RE firm feted for providing solar-powered ‘sari-sari’ stores in nation’s rural areas

START-UP SolarSolutions, a venture that builds sun-powered sari-sari (neighborhood variety) stores in the provinces won the Energy Innovation Arena and pocketed the $10,000 prize pot money in the exhibit and pitching competition during the Power and Electricity World Philippines and The Solar Show held recently at the SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

The company, a winner of the Impact Hub Fellowship (Incubation) program in April, helps and trains communities with limited resources of potable and viable water via solar-power pumps, precipitation devices and rainwater harvest.

SolarSolutions bested other 14 young firms, namely, Uproot Aquaponics, Urban Greens, Hi-Gi Energy, Kasolar.ph, sunEtrike, E2T2 Corp., OneWatt, HydroPlus, Tubig Kanlungan Foundation Inc., Amatera Solar Technologies, San Jose Renewable Energy, ElectriCChain, SALt and CleverHeat.

“Events and pitching competitions such as this empower promising start-ups to help marginalized communities through their innovative and sustainable solutions. We will definitely have more future collaborations with both local and global organizations for the entrepreneurial community to look forward to,” said Ces Rondario, cofounder of Impact Hub Manila.

The two-day event focused on the latest developments, investments and partnership opportunities in the Philippines’s power sector.

“Renewable energy, through social enterprise, can be a response to the context of poverty alleviation,” Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) Executive Director Bob Calingo said during his opening speech.

Organized by Impact Hub Manila, the Power and Electricity World Philippines and The Solar Show gathered energy innovation-centric corporations and start-ups, as well as over 150 sponsors and exhibitors, more than 100 speakers and 5,000-plus attendees.

“It is through collaborations with organizations such as PEF and Terrapinn that help create a bigger impact on the community,” Rondario said.

Locally rooted and globally connected, Impact Hub Manila offers coworking spaces, incubation programs, corporate-innovation workshops and a vibrant-learning community to its over 15,000 members in 102 sites worldwide.

In alliance with KMC Solutions, it offers six key locations in Metro Manila for coworking or office space.  Founded in October 2001, PEF is the steward of an endowment fund and registered as a nonstock, nonprofit organization based in Quezon City. It invests mostly in social enterprises.

With more than 30 years of experience, Terrapin conducts events that bring scale, knowledge and gravitas to promote innovation and technology that change people’s lives.

 

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Roderick L. Abad graduated from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, with a degree course in Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. He has 12 years of journalism experience, starting as a Special Features Writer in a major daily newspaper. In 2006, he moved to the BusinessMirror in the same capacity and, eventually, became a beat reporter. To his credit, he was a finalist in the 2011 Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction and the 2013 Lasallian Scholarum Awards. He remains affiliated with the BusinessMirror as a contributor.