Weekly Review November 3-9: Energy Startups and Entrepreneurial Initiatives

Several energy startups and entrepreneurial initiatives caught our attention this week. Here’s the round up of what we found intriguing and exciting.

Peter Thiel, Khosla, Bill Gates back air energy storage startup LightSail” by Katie Fehrenbacher on GigaOM
Several investors have backed LightSail in a $37.3 million series D round. LightSail has designed a next-gen compressed air energy storage technology, which is essentially an air-based battery with twice the efficiency of its predecessors. The entrepreneurs have taken an old technology, compressed air, and bringing it to the next-generation for a wider range of efficient applications. We’re intrigued by these types of technologies, and invite innovators working on these challenges in the emerging market context to apply with us.

An Egyptian startup wants to move framers into the sun and away from the Nile” By Adam Ramsey and Amanda Mustard on Quartz
Karm Solar, an Egypt-based startup, is looking to encourage agricultural Egyptians to decrease their dependence on diesel generators. Karm Solar is hoping to replace the ubiquitous, polluting diesel generators that farmers currently depend on with solar panels. As the Egyptian government subsidizes diesel, Karm Solar is facing an uphill battle, but ultimately the end benefits will outweigh the costs of change.

Tunisian Startup Creates More Efficient Means of Harnessing Wind” by Will Mutua on Afrinnovator
Despite the benefits of the technology, it’s notoriously difficult to increase the efficiency of wind energy.  The Betz law indicates that wind turbines can never achieve better than 59.3% efficiency. Inspired by sails, Tunisian startup Saphon Energy has designed a “Zero Blade Technology” called the Saphonion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=68x-1X6tRls&noredirect=1

Startup Weekend begins its 2012 Global Startup Battle, aims to build 120 companies in over 130 cities” by Ken Yeung on The Next Web
Global Entrepreneurship Week starts November 12. In response, there will be Startup Weekend sessions in over 130 cities, including Ethiopia, South Africa, and Ghana, and the Ivory Cost. Together with Startup Weekend, the Kauffman Foundation is calling this week the Global Startup Battle, and hopes to see over 1200 new companies created. We’re looking forward to seeing the results.

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