Sugarcane, shrimp and solar energy are all getting industry makeovers this Tuesday at the GESR Demo Day, where 6 social tech startups will reveal their disruptive innovations in agribusiness and energy. Check them out.
Six Egyptian startups breaking new ground by modernising, streamlining and localising solutions to agriculture and energy problems in Egypt, are unveiling their final products this November 28th. The reveals will take place at GESR's Demo Day, as the social incubator celebrates the culmination of their second round of incubation at the Diamond Ballroom, Steigenberger Hotel in Tahrir.
GESR, an affiliate program of the Misr El Kheir Foundation, aims to nurture a knowledge-based and sustainable economy across Egypt's governorates, by supporting tech startups solving grassroots challenges in Water, Energy, Food, Health and Education. 43 percent of the Egyptian population are living on under $2 a day, and these are the people that both GESR and its startups are empowering – the bottom of the pyramid.
In its second round of incubation, GESR has supported its startups from prototyping to market, providing up to 150,000 EGP in seed funding, training, mentoring, networking and access to office facilities. The startups are placed on a springboard to success: they can prototype mechanical, electronic and chemical products at the Social Innovation Lab, and meet potential investors using the Social Impact Network.
This year’s startups are an amazingly ambitious bunch, charging at some serious widespread issues head on. Four of them are tackling agribusiness issues: automating processes, reducing waste, and recycling, while two are focused on harnessing solar energy in remote, rural areas. These are the six startups ready to make an impact on the lives and livelihoods of those most in need in Egypt:
Crina - the material - is produced from palm tree waste, and is used in furniture upholstery due to its high durability. Now, Crina - the startup - has managed to improve the safety of workers, and increase the productivity in the production of such material. The entrepreneurs have created an automatic input system to replace the traditional manual input, increasing production to four tons daily, compared to the half a ton that the manual method produces.
Re-Shrimp have successfully managed to localize the production chitosan, a material with over 20 industrial applications. Previously, the majority of chitosan available on the market has been imported from Japan, China and the USA. The startup extracts the chitosan by the safe treatment of shrimp shells, and is currently focusing on its use as an anti-bacterial product for crops.
High-quality, eco-friendly organic fertilisers are finally a reality in Egypt thanks to this startup. Bermouda is creating a natural high-nutrient alternative to the chemical compounds often used by farmers, which harm both consumers and the crop in the long term. They focus mostly on sugar cane, composting it aerobically to add nitrates and phosphorus, making it as beneficial and effective as possible.
4. Green Light
Green Light are lighting up remote, rural areas. The startup has designed a smart solar street-lighting system that saves energy and ensures sustainable lighting. The energy source is solar and the power is stored in batteries. As a modular and scalable system, it can be used in rural areas as well as high end compounds, as a conscious step towards sustainability.
5. Sun City
Small farmers are going to be liberated from the burden of skyrocketing diesel and fuel prices. Sun City have designed and manufactured mobile solar pumping systems for surface water irrigation. It’s a low cost, reliable and user friendly solution for farmers who own less than one feddan of land, and can’t afford to maintain diesel pumps.
Zazoua have created a customised harvesting machine for our much-loved sugarcane to suit the Egyptian environment, increase productivity and lower costs. It manages to eliminate the huge volumes of waste that are usually a side product of sugar cane harvesting.
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