Enel Group (“Enel”), through its renewable energies division Enel Green Power, and Swiss-based group Seedstars World SA (“Seedstars”), have signed a cooperation agreement establishing the Africa Energy Track challenge, a competition aimed at identifying innovative startups in the field of electricity access in Africa within the framework of the Seedstars World startup competition. The project’s goal is to enhance technology and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan rural areas by bringing 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.
“Seedstars’ expertise and programs match Enel’s commitment to opening up to new, pioneering startups, seeking innovative solutions to energy and sustainability challenges”, explained Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel Green Power. “Through this partnership, Enel has the opportunity to gain access to the most innovative companies taking a step forward in the search for new, disruptive business models that can foster socio-economic development in rural Africa.”
Enel is the exclusive energy partner of Seedstars’s regional competitions in Africa, which will consist in over 20 different local events with the participation of startups from various sectors evaluated by juries including Enel’s experts for the energy field. Winners from the local events move on to the Regional Summits, with Enel selecting at least one startup in the energy field at the Seedstars Africa Regional Summit. The selected winner will enter a three-month growth and acceleration programme, which includes a financial contribution, provided by Seedstars.
The Enel Group, through its participation in this project, aims to identify companies that can help to foster socio-economic development in rural villages in sub-Saharan Africa through electrification. Electricity is a fundamental factor to bring about socio-economic growth, but it must be accompanied by commercial and productive activities. The Africa Energy Track challenge will help identify innovative and disruptive business models focusing on electrifying remote rural regions and on the creation of related income-generating activities.
Since 2013 Seedstars has run the “Seedstars World” startup competition that takes place in emerging markets. By running local competitions, the Swiss-based group gives the selected startups pitch training and awards the winners with an opportunity to compete in the Global Summit where one of them will be crowned Seedstars World Global Winner. Through different activities of startup scouting, company building and acceleration programmes, the Seedstars team now has access to entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, corporations and government officials from more than 75 countries.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Enel is present in South Africa through Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA), which has more than 520 MW of wind and solar plants in operation, and Enel Energy South Africa, which provides innovative energy solutions to residential and business clients. In Zambia, the Group was awarded the 34 MW Ngonye PV solar project in the country’s Scaling Solar programme auction in June 2016.
Enel is a leading integrated player in the world’s power and gas markets present in over 30 countries across five continents, with a managed capacity of 85 GW and over 65 million business and household customers worldwide. Enel is the largest integrated utility in Europe in terms of market capitalisation and figures among Europe’s leading power companies in terms of installed capacity and reported EBITDA. Enel’s renewable energy division Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with a managed capacity of 38 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies like storage systems into renewables power plants.