Smart Energy Hackathon Innovators Produce 16 Energy Solutions 79 Hackers, 16 Teams, 33 Mentors, One Mission

Energy Press Releases Friday September 15, 2017 13:45
Bangkok--15 Sep--GIZ

After 29 long hours of coding all but one team managed to submit creative digital smart energy solutions to advance the energy transition in Southeast Asia. The winning team "SolarPi" developed a solution that logs solar energy production data, writes it to a blockchain and uses this record to automatically claim solarcoins (a cryptocurrency that incentivizes solar energy producers). The "SolarPi" team mates serendipitously met and matched during a team formation exercise during the opening night. Robin Clart, CTO of Thailand based blockchain startup OmiseGO and judge at the Smart Energy Hackathon said: "Given the fact that the SolarPi team formed on site on Friday night, it is remarkable that this team delivered the most innovative solution".

The runner-up, "Hive" prototyped an app called Solar Monkey that encourages solar adoption through system design, vendor selection and financing options in Thailand. The team, like many others, successfully conceptualized, designed and produced a working demo with the generous support from a diverse group of mentors. Mentors were an essential ingredient to the success of the Smart Energy Hackathon and over half of the mentors flew in from neighboring regions to support this effort. "We are passionate about supporting entrepreneurs bring their ideas and solutions to the Southeast Asia marketplace and abroad. With the right mix of ideas, support and capital we can accelerate the energy transition to smarter and cleaner alternatives" says one of the mentors, Jan-Justus Schmidt, Founder of BluGreen Energy.

The Smart Energy Hackathon is an innovation vehicle with the mission of evolving strong teams with viable solutions into real companies. Representatives from local incubators and accelerators KX, Techgrind and Startup Bootcamp were in attendance to scope potential teams to incubate. Incubators and accelerators can offer support services, mentorship, capital and training for startups and is a crucial component of building energy ecosystems in Southeast Asia. So are the Venture Capitalists, that were represented at the event as well. Nio Liyanage, Director at Hong Kong based Nest VC and judge at the event who has been at several hackathons before states: "I am genuinely impressed by the quality and variety of the submissions. The products developed, creativity, commercial application and pitches were of such high standard, it was a grueling process to select a winner in this competition". One of the winning teams have concrete plans already: "We are stoked and will definitely take this idea forward. The first step is to look for $30,000 funding to spend on further product development".

The Smart Energy Hackathon officially launches the New Energy Nexus Southeast Asia (Nexus SEA) initiative, which aims to develop a sustainable energy ecosystem throughout Southeast Asia. Nexus SEA will support energy entrepreneurship, corporate innovation and smart energy investment through a bottom-up approach. It will connect universities, co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators to raise awareness for for digital smart energy solutions and catalyze action. Nexus SEA will initially focus on three to four countries in Southeast Asia, but eventually enlarge to establish the entire region as go-to-place for digital smart energy-tech.

The Smart Energy Hackathon was enabled by strategic sponsors including PTT Public Company Limited, Engie, Provincial Electricity Authority, Lykke, Whapow, Blue Solar and Mint Coworking Space, and co-organized by GIZ, TechGrind, CalCEF/New Energy Nexus, Chulalongkorn University Innovation Hub (CU) and Knowledge Xchange for Innovation (KX).

Further links
Event Website: www.smartenergyhackathon.com
All Submissions: https://smartenergyhackathon.devpost.com/submissions
Event Facebook: www.facebook.com/smartenergyhack
Event Twitter: www.twitter.com/smartenergyhack

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