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Call for Applications: Digital Energy Challenge for start-ups ( Up to €150K )

Each year, the Digital Energy Challenge for start-ups rewards 5 to 8 Startups developing innovative digital projects aimed at improving energy access and grid services in Africa.

The Challenge rewards digital innovation in energy systems. It is open to start-ups and public utility companies in Africa – i.e. both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

2024 Thematic Areas

Start-up’s project must adhere to one of the under-listed thematic areas:

  • Universal electricity access and mini-grids
  • Efficient grid management
  • Resilience and decarbonisation of power systems

Benefits for Challenge Winners

  • Financial support of up to €150K, including technical assistance
  • A joint boot camp run by cross-sectorial experts
  • Startups project widespread communication campaigns piloted by AFD

Eligibility Criteria for Start-ups

The Start-up must meet the following criteria

  • Founded less than 10 years ago
  • Be in the pre-seed/early-stage financing phase, i.e. less than €1M funding raised
  • Annual turnover of less than €1M
  • Employ between 1 and 99 people full-time.

NB: NGOs can apply under the Start-up category if the project meets one of the additional following criteria:

  • The project is set up as a company as a branch of the NGO
  • The project has a dedicated team and business plan, and targets business sustainability/profitability (e.g. plans to spin off as an independent entity).

Also, note that NGOs can apply under the Start-up category if the project meets one of the additional following criteria:

  • Digital i.e. based on a telecom, computer or cloud-based technology
  • Innovative, either intrinsically or compared to the local market
  • Local, i.e. headquartered or with project management activities in the country of the project

How to Apply

  • Download the application pack for Start-ups here
  • You can watch the information webinar’s replays in English and French
  • Complete the application form here and prepare the required documents

The deadline for the Digital Energy Challenge project submission is Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at 23:59 CET.

Deadline: May 15, 2024

Apply here

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