The Chief Executive Officer of Black Star Energy, which was the first runner-up at the second EDF Pulse Africa 2018 awards, says they are motivated to work harder to provide cheaper sustainable energy.
For Nicole Pointdexter, the award represents a great opportunity to get in touch with a major international company like EDF, but especially to strengthen its credibility in the field related to access to energy in Africa.
“We hope to expand to other parts of the country to provide reliable cheaper energy and also across Africa,” she said during a presentation of her prize cheque in Accra on Tuesday
On November 23, Black Star Energy, after pitching in front of EDF top executive and competing against nine other African finalists, has won the second EDF Pulse Africa 2018 awards with a price of EUR10,000.
The 10 finalists have been invited for a week in Paris to participate to three days coaching session in EDF training centre called “The Lab” to accelerate their ability to pitch their innovation. They were selected by EDF from a panel of 432 startups from 24 African countries.
This second edition is a very successful edition. Having attracted 4 times more entries than last year, EDF Pulse Africa has confirmed the momentum of African start-ups and their interest in EDF’s support.
“EDF is committed to supporting African startups willing to grow the continent’s energy sector” explained Olivier Clement, EDF Country representative in Ghana.
Black Star Energy from Ghana is specialized in the development of mini-grids. The company already operates 15 of them in the country and aims to connect more than 12 000 Ghanaians to the grid by the end of the year.
The system has a very high capacity factor (over 98%) and allows clients to track their energy usage and pay their bills via smartphone.
The customer relation platform is flexible enough to meet a wide range of customer needs and apply customized time-of-use tariffs.
Sharing her experience, Pointdexter said they have learned a lot and they will continue to explore their first community of production in the Ashanti region as they work to extend their services to other parts of the world.
EDF support with startups awarded doesn’t end with the second EDF Pulse Africa 2018 awards.
Mr Clement said, “This is just the beginning of a program to facilitate their development: operational and financial advice, project development partnerships with local players and with EDF experts.”
He added that start-ups will have access to EDF’s innovation ecosystem (EDF’s R&D function and creativity labs). EDF is doing its best to put Black Star Energy on the ramp of bigger success.
“You are a start-up and you would like to be supported by EDF? Be part of EDF Pulse Africa 2019. Next session will start mid of 2019!” he said.
A key player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated electricity company, active in all areas of the business: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading, energy services.
A global leader in low-carbon energies, the Group has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renewable energies and thermal energy.
The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.1 million customers, of which 26.2 million in France. The Group generated consolidated sales of €71 billion in 2016. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
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