, a global project solving several daily Cameroonian issues.
“Boost by EDF” Prize: PLENTIFY
Jon Kornik could not go back to Cape Town empty-handed. As founder and CEO of the South-African start-up Plentify, he proposed a mature, innovative and challenging project to the welcoming ears of the Jury. Plentify offers a solution to reduce reliance on an expensive dirty electricity production when demand is high. To do so, it turns water heaters into grid-connected thermal battery when electricity is abundant on the grid. Using both a mobile app and an IA motor, the device seduced the Great Jury that decided to create a special mention for the occasion: “Boost by EDF” – a promise for a future collaboration.