Cooling for small business

Meet the Winners of the 2023 This Is Cool Challenge!

This year, we received over 200 project submissions from youth representing 50 countries. 

A panel of experts from SEforALL and partners evaluated the submissions based on: 

  • Solution scope, motivation and innovation 
  • Impact and emission reduction 
  • Growth potential and scalability 
  • Quality of video pitches  

We are thrilled to introduce the four thematic winners who will receive a cash prize from SEforALL to support implementation or scale-up. As a next step, they will be sponsored to attend Youth Day at COP28 in Dubai, UAE. There, they will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas live, compete to win a grand prize, and connect with a global network of cooling partners. 

These winning projects exemplify the ingenuity of young innovators and their ability to deliver a positive impact in the sustainable cooling sector. We congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing their projects flourish. Stay tuned to learn more and discover the grand winner at COP28! 

SEforALL congratulates all participants for the outstanding effort in their presentations and proposals. The jury selected the following winners in each stream.

Cooling for Food, Nutrition and Agriculture category

Winner: Baridi (Kenya) 

Baridi is a solar cold-storage provider focused on downstream consumption markets in the high-value meat and fishery value chain. Its core offering is the Pay-as-you-Store and Lease-to-Own business models. The start-up also addresses the expansion of off-grid solar cold storage within East Africa’s meat markets. 

Baridi has demonstrated high adoption rates, particularly within the livestock value chain.   

Since its inception in December 2021, Baridi has been able to preserve over 421,605 kg of meat, fulfil more than 6,114 cooling-as-a-service orders, and generate 5.58 MWh of solar photovoltaic electricity. 

“The start up addresses the expansion of off-grid solar preservation within East Africa’s meat markets with an aim to assess whether cold storage facilities for beef and fish storage as an appropriate, beneficial and financially viable application as a driver of Food Security.”

Tracy Kimathi, Founder of Baridi  

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Tracy Kimathi, winner of the Cooling for Food, Nutrition and Agriculture category


Cooling for Thermal Comfort category

Winner: Interlocking Semi-Calcite Passive Brick (United Kingdom)

The low-energy, innovative brick is produced with source materials from a closed-loop system within the local context. The brick's composition, which includes calcite carbonate, polyethylene, and silicon dioxide, is carefully balanced to enhance its thermal properties. The manufacturing process begins with shells, plastics, and glass waste collected from shores, riverbanks, or restaurants.  

The brick design reduces construction time and assembly process and provides insulation against external heat and a passive cooling function. The solution shows significant market potential in regions experiencing high temperatures, plastic waste challenges, and a push for sustainable construction, such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Europe. 

“The Semi-Calcite Passive Brick revolutionizes sustainable cooling through its ingenious brick design, effectively regulating temperature, minimizing energy usage optimization, and enhancing thermal comfort in an environmentally conscious approach.”

Kolatat Phaiboonnukulkij, Founder and CEO, and Kongphat Phaiboonnukulkij, Inventor and CTO at Phytavaren Technology Ltd 

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Kongphat Phaiboonnukulkij, co-winner of the Cooling for Thermal Comfort category


Cooling for Healthcare category 

Winner: Vacci-Safe (Nigeria) 

Vacci-Safe is a lightweight, patent-pending portable solar fridge. It can easily be mounted on a motorbike, bicycle or boat to deliver blood, vaccines and other items to the most remote healthcare facilities. It is designed to be easily operated and maintained with just a screwdriver. Powered by solar panels, it also features a temperature control system with advanced sensors and algorithms.  

The VaxTrack app allows healthcare workers to monitor and optimize vaccine storage and distribution. Compared to conventional vaccine storage solutions, Vacci-Safe and VaxTrack are more sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective. Interviews with 250 nurses, patients and administrators suggested that Vacci-Safe can increase weekly vaccinations by 150% in the target market, increase storage capacity by 80% and improve data recording and collection. 

“Our desire is to provide sustainable cooling solutions to healthcare facilities in rural African communities, ensuring that everyone has access to quality healthcare services, regardless of their location.”

Ayisat Adama Adamu, Cofounder and CEO at Danwawo Innovation 

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Ayisat A. Adamu, winner of the Cooling for Healthcare category


Cooling and Artificial Intelligence category 

Winner: AgriTECH (Egypt)  

AgriTECH provides a smart hardware and software service for remote monitoring of stored food products. AgriTECH allows remote monitoring and controlling of specific storage parameters such as humidity and temperature. An RGB camera recognizes new products entering the storage unit. A trained AI model analyses the products’ condition and characteristics (such as expiry date) and notifies the user through a mobile app.  

Target customers include restaurant operators, food retailers, consumer packaged goods companies, food distributors, growers, packers, and shippers. The business model also offers expert support as well as periodic maintenance.

 “Our smart storage system optimizes space, minimizes waste, and enhances inventory management, contributing to sustainable cooling practices”

Almostafa Hassan Hussien Mostafa and Marwan Salah Attia Elshahat, AgriTECH 

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Almostafa Hassan Hussien Mostafa, co-winner of the Cooling and Artificial Intelligence category