A vision to boost ...

A vision to boost growth opportunities through the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center’s Proof of Concept Competition

The Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC) marks the start of its initiatives with a Proof of Concept competition announced on March 17, 2013

The Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), which is expected to be launched in last quarter of 2013, will offer a holistic suite of services to support SMEs and entrepreneurs with financing, business training, regional network building, and policy support.  The center is being developed with support from UKAID and the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and in partnership with the Government of Ethiopia’s Climate Resilience and Green Economy (CRGE).  

The Proof of Concept competition is one of ECIC’s initial activities to spur enterprises to proactively and profitably develop innovative and locally-relevant climate technology solutions.  A series of public outreach events were held throughout Ethiopia in March of 2013 to publicize the competition to interested applicants. The sessions also provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to find out about infoDev's work and how the ECIC will help develop an enabling environment for Ethiopian businesses.

Applicants were required to propose an innovative new product or service to be developed and tested in the Ethiopian market within the sectors of: 1) sustainable agribusiness, 2) bio-fuels or bio-mass, 3) transportation technologies, 4) micro-hydropower, 5) energy efficiency, 6) water management and recycling, and 7) other clean tech or clean tech support businesses, to be eligible for the competition. Sessions were held in the cities of Addis Abeba, Awassa, Mekele, Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa and Adama. The competition encouraged submissions from entrepreneurs, researchers, startups and existing companies that are developing products or business models within the clean technology space. Women-led ventures were strongly encouraged to apply.

The contest officially closed for entries on April 5, 2013 with 183 submissions from clean technology entrepreneurs. A selected evaluation panel, consisting of business and technical experts, is currently reviewing the applications. Selected finalists will receive mentorship to prepare full proposals to go to the ECIC investment committee for funding decisions. Finalists will be announced in August, 2013.

Successful candidates will (1) receive funding up to ETB 1,000,000 (around US$ 53,000) to develop, launch and/or scale a product or service, (2) have considerable exposure in ECIC’s media events and (3) have the chance to be the first set of entrepreneurs or firms to receive ECIC services such as business training, partnership and support services and subsequent funding to finance product development, prototyping, marketing, hiring staff and other product launch costs.

Winners  of the competition will be announced during ECIC’s official launch.


OVERVIEW OF APPLICANTS

SECTORS

% of Applications by Sector

 (183 Total Applications)

Sustainable Agribusiness

31%

Bio-fuels and Biomass

16%

Transportation Technology

4%

Micro Hydro

2%

Energy Efficiency

19%

Water Management & Recycling

3%

Other clean tech or clean tech support ventures

24%

TOTAL # OF EMPLOYEES

% of Applications by number of Employees

0-10

58%

11-50

22%

26-50

10%

50+

10%

CURRENT SALES

% of Applications by Annual Sales Range

ETB 0-100,000

57%

ETB 100,000-1,000,000

20%

ETB 1,000,000+

23%

TYPE OF APPLICANT

% of Applications by Type of Applicant

Researcher

3%

Entrepreneur

37%

Start-up Company

20%

Existing company developing a product/project

39%

STAGE OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

% of Applications by Stage of  Product Development

Concept Stage

58%

Demonstration / prototype Exists

25%

First sales have been achieved

7%

Scale-up / with significant sales

11%

 
 

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