The ClimateLaunchPad (CLP) global competition has held its national finals for Kenya today. The contest brought together 13 early-stage enterprises that were sharing ideas with the potential of making successful green-businesses in future. The competition that took place online on Zoom and aired live on YouTube was the first of a kind noting that the event has never taken place online.
Climatelaunchpad is one of the key products for EIT Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community’s (Climate KIC) entrepreneurship portfolio, geared at empowering ventures in their earliest phases. It is EIT Climate-KIC’s main pre-acceleration program meant to enable them to grow into commercialisation. Kenya’s partner in the competition is Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC). The other partners of the global contest are Irish Aid and the European Union.
Speaking during the event, KCIC CEO Edward Mungai said that the dynamisms brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic should not stop entrepreneurs’ from making big dreams or being innovative. “Innovation is ahead of policy and as KCIC we encourage and support innovators through the wide array of services that we offer,” he said. “We are here to hold the hands of innovators to ensure that they get the information and networks requisite for their upscaling.” KCIC is currently supporting more than 300 innovators cutting across waste and water management, renewable energy, commercial forestry and agribusiness through the AgriBiz programme.
Among the contestants in this year’s event were Pine Kazi, a venture that uses pineapple waste that was previously discarded to craft eco-friendly products like shoes and bags; Crop Doc, a web application that leverages artificial intelligence to identify crop diseases and provide actionable solutions; Ecobora Company who are equipping marginalized schools with patented solar powered cook stove; Green Pavers which recycles and transforms post-consumer waste plastic into environment-friendly plastic lumber using Styro Plastic Densification; Lima labs which Artificial Intelligence to give insights for farmers and Maji Pap, Climathon Winner who offers Nairobi City a solution that complements the County Council’s water supply model.
Other innovations were Ng’ikeyokok CBO which deals with innovation of eco-friendly building materials; Asider Technologies which has innovated solar heater made out of ordinary domestic appliances; CleanAirKE which uses waste to create reusable and clean materials for creating grocery bags, packaging covers and water bottles; Moonlight Initiative who manufacture Bamboo biodegradable Sanitary towels; Biogas Incubator Ltd, an eco-friendly egg incubator that uses biogas for a larger scale egg production in Africa; Solar Fresh which produces cargo haulage, retail and wholesale kiosks to serve the population of Turkana County and Zalisha Smart Farming Platform, a smart communication and aggregation platform for both farmers and farmer societies.
After a long deliberation among the four judges led by Florence Kimata from the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Cooperatives in the Government of Kenya, Pine Kazi, Eco Bora and Clean Air took the first, second and third positions respectively. The three innovators who bagged KShs 250,000 will be moving to the next level of the CLP competition that will bring together more than 30 participants from the rest of Africa into the Africa Regional Finals taking place later in the year.
A redacted version of this article was first published by Solomon Irungu N. and Grace Onyuka on KBC Channel One on> kbc.co.ke/climatelaunchpad-kenya-finals/