#SET100 at WEC24 – Road to Abu Dhabi Interview: SolarWorX
July 12, 2019
As part of the SET Award 2019, the top 100-ranked start-ups who applied for the SET Award were rewarded the opportunity to participate and showcase as part of the Innovation Hub at the 24th World Energy Congress (WEC24) 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Sponsored by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, this incredible opportunity includes travel and accommodation expenses, and a showcase space for the SET100 at the congress.
In the lead up to WEC24, we asked the participating SET100 start-ups to answer a few questions to provide potential partners the opportunity to learn more about them and to also help other start-ups learn from their experiences. We thank them for their work toward the global energy transition and for sharing with us the following insights.
#SET100 Start-up: SolarWorX (Germany)
SolarWorX is a renewable energy start-up with the mission to provide solar energy to the 1.2 billion people living off the grid, primarily in Africa. We develop and manufacture solar systems that are modular, scalable and affordable. This solar system is the first to be stackable like LEGO bricks, has a productive use focus to support small businesses and communicates in local languages, such as Swahili and Wolof. They are designed with the requirements of rural offgrid households and businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.
Traveling, pitching, partaking in meetings, and networking requires considerable time and effort. Other than perhaps being given a blank check, what is the best case scenario or result you as a start-up hope to get out of participating in initiatives such as the SET platform and the Innovation Hub at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi?
It would be great to come back from WEC with new contacts/leads mainly from corporate investors and donors. Aside from that we would like to discuss intensively about off-grid solar sector development and innovative approaches such as DC micro-grids for Sub-Saharan markets.
Given the stage of your start-up and your particular focus/sector/technology, what is one challenge that you have overcome or lesson that you have learned that may be valuable to other similar start-ups?
Any startups developing their own hardware products shouldn’t underestimate the importance of supplier and component quality assessment when producing in the far East. It could kill any pilot.
What is one of the main obstacles or regulations that you have had to overcome prior to, or in preparation of market entry into your given business environment?
It took us a lot of effort to manage low-cost logistics for the shipment of our solar home systems from China to Senegal and Cameroon. Required Certification, import regulation, product duty/VAT tariffs in the target countries were challenging to understand.
Is there some recent news or something else you would like to share?
We recently launched our Imagefilm we produced in Senegal. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9_2Xixu2J8
Thanks for reading and thanks again to SolarWorX. More information about them can be found here: https://www.solarworx.io/
More about the SET100, including a full list of each SET100 start-up can be found here.