The 10th edition of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is approaching its final stages, and Manchester-based startup Steama.co is one of the five remaining businesses in the running to win an incredible €500,000.
The five finalists – Steama.co, PHYSEE and Ioniqa Technologies, from the Netherlands, Green City Solutions, from Germany, and HomeBiogas, from Israel – will present their business plans to an international jury, the press and the public on 14th September. The winner, to be announced on the day, will receive €500,000 to further develop and market their product or service. The runner-up will receive €200,000.
Steama.co hopes to bring cheap, sustainable energy to rural regions of Africa where it may take decades to hook into the grid. More than a billion people live off-grid, and they need renewable replacements for kerosene and diesel. Unfortunately, hooking into sustainable energy grids takes massive amounts of resources and capital. Steama.co hopes to step in and fill this gap.
The startup's smart-metering software lets microgrid owners sell pay-as-you-go utility services, making it much easier to bring low-cost, sustainable electricity to rural regions. The product is already on the market and has been deployed on 38 microgrids in Kenya and Tanzania.
Harrison Leaf, CEO of Steama.co states, "As an early stage technology company, we invest everything into building a better product, getting it to market and ultimately connecting the unconnected. If we win the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, it would put a rocket under this ambitious endeavour."
This will be the tenth year in a row that the Dutch Postcode Lottery has organised the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. The competition aims to fund green-focused entrepreneurs with innovative products or services that reduce greenhouse gasses. This year, 292 startups and entrepreneurs from 61 countries submitted their plans. Previous winners from the UK include bio-bean, which won in 2014, and RidgeBlade, who took home the prize in 2009.