Egerton University Students Shine in the Total Energies Startupper of the Year
Egerton University students’ startup dubbed Hyapak, of duo Joseph Nguthiru and Charles Rugendo, on Thursday made headlines once again by winning the third edition of the Total Energies Startupper of the Year Challenge.
The two students, from the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, bagged home Ksh 1.65 Million as a prize money for having the Best Business Creation Project out of over 1012 entries in the competition held by Total Energies.
During the awarding ceremony held at Serena Hotel last Thursday, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Joe Mucheru, urged the youth to fully embrace innovation as the future of the nation.
“Kenya is renowned as the Silicon of the Savanna. With more innovations, we will create more opportunities for growth for Kenya and Africa as well.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, Andrew Kamau, who said that the government is fully ready to help innovations in the country to grow and become established businesses.
The duo will now represent Total Energies Kenya in the Total Energies Africa Finals. In addition to receiving financial support, the startup will get personalized coaching and a media campaign to give their project visibility.
“This win means so much to us and to our entire team. We cannot wait to see the impact that we will have in our planet’s environment and to the generations to come,” Joseph Nguthiru said.
The award-winning startup is a project that converts water hyacinth into biodegradable alternatives to single use plastic products.
Previously, the acclaimed project has won the students the East Africa Youth for Climate Action Award by IGAD, and came third place in the World Engineering Day hackathon earlier this year.
“We would like to thank God, our entire wider team, our families, and our university for the support system that we have received to enable us reach this far. We are immensely grateful,” Charles Rugendo said.