Egyptian start-up Merge wins African green business competition

The NetherlandsNovember 6, 2023Merge, a start-up from Egypt, placed first at the ClimateLaunchpad Finals in Africa with their innovative digital freight-matching platform that optimises truck routes, consolidates shipments, and maximises truck space utilisation through a shared truckload model. By addressing these inefficiencies in the trucking industry, Merge aims to eliminate millions of empty miles, reducing wasted space, and curbing excessive CO2 emissions.

Merge participated alongside 681 other teams from 12 African countries, earning a cash prize of €4,500 and continuous networking opportunities to kickstart its business.

The African ClimateLaunchpad was hosted by national partners Behold South Africa, Indalo Inclusive and Water Financial, and funded by Irish Aid. ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest green business competition for climate innovators held on four continents around the world. It is orchestrated by Europe’s leading climate innovation initiative, EIT Climate-KIC.

A climate solution that connects to social development

According to the ClimateLauchpad jury, Merge was selected based on its ability to link their realistic business idea to social development. Marina Danial, Co-founder of Merge: “We are so ready to make a difference with our freight matching platform. Merge can reduce the climate impact of transport and make a positive social impact because the platform also reduces drivers’ costs and increases their income.”

As part of the ClimateLaunchpad programme, nearly 700 competing teams from Africa participated in business boot camps of which 36 advanced to the African Semi Finals. The top eight teams pitched their ideas on an international stage in the final round of competition held virtually on 3 November.

Runner-up and third place
The runner-up was SWEDO from Uganda with a green energy alternative for charcoal: biofire combs for commercial cooking made of organic and agricultural waste. Pazelgreen Technologies Limited from Nigeria placed third with their climate-smart cold storage technology tailormade for smallholder farms that prevents high post-harvest loss of fruit and vegetables and improves agro-waste management. SWEDO and Pazelgreen also received a cash prize of €2,000 and €1,000 respectively.

More detailed information on all 2023 finalists:

“For all its intense challenges, confronting the climate emergency is an opportunity to draw inspiration from the natural world and innovate for positive change. For the last ten years, ClimateLaunchpad has been a vibrant platform for individuals who care to make a difference to seize this opportunity and take the first steps towards developing climate solutions through entrepreneurship across the spectrum of adaptation and resilience, blue economy, circular economy, clean energy, food systems, sustainable mobility and urban transformation. As we applaud this year’s winners, we encourage all aspiring and passionate innovators to connect, collaborate and build a fair, beautiful, and climate-resilient society together,” says Kirsten Dunlop, CEO EIT Climate-KIC

More Finals coming up
The Asia Pacific Regional Final will be held on 10 November, the Latin American & Caribbean Regional Final on 16 November, and European Regional Final on 17 November.  

The live stream of the African Final is available here:

About ClimateLaunchpad
ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest green business ideas competition, celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2023. Its mission is to unlock the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change. A green future demands thousands of innovations challenging the current business models. The competition supports aspiring and promising cleantech entrepreneurs with training, coaching, and networking opportunities. ClimateLaunchpad operates on a global scale, currently in 49 countries. ClimateLaunchpad was established in 2014 and is part of the entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC.

Since its start, ClimateLaunchpad has attracted up to 15,222 ideas that resulted in 4,487 teams trained to become a green entrepreneur. The ClimateLaunchpad programme is run in close collaboration with local partners (National Partner Organisations). It is organised by the ClimateLaunchpad team, based out of the Innovation & Impact Centre of Delft University of Technology, in The Netherlands.

About EIT Climate-KIC EIT Climate-KIC is Europe’s leading climate innovation agency and community, using a systems approach to shape innovation to support cities, regions, countries and industries meet their climate ambitions. Together with partners across the globe, EIT Climate-KIC acts to bridge the gap climate commitments and current reality by enabling decision makers to investors to act. They find and implement solutions in integrated ways and mobilise finance. They build skills to accelerate learning and explore innovation, opening pathways to shift mindsets and behaviours. Through radical collaboration, EIT Climate-KIC orchestrates large-scale demonstrations that show what is possible when cycles of innovation and learning are deliberately designed to trigger exponential decarbonisation and build resilient communities.

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