Nigeria’s ColdHubs secure first place taking home GBP75,000 (US$97,000) at the recent UK Aid’s Global LEAP Awards tagged Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge.
The Global LEAP Awards offered to fund innovators meeting cold storage requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products in off- and weak-grid areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The award event is fully funded by UK Aid, which runs as part of the Ideas to Impact programme, which designs and runs innovation prizes to incentivize contestants to solve challenges faced by the poor in low-income countries in Africa and South Asia.
The area of focus includes; Access to clean energy, water and sanitation, transport and climate change adaptation.
In June 2018, 10 start-ups were selected to progress to stage two of the challenge, with each given fund in the tone of GBP10,000 ($13,000) to help with the purchase of their cold rooms.
Coldhub provides a “plug and play” modular, solar-powered walk-in cold room, for 24/7 off-grid storage and preservation of perishable foods.
It adequately addresses the major problem of post-harvest losses in edible goods like fruits, vegetables, and other perishable food.
The next stage was product testing which underwent rigorous field-testing. Six finalists were able to set up their cold storage units on location. Of these, only four could put their cold units to productive use.
Three out of those four were local start-ups, with Nigeria’s ColdHubs securing first place and taking home GBP75,000 ($97,000).
ColdHubs was selected by the judges as the 1st place solution primarily due to the impact the start-up cold rooms had on women farmers and market vendors.
ColdHub’s cooling as a service business model was identified as highly scalable and innovative.
FreshBox (a start-up from Kenya) was third, securing GBP25,000 ($32,000), while Uganda’s Ecolife was runner-up.
EcoZen from India came second and took home GBP35,000 ($45,000).
Featured Image: globalleapaward.org
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