What is the Negawatt Challenge?

Negawatt is a global competition empowering communities to innovate around local energy issues. Using a multi-phase open innovation methodology, this initiative aims to transform cities into more sustainable and energy efficient places. Cities all over the world have been selected on the basis of their governments' commitment to energy efficiency and low carbon growth, as well as the existence of dynamic and growing entrepreneurial and technology sectors. Focusing on resource efficiency and open data, the Negawatt has been piloted in four cities, including Accra, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, and Rio de Janeiro, and had an online global track on the MIT Climate CoLab platform.

In this final phase, local Negawatt finalists are invited to compete with their international counterparts. With over two months of mentorship and workshops under their belts, each of the finalist teams will be flown to Barcelona, Spain, to pitch at Smart City Expo World Congress - and the final global Negawatt winner will be selected. Come listen to the pitches of 5 innovative teams solving critical resource efficiency issues in their cities!

The Schedule

Team Demo Session

November 17th 9:30 -11:00AM
Location: SCEWC Congress Area, Room No.4

Entrepreneurs will be sharing their experiences and lessons learned since the beginning of their entrepreneurship journey; and will be providing a brief demo of their prototypes in front of the audience and the judging panel who will decide the winner in the afternoon session.

Keynote + Pitching Session

November 17th 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Location: SCEWC Congress Area, Room No.4

Poul Rask Nielsen, Project Director, Energy City Frederikshavn will present on green growth strategies, participants will be pitching their startups, and judges will be announcing the global winner of the Negawatt Challenge!


Meet the teams

Sun Shade Energy (Accra, Ghana)

Sun Shade’s “Sunspecs” protect the home from excessive heat gain; targeting the window. The solution captures solar energy, stores it and uses the captured energy for powering basic lighting and other green appliances.

e-Save (THe MIT Climate CoLab online Track)

eSAVE is an electricity conservation app. It provides energy audits of buildings onto phones of users to identify where electricity is unintentionally being wasted, overused and with daily fun tips on how to reduce their consumption. 

E-manager® (Rio de JaneiRo, Brazil)

E-Manager is an online efficiency energy solution accessible from computer, tablet and smart phones that does the following: Monitoring: electricity demand in real time (kW) electricity consumption (kWh and $), Targets: targets settings and warnings, Forecasts: monthly consumption and cost, Alerts: for consumption out of standard levels, Diagnostics and Solutions recommendations, Automation: switch on and off appliances remotely.




PLUGIN PULSE (Nairobi, Kenya)

Linking the energy sector using compelling data! Plugin Pulse Provides analytics for engagement and insight and focused on utilities and independent power producers. A service that senses current, analyzes collected energy data, interacts and queries data and engages  customers through phone and internet. 


STIC Labs (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

A pre-paid water metering system that will perform revenue monitoring, provide security for private water resources and provide data on the water source. It can be operated in two modes: as a Point of Sale, which can either offer mobile money or coin based payment, and as a household pre-paid meter, which offers mobile money payment.

Meet the Keynote Speaker

Poul Rask Nielsen, Project Director, Energy City Frederikshavn

My daily work is strategic energy planning, preparation and implementation of different renewable energy projects: With projects within biogas plant, on- and off-shore wind, waste, energy efficiency and energy renovation in buildings, wave-energy, transport, green district heating. I do work with green growth including aspects like political engagement, job creation, business development, financing (local banks and pension funds), citizens involvement. This includes working on many different levels: Local, regional, national and international.

In a period I was editor for a local Energy Magazine “e+” I have been giving international lectures and presentations about experience from energy planning, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and cases in several European cities: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Istanbul, Zürich, Frederiksstad (Norway), Gothenburg, Paris, Riga and London

Personally I´m expert in getting different professions and people to work together. I´ve written a book about it and held quite a lot of courses, and used the competences in my daily work for several years. This had my focus, in my period as researcher on the university, but it´s still very useable. Before Energy City Frederikshavn I worked as Rector for a University College for some years.

Meet the judges


Aleix Valls

Four Years From Now (4YFN)
Aleix Valls, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Mobile World Capital Barcelona A mathematician and engineer with a Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics, Aleix Valls began his professional career in the field of research at the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), where he served from 2000 to 2006. Between 2006 and 2012 Valls worked at different companies on projects related to the field of Strategic Consulting. In January 2006 he joined The NODE Company, a provider of innovation services, as a senior associate. Between 2008 and 2010 Valls worked at LOOP Consultancy where as a senior manager he took on responsibility for the Dubai office and the management of business development for the entire region of Northern Africa and the Middle East. In July of 2010, Aleix Valls became a manager with the consulting firm Accenture, where he headed up Strategic Consulting projects in different sectors. He is also the director of 4 Years From Now, the entrepreneurship-boosting event that take place in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress.


Miquel Miro

SomEnergia, Solanell, GiCoop
Physicist and finance specialist, my professional career is linked to renewable energy, finance and cooperatives. I have extensive experience in designing applications of wind and solar energy in Spain and Africa (Ghana, Sierra Leone, Moçambique, TChad, Cameroun),  and the Financial and Operation Management for companies like ECOTÈCNIA s.coop., Forum Universal of Cultures Barcelona 2004, ABACUS s.coop., Federation of Worker Cooperatives of Catalonia, Fundació Seira and Som Energia s.coop.) Currently, I combine the management of Grup d'Inversors Cooperatius (GICOOP SL), a company specialised in capital risk for coops,  with the management of SOLANELL SL, a company specialized in supporting companies in the smart tech and sustainable sectors. I am also member of the Board of TAMA, the first Finance European Cooperative, and of magazine ALTERNATIVAS ECONOMICAS, among others.

Pablo de Muller

Mr. Pablo de Muller is a Partner at Suma Capital, SGEIC, S.A. He focuses on European buyout opportunities. Previously, he served as its Director also. From 2005 to 2007, Mr. de Muller served as an Associate at The Carlyle Group. From 2003 to 2005, he worked for two years at Mercapital S.L. in the position of an Analyst, joining in July 2003. Prior to that, between 2001 and 2003, Mr. de Muller spent two years as an Analyst in the investment banking division on the mergers and acquisitions and energy and power divisions of Merrill Lynch. Mr. de Muller has a Master of International Management, Master of Science in Management, and diploma from HEC Business School, Paris (2001) and degree in Civil Engineering from the Universitat Politènica de Catalunya, Barcelona (2001).

Josep Maria Serena

Sustainable Development Advisory Council & AUMA
Mr. Serena's work experience includes 12 years at Corporació metropolitana de Barcelona as an engineer and a chief of the Department of Environmental Control and 3 years at Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) as a director of the Technical Cooperation & Technological Innovation Service. In 1993 he founded his own environmental consulting firm AUMA Consultores en Medio Ambiente y Energía that focuses on renewable. Currently, Mr. Serena is member of Catalonia's CADS (Sustainable Development Advisory Council), and serves as a Chairman and CEO of the company. Mr. Serena is a President of the Environmental Commission of “Collegi Oficial d’Enginyers Industrial de Catalunya”. He also serves as an environmental consultant for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), US Department of Health and Human Services. He is a Consultant for the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), United Nations and for Regional Plan Association of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Mr. Serena received his PhD degree in Industrial engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in 1988. He teaches courses at The School of Industrial Engineering of Barcelona (ETSEIB) and The Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas (ESADE).

Why resource efficiency?

The percentage of the world’s population that lives in cities is rising, approaching 70 percent by 2050. Rapid urbanization – particularly among the growing middle class in many low-income and emerging economies – is changing the traditional dynamics of energy systems and supply globally. Green growth strategies can help economies and societies become more resilient as they work to meet demand for food production, transport, housing, energy, and water.

Energy efficiency is widely recognized as one of the most effective ways to combat climate change while meeting rising energy demand. Information and communication technology (ICT) is an important driver for clean-tech and green growth. It enables the collection and processing of immense volumes of data that can be used for improved urban systems and new business models. It also allows developing countries to adapt successfully tested international solutions to their local needs, which can help them leapfrog and develop domestic clean technology markets.