Kenyan solar startup Agsol is among three startups that have been selected for Microsoft’s third annual Airband Grant Fund. The grant is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative launched in 2017, whose goal is to expand the internet’s reach across the world.
Agsol builds solar-powered processing machines for farming communities not yet connected to the national electricity grid. The machines process crops, and all the excess power used for lighting, and mobile phone charging and powering small appliances.
Agsol will use the grant fund to help develop and deploy these cloud-connected agro-processing machines in East Africa to increase farmers’ efficiency, make energy more accessible to off-grid farming communities and ultimately improve yields.
Other startups selected for the grant include Mesh Power and ColdHubs from Rwanda and Nigeria, respectively.
The startups will receive financing, technology, mentorship, networking opportunities and other support to help scale these businesses’ technologies, services and business models.