Autodesk Foundation, which supports the people and organizations using design for positive social and environmental impact, has made a grant to the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) to address pressing social and environmental challenges faced by local startups. Specifically, funds from Autodesk will seed an early stage financing facility, through which KCIC will invest in its enterprises to enable them to scale their climate innovations.
The next few years will be critical in testing the collective ability and will to respond to the threat of climate change. Meanwhile Kenyan citizens must adapt to environmental changes already underway, while working to prevent potential future disasters. The good news is that designers are creating unique solutions to address climate mitigation and adaption sustainably.
Through this collaboration with Autodesk Foundation, KCIC will be investing in startups that meet the following criteria:
- The organization is based in Kenya.
- Their operations have an impact in Kenya.
- They operate in one of KCICs investment sectors, which include agribusiness, water management, and renewable energy.
- They must be an early stage startup that is making revenues.
“Climate change is one of the greatest design challenges of our time, and addressing it is essential to the long-term success of both business and society. We are happy to partner with KCIC and to announce the companies that will benefit from this partnership. Supporting innovations that are tackling some of the environment challenges that we experience will go a long way in improving the quality of life of many worldwide,” said Joe Speicher, Executive Director of the Autodesk Foundation.
The following four companies are being considered and will be among the first to receive funding from the facility once due process is finalized:
- Kings Biofuels Ltd is a company with the sole purpose of making low-cost high-energy briquettes as an alternative source of energy to enhance climate change mitigation.
- Wisdom Innovations manufactures gasification stoves along with briquettes and pellets produced through biomass gasification technology. The company uses sugarcane and sawdust bagasse to produce the briquettes and pellets which they sell directly to traditional charcoal and wood consumers as an alternative fuel source.
- Azuri Health Ltd distributes and markets nutritious and naturally dried fruit products. The products produced promote healthy eating choices for consumers.
- Exotic EPZ engages in the processing and export of macadamia and coffee. The women-led social enterprise is committed to promoting sustainable rural development.
These companies are providing solutions for critical social and environmental challenges. Since its creation, KCIC has incubated over 160 clean technology businesses out of which more than 80 enterprises have reached commercialization. More than 1,440 direct jobs have been created. By investing more than 14 million USD in climate change related enterprises, KCIC has seen an increase in number of people using low carbon energy sources, thereby reducing (CO2) emissions by 132,860 tonnes.