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Here is your source for updates related to the Terra Watt Prize. We will continue to post news here until the close of the program in May of 2014. Learn more ABOUT other key dates. You may direct any press inquiries to [email protected]. You may REGISTER today to participate.


National Geographic Society Names Winners of Terra Watt Prize Competition for Innovative Energy Solutions

Posted:  6/11/2014

India’s Mera Gao Micro Grid Power and Tanzania’s EGG-energy each win $125,000 for their energy proposals Read more

Judging Period Begins

Posted:  4/22/2014

The Evaluation Panel started reviewing Terra Watt Prize applications on April 21 and will have four weeks to review their assigned applications. The Evaluation Panel is made up of 45 judges, of which 33 are potential investors. Read more

Application Closed

Posted:  4/22/2014

On April 15, the Terra Watt Prize application process officially closed. A total of 54 applications were completed from teams that included 234 organizations. Read more


Application Deadline

Posted:  3/13/2014

Registration for the Terra Watt Prize closed on February 28, 2014. Only individuals who have registered by this date will be allowed to submit an application. Applications are due on April 15, 2014. Read more

New Judges Announced

Posted:  1/13/2014

We are pleased to announce that several new judges have joined the Terra Watt Prize Evaluation Panel. Read more

Announcement

Posted:  11/25/2013

National Geographic is excited to announce a new prize competition aimed at developing innovative solutions that focus on energy poverty. The Terra Watt Prize is an award for two applicants who demonstrate meaningful, sustainable and scalable solutions to off-grid communities. The winners of the competition will receive $125,000 each to complete their proposed projects. Read more

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Posted: 11/25/2013

 

The Terra Watt Prize Announcement

National Geographic is excited to announce a new prize competition aimed at developing innovative solutions that focus on energy poverty. The Terra Watt Prize is an award for two applicants who demonstrate meaningful, sustainable and scalable solutions to off-grid communities. The winners of the competition will receive $125,000 each to complete their proposed projects. Developmental, financial and technical experts on energy access will participate as judges to evaluate proposals. Judges, listed below on the Evaluation Panel, will have the opportunity to invest in any of the participants after the review period. After the evaluation process, a Selection Committee made up of senior National Geographic staff will select two winners from a pool of the top-five-scoring proposals as assessed by the Evaluation Panel. Interested applicants should register for the Terra Watt Prize by February 28, 2014, and the application deadline is April 15, 2014.

 

The following are the members of the Evaluation Panel and Selection Committee. The number of Evaluation Panel members will continue to grow through the competition registration period, which closes on February 28, 2014:

 


Evaluation Panel

Kaveh Azimi, Encite Capital

Brian Cayce, Gray Ghost Ventures

Alakesh Chetia, Sun Edison

Jeff Dickinson, Clean Energy Advisors

Alan Feldbaum, ERM & LCEF

Miguel Granier, Invested Development

Chris Greacen, Small Steps Solar

Peter Heller, Canopus Foundation

Jon Kornik, Google

Thomas Light, Grameen Foundation

Sean Moore, Acumen

Nancy Pfund, DBL Investors

Teddy Roux, Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners

Sagun Saxena, Clean Star Ventures

Christian Schattenmann, Bamboo Finance

Peter Scheuch, Ennovent

Jigar Shah, Inerjys

Lili Stiefel, Stiefel Family Foundation

Kunal Upadhyay, Infuse Ventures

Richenda Van Leeuwen, UN Foundation

EN Venkat, Aavishkaar

 

 

Selection Committee

John Francis, National Geographic Society

Terry Garcia, National Geographic Society

Betty Hudson, National Geographic Society

Chris Johns, National Geographic Society

Tom Lovejoy, George Mason University

David Lyle, National Geographic Channel

Amy Maniatis, National Geographic Society

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Posted: 1/13/2014

 

New Judges Announced

We are pleased to announce that several new judges have joined the Terra Watt Prize Evaluation Panel. They are:

 

  • Sandhya Hegde of Khosla Impact
  • Ted Hesser of d.light
  • Valérian Fauvel of Insitor Management
  • Eva Helene Yazhari of Beyond Capital Fund

 

In order to learn more about the judges and their credentials, please visit MEET THE JUDGES.

 

The Terra Watt Prize team recently shared a common set of talking points with our judges. The intent is to capture the value proposition for everyone involved. To begin, the purpose of the competition is to address two major challenges: (1) access to investors for entrepreneurs; and, (2) a forum of credible experts to provide diligent review of promising companies.

 

Participants have the opportunity to showcase their sustainable business models to experts, familiar with the challenges of energy access. By providing our potential investors with a pipeline of promising applicants, we hope to generate additional investments for the promising Terra Watt Prize applicants.

 

What makes the Terra Watt Prize unique is that it is open, transparent, and fair. Participants learn exact application requirements, how they will be scored, who will score them, and how their scores will be calculated. Following the review process, every applicant will receive their normalized score and feedback from up to five judges.

 

National Geographic has set high standards for participation in the Terra Watt Prize. The application process is intentionally rigorous and designed to play a productive role in the due diligence process for investors and to ensure that each grantee has passed a meaningful test.

 

Finally, this is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs working in energy access. All applicants will receive valuable feedback on their business planning and proposal writing skills, which they can use for future efforts.

 

We hope that the community of energy access entrepreneurs will respond positively to our offer, and we ask that you share this value proposition among your colleagues and those who are most qualified to participate.

 

As a reminder, the deadline to register is February 28. Please direct any questions about the Terra Watt Prize to Chad Lipton ([email protected]). 

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Posted: 3/13/2014

 

Application Deadline

Registration for the Terra Watt Prize closed on February 28, 2014. Only individuals who have registered by this date will be allowed to submit an application. Applications are due on April 15, 2014. Please note that the application may require more time than anticipated, so we encourage applicants to begin immediately.

 

New Judges and Investors

 

Terra Watt Prize staff has recruited a group of credible judges/experts with capital to deploy towards entrepreneurs developing solutions in energy access. This is a key strategy for meeting the ultimate goal, which is to leverage the $250,000 prize money with additional funding from investors.

 

Presently, we have 27 judges on the evaluation panel, of which 25 are currently investing in this space. We are pleased to announce that several new judges have joined the Terra Watt Prize Evaluation Panel. They are:

 

  • Steven Lee, Independent
  • Amie Patel, Imprint Capital
  • Nitin Vaish, Beyond Capital Fund

 

 

Advantages of Participating

 

One advantage of participating in the Terra Watt Prize is to access its open platform. Registrants can use sharing tools to post updates and videos to team members or members of other teams. Registrants can also reach out to individuals on different teams via chat or mail to ask questions, share information or recruit someone who has not already joined a team.

 

Participants have the opportunity to showcase their sustainable business model to a group of highly qualified investors (i.e., our judges), familiar with the challenges of energy access. Not only will there be the possibility to receive investment, but our experts on the evaluation panel will provide valuable feedback to all applicants. This is vital commentary to improve your business-planning and proposal-writing skills.

 

If you have any questions about your application or the Terra Watt Prize, please contact Chad Lipton ([email protected]).

 

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Posted: 4/22/2014

 

Application Closed

Application Closed

On April 15, the Terra Watt Prize application process officially closed. A total of 54 applications were completed from teams that included 234 organizations. The application was designed to be a rigorous process to provide our judges/investors with enough details to fully assess each applicant’s business model.  Congratulations to those teams who successfully completed the application process.

 

Geographical Spread

The Terra Watt Prize generated interest from 24 countries around the world. The map below shows the locations of each proposed project.

 

Bangladesh

Haiti

Myanmar

Philippines

Cambodia

India

Namibia

Rwanda

Ethiopia

Indonesia

Nepal

South Africa

Gambia

Kenya

Nigeria

Tanzania

Ghana

Malaysia

Pakistan

Uganda

Guatemala

Mozambique

Peru

Vanuatu

 

 

Click for a detailed map.

 

 

Technology

Applicants presented a variety of energy access technologies to best suit local conditions. The Terra Watt Prize was designed not to favor one technology over another. This allowed entrepreneurs flexibility to select the most suitable technology given local conditions and other factors. The most common technologies showcased in the applications include: microgrids, solar home systems, and solar devices. Two applications proposed to use thermoelectric energy generation.

 

The quality of applications the Terra Watt Prize has received is impressive. Please check the news section of the website for more updates.

 

 

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Posted: 4/22/2014

 

Application Deadline

 

Judging Period Begins

The Evaluation Panel started reviewing Terra Watt Prize applications on April 21 and will have four weeks to review their assigned applications. The Evaluation Panel is made up of 45 judges, of which 33 are potential investors. Each completed application will receive scores and comments from five different judges. At the end of the judging period, a Selection Committee will review the top five-scoring applications in order to select two winners for the Terra Watt Prize. At this time, every applicant will receive scores and detailed feedback from each of the five judges assigned to score their submission. Further, investors from the Evaluation Panel will have opportunities to invest in one or more of the promising applicants. Investors may decide to contact any applicant who completed the submission requirements.

 

Selection of the Winners

The Selection Committee will convene at the end of May to choose the two winners. National Geographic will notify the winners shortly thereafter and make an announcement in mid-June.

 

Please check the news section of the Terra Watt Prize website for additional updates.

 

 

return
Posted: 6/11/2014
Contact:
Mimi Koumanelis
(202) 857-5814

 


National Geographic Society Names Winners of Terra Watt Prize Competition for Innovative Energy Solutions

 

India’s Mera Gao Micro Grid Power and Tanzania’s EGG-energy each win $125,000 for their energy proposals

 

WASHINGTON (June 11, 2014)—India-based Mera Gao Micro Grid Power (MGP) and Tanzania-based EGG-energy (EGG) are the winners of National Geographic’s first Terra Watt Prize, a competition aimed at developing innovative solutions that address on energy poverty. National Geographic launched the Terra Watt Prize to support entrepreneurs and investors in the quest to bring basic access to electricity to people worldwide. MGP and EGG will each receive grants of $125,000 to implement their proposed projects to provide energy solutions to off-grid communities.

 

“We applaud the Terra Watt Prize winners, who stepped up to the challenge of finding safe, affordable, clean-energy solutions for people who do not have access to electrical grids,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s chief science and exploration officer. “National Geographic is committed to solutions-based thinking and surfacing fresh approaches to the challenges facing our planet. We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this competition.”

 

Roughly 1.3 billion people — one in five globally — lack access to electricity. This energy poverty stifles advances in education, health care and economic development. Without access to reliable energy, people’s standards of living decline rapidly. Families struggle to find clean methods for heating, cooking and lighting their homes. Discovering modern, sustainable energy solutions is essential to improving living standards in the developing world.

 

MGP builds, owns and operates low-cost, solar-powered microgrids that provide poor, off-grid communities with quality indoor lighting and phone-charging services. These remote areas are often only accessible by paths or dirt roads, where kerosene and homemade wick lanterns are the most common sources for light.

 

MGP’s proposed project aims to provide electricity through microgrid technology to approximately 17,500 people in Laharpur block of Sitapur District, Uttar Pradesh, India. MGP will expand services to new communities, providing lighting to households. As a result of these new connections, children will be able to study at night, adults will be able to engage in income-generating activities and indoor air will be cleaner.

 

EGG’s proposed project will provide sustainable energy services in the outskirts of Pangani in the Tanga region of Tanzania. Grid electricity is currently used by just over 8 percent of the population in this rural region. Pollution-causing kerosene lamps are the most common forms of light. Over the next three years, EGG plans to install 500 mobile-connected, rent-to-own solar systems. After contributing an established number of small monthly payment installments, customers will claim ownership of these systems.

 

The Terra Watt Prize is the inaugural competition of the National Geographic New Pacific Prize Program, a global incentive-based prize program that was launched last year to mark National Geographic’s 125th anniversary. This effort allows National Geographic to expand its long-standing support of field science and exploration. The effort was made possible by funding from Los Angeles-based entrepreneur David Margulies. Subsequent competitions may focus on other challenges.

 

“This unique prize concept will allow us to surface more solutions to the pressing challenges facing our planet,” said Margulies. “Through this process, we are able to better leverage investment in science and exploration.”

 

Ideas for potential prize competitions were solicited from National Geographic explorers, scientists and other stakeholders. Given the critical need to ensure universal access to sustainable energy and the challenges facing energy entrepreneurship, including access to capital and the ability to showcase sustainable business models, the Terra Watt Prize concept was selected as National Geographic’s first competition.

 

A minimum requirement from each applicant team was to provide basic electricity to 50 households, defined as enough power to illuminate three light bulbs and the ability to charge one cell phone. Proposals were evaluated on four criteria: feasibility, impact, scalability and sustainability. Candidates from 24 countries submitted a total of 54 applications. Applicants presented a variety of energy-access technologies to best suit local conditions.

 

The Terra Watt Prize was designed not to favor one technology over another, which allowed entrepreneurs flexibility to select the most suitable technology given local conditions and other factors. The prize was structured to be an open, transparent and value-added experience for all applicants and was designed specifically to address the challenges of energy entrepreneurship. Independent investors and credible authorities with real-world expertise in energy access were selected as judges. Once winners were selected, judges received access to all of the applications in an effort to spur potential investment opportunities. Throughout the process, applicants were able to communicate with each other in dedicated forums and through private messaging, which helped facilitate collaboration and stimulate competition.

 

About the National Geographic Society

 

Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 500 million people worldwide each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.

 

 

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