By Tom Jackson
Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative grant programme has for the second year in a row made a number of grants to entrepreneurs working to increase access to and affordability of internet services, with six African startups among the beneficiaries.
The programme offers grant recipients seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of peers to help them pilot and scale their solutions.
Areas of interest include last-mile internet access technologies, including the use of TV White Spaces and other forms of internet connectivity solutions, energy access for off-grid communities and Internet of Things (IoT) for agriculture. The goal is to deliver internet and energy access, and to create economic and academic opportunities as a result.
This year’s African recipients are Kukua Weather Services (Uganda), Solaris Offgrid (Tanzania), Standard Microgrid (Zambia), SunCulture (Kenya), VisionNet (Democratic Republic of Congo) and WrightGrid (Democratic Republic of Congo).
Grant recipients also receive Microsoft BizSpark, Microsoft’s development and test software that includes Azure, Windows, Visual Studio, Office and SQL Server. BizSpark comes with access to hundreds of free training classes and other technical content.
They also gain access to Microsoft Philanthropies, which provides digital literacy, online safety and computer science education programmes in communities in which Affordable Access Click here to read entire article