The African Center of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development (ACEESD) has won a grant worth 250,000 USD to establish an Incubation Center. The facility will bridge the gap between academia and industry by supporting students/universities and industry from African Countries and Rwanda in particular to create new markets that, fits the needs of African society.
The four- year World Bank - funded project will provide business coaching and training through boot camps, outsource seed funding for startup, support to validate prototype business commencement and help students and other startups to network with industry, practitioners, funders , experts and business communities.
Pascal Nyiringango, head of the Incubation Center revealed that the Center will provide mentorship and coaching to potential business ideas. “We will incubate new business ideas for a period of 6 months which can be extended to 12 months, during which the center will be offering different expertise through our international partners, supporting in developing prototype and market validation”, he said.
During the incubation period, he says, the Center plans to conduct business model for exhibition with a target of energy companies needs to work out new models to ensure future success and networking between our incubates, CEO, and funders.
Nyiringango further said that Center will offer technical scientific studies and research to energy companies who need to scale up their business and help small energy companies who are at the start up stage for acceleration.
So far 40 innovative business ideas in energy were submitted to the Incubation Center for various kinds of support.
For a business idea to get support from the Incubation Center, it might belong to individuals or companies jointly developed and implemented with identified partners, business associate, or individuals sharing the dreams and agreed to share the journey. They might be responding to identified problem from the community and contributing to the country priorities. The business idea should also clearly demonstrate its sustainability and scalability among other criteria.
Despite close collaboration between academia and Industry, companies and small business in Africa face challenges to meet the most competitive market because of globalization. Therefore, industry need a continuous invention and creativity through innovation approaches. There is no doubt that this Incubation Center will help UR/Regional universities/ African students and communities at large to create employment through innovation and creation of new markets.