The second season of the Climate Launch Pad (CLP) is here! For the second year Kenya will be hosting the CLP competition which is the world’s biggest green idea competition. A Kenyan company, Alkagel, won at last years’ grand finale in Cyprus and we are are excited to host for the second time the Climate Launch Pad competition in Kenya in partnership with Climate KIC. This year CLP presence has been expanded in Africa and besides being held in Kenya we have chapters for the first time in Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Cape Verde.
The Climate Launch Pad (CLP) is a start ups competition that has been designed to unlock the clean tech potential in the world. The competition brings together people with green ideas that have not been in existence for more than 2 years with no substantial revenue to date.
The competition is designed to have three stages where there is a boot camp to train the participants on developing an effective business strategy and on pitching. The boot camp is followed by a post boot camp training that refines the participant’s pitches and business ideas and to have a one on one interaction with the trainers. The participating countries then hold national finals where they select the top 3 participants to represent their countries at the CLP grand finals. This year the grand finals will be held in Scotland at the beginning of November.
Last year, Kenya had fifteen participants in the boot camp with varying innovations. The grand finale in Cyprus was won by ALKAGEL a company in Kenya that produces Bio-Alkanol gel which is a thick liquid fuel that is a mixture of alkanol, cellulose and water. It’s an alternative biofuel which has been innovated so as to reduce Kenya’s reliance on imported petroleum based products. Exploitation of sugars in mango, banana, watermelon, orange and papaya fruit peelings through microbial fermentation and egg shells as a source of bio-fuel is a novel undertaking. The conversion of fruit peeling cellulose biomass into cellulosic-alkanol and egg shells into calcium acetate (gelling agent) is an innovative way of turning waste into wealth. The resulting Bio-Alkanol gel obtained from the waste materials is a form of renewable energy that burns with a clear flame with minimal smoke or soot formation.
KCIC’s support and interest in CLP has been motivated by the core business of the organization which is to support innovations in the clean tech space that have an impact on the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The competition is meant to showcase, develop and launch innovations in the clean tech space with an aim adapting or mitigating the effect of climate change.
We are hoping to have a vibrant boot camp that will result to adding value to the innovations that will be participating. The boot camp will be hosted on 9thand 10thAugust at the Strathmore Business School (SBS). You can follow the discussion online under the hashtag #CLPKE18 and #CLP18.
By Alisa Brillault and Sarah Makena