OffGridBox is an alumnus of Valley Ventures Accelerator, a program within the Water, Energy and Technology Center at Fresno State that assists entrepreneurs in the fields of agriculture, water, and energy technology. Photo by OffGridBox

published on June 8, 2021 - 3:19 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A technology company with local ties has received funding to use renewable energy technology to increase access to electricity for refugees in Kenya and Uganda.

OffGridBox, an alumnus of Valley Ventures Accelerator, a program within the Water, Energy and Technology Center at Fresno State that assists entrepreneurs in the fields of agriculture, water, and energy technology, is among the four awardees.

The amount of funding was not disclosed.

OffGridBox is the part of the fifth and most recent cohort part of the accelerator program. It is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has locations in Italy and Rwanda.

The company is partnering with Moban Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO) and BiziSol, a Swedish renewable energy also providing affordable and sustainable energy and connectivity solutions in Africa, to establish a solar-powered solution which will provide affordable and clean water and energy solutions in the Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda.

The OffGridBox system fits inside a 6-foot-cubed shipping container and is equipped with all the hardware needed to produce electricity and clean water.

“OffGridBox has a global business selling to individuals for off-grid living purposes, as well as implementing development projects. Our mission is to create a significant social impact while increasing access to renewable energy sources,” said Co-Founder and CEO Emiliano Cecchini. “We are ecstatic about this award, and we hope to further our social impact, by increasing access to clean, affordable energy, drinking water and connectivity.” 

The award comes from the Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund (SCCIF), an initiative to bring private sector-led innovative solutions to displace and crisis-affected host communities.

“We are so grateful to have been part of the Valley Ventures Accelerator program at the Water, Energy and Technology Center,” said Cecchini. “The guidance and insight we received certainly helped us further our growth as a company.”      


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