NEWS June 13, 2024

Seven Social Startups Compete as Finalists in the Innovation Showcase in Kenya

Seven startups with innovations that meet challenges in agriculture, construction, energy, healthcare, transportation, and waste in Africa have been named as regional finalists in the Innovation Showcase, by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME ISHOW). 

Seven startups with innovations that meet challenges in agriculture, construction, energy, healthcare, transportation, and waste in Africa have been named as regional finalists in the Innovation Showcase, by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME ISHOW).

The seven social ventures from throughout Africa will pitch their solutions and participate in an extensive design and engineering review with judges beginning Wednesday, June 19 in Nairobi. Three regional winners will be selected to join the 2024 ASME ISHOW cohort and will be announced on Thursday, June 20.

The ISHOW Kenya finalists will vie for a share of (USD) $30,000 in grant awards and technical support to help bring their innovations to market.

Africa’s finalists are:

Adumu Limited (Kisii County, Kenya) for its “Biodiesel-fueled Institutional Cooking System” which allows schools and other institutions to transition from using traditional biomass as a cooking fuel to a modern, clean alternative that saves up to 50 percent on cooking time, 78 percent on emissions, and 40 percent on operating costs.

Afya Lead (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) for “Mkanda Salama,” a patented, non-invasive, affordable device designed to address postpartum hemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal mortality globally.

Che Innovations (Kampala, Uganda) for “NeoNest,”a low-cost warming device for preventing neonatal hypothermia during ambulance transportation of premature babies from rural villages hours away from hospitals.

Megagas Alternative Energy Enterprise Limited (Nairobi, Kenya) for its “Community Kitchens Powered by Renewable Energy.” The company converts plastic waste into clean cooking gas via a patented process and distributes it through women entrepreneurs. Its community kitchens offer affordable, eco-friendly cooking solutions at $0.02 per hour, serving as social hubs for low-income households.

MeSADA PCL (Berekuso, Ghana) for its “MeSADA iNtensifier Precision Seeder,” a five-row staple grain precision seeder with tailored performance for small and medium-scale farms.

Neosave Technologies Limited (Mbarara, Uganda) for “Autothermo,” a wearable medical device designed for clinicians to continuously monitor sick newborns admitted to care, particularly in regions including Uganda with limited human resources for health.

Yaaka Investment Limited (Kitwe, Zambia) for its “Yaaka Portable Incinerator Bin,” a non-emission, portable, one-cubic-meter bin that works to reduce harmful waste that often leads to illnesses such as dysentery and Cholera especially in the rainy season, while it recycles CO2 and ash for use in concrete design for circular economy advancement.

The 2024 ISHOW cohort will be invited to the annual ISHOW Bootcamp in the winter to receive a customized design and engineering review by experts curated to guide them as they scale to market. They will also have a chance to earn a second round of seed grants from ASME. Another perk of winning is membership in the ISHOW alumni network, an international community of hardware innovators and stakeholders with exclusive access to experts and resources.

“Through the vision and creativity of these talented entrepreneurs and the guidance of expert mentors, ASME ISHOW and IDEA LAB are transforming groundbreaking ideas into market-ready products that improve lives,” said ASME Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile. “These programs are key components of ASME’s sustainability and climate strategy, aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”

Up next for ISHOW, social entrepreneurs in the Americas have entered their innovations for consideration in a virtual event scheduled for July 23-25. ISHOW India winners were announced April 25 in Chennai. Three ventures selected at each event will join the ISHOW 2024 cohort.

The ASME ISHOW hardware accelerator is open to individuals and organizations taking physical products to market that will have a positive social and environmental impact and that improve the quality of life around the world. ASME ISHOW matches up to 21 innovators each year with appropriate experts to ensure that the proposed hardware solutions are technologically, environmentally, culturally, and financially sustainable. To date, ISHOW has enabled over 230 startups from more than 35 countries to solve quality-of-life challenges for vulnerable populations worldwide. ISHOW alumni have developed affordable devices to address issues including clean combustion, crop threshing, fetal health, food waste prevention, health diagnostics, safe drinking water, and many more that address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

ASME ISHOW judges and facilitators include experts in research, sustainability, mechanical engineering and product design, manufacturing, startup financing, supply chain, and business strategy, representing organizations including GearboxSun KingVillgro Africa,,ZOLA Electric, and several ISHOW alumni. These subject matter experts provide technical and strategic guidance based on ISHOW’s five key pillars: customer/user knowledge, hardware validation, manufacturing optimization, implementation strategy, and impact.

ASME is grateful to The Lemelson Foundation for its continued support of the ISHOW with a multi-year strategic investment in the ASME and Engineering for Change ecosystem and to ISHOW implementation partners around the globe. Learn more about ISHOW’s global impact in this dynamic dashboard.

Follow the journeys of ISHOW alumni including GenHPlenOptikaHimalayan Rocket StoveSAYeTECH, and others here.

This information is from a press release by ASME ISHOW. ASME is the umbrella organization over Engineering for Change.

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