The Microsoft initiative seeks to extend broadband access in the United States and across the world. Nigeria’s ColdHubs, Rwanda’s MeshPower and Kenya’s Agsol are among eight recipients of the initiative launched last year to extend broadband access in the United States and across the world.
“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,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Coldhubs is improving the livelihoods of small holder farmers in Nigeria by transforming their refrigerated crop storage rooms into Wi-Fi hot spots using TVWS technology.
The farmers get online and access agricultural training, resources to improve crop yields and marketing and digital skills training.
Kenya’s Agsol brings power to poor farmers with its line of solar powered agro-processing machines, aiming to change lives for the better.
Mesh Power’s solar powered nanogrids and smart metering systems provide affordable electricity to communities without access to energy.
Other grantees include CV Wireless, Skylark Wireless, Tribal Digital Village and Numbers4Health (all from the US) and ME Solshare from Bangladesh.