Africa’s Agsol,Cold Hubs and Mesh Power Secures Microsoft’s Funding

ColdHubs is another organization finding innovative ways to tackle the broadband access challenge.

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ColdHubs-Airband
ColdHubs is one of eight Microsoft Airband Grant Fund recipients using TV white spaces and other technologies to expand access to internet-enabled solutions. Photo courtesy of ColdHubs.

Rwanda’s Mesh Power, Nigeria’s Cold Hubs and Kenya’s Agsol have secured funding from global tech giant Microsoft.

The three are part of eight Microsoft Airband Grant Fund recipients using TV white spaces and other technologies to expand access to internet-enabled solutions. Photo courtesy of ColdHubs.

Microsoft said these start-ups are overcoming barriers to provide affordable internet access to unconnected and underserved communities in the U.S., Africa and Asia using TV white spaces (TVWS) and other promising last-mile access technologies.

“Our grant fund will provide financing, technology, mentorship, networking opportunities and other support to help scale these start-ups’ innovative new technologies, services and business models,” said  Shelley McKinley – Head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility, Microsoft.

“The Airband Grant Fund is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, launched last year to extend broadband access across the United States and, ultimately, connectivity around the globe.”

ColdHubs is another organization finding innovative ways to tackle the broadband access challenge.

In Owerri, Nigeria, ColdHubs is transforming their refrigerated crop storage rooms into Wi-Fi hotspots using TVWS technology.

The company aims to empower smallholder farmers with the ability to earn better livelihoods. Their solar-powered crop storage facilities help reduce food spoilage, which causes 470 million smallholder farmers to lose 25% of their annual income.

Farmers who use ColdHubs can extend the freshness of their fruits and vegetables from two to about 21 days, reducing post-harvest loss by 80%.

By turning these facilities into Wi-Fi “Farm Connect Centers,” ColdHubs will enable farmers to get online and access agricultural training, resources to improve crop yields and marketing and digital skills training.

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