Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Competition Year: 2011

Sulico is social venture to provide community-centric solar energy production and distribute energy as a service in rural Africa.

Energy and Environment

  • Team Members
  • P. Nikooyeh
  • A. Sarrazin
  • S. John

Quick Links

Our Pitch

Sulico is a for-profit social venture that aims to provide community-centric solar energy production and distribute energy as a service. We aim to deploy solar power stations with a range of services from charging lanterns to home lighting installations powered by battery rentals. Our solution addresses the top two current barriers of affordability and product distribution by establishing community-centric solar power generation stations and distributing “energy as a service” through batteries and charged appliances. Our key differentiators include: • Affordable energy access based on customer segmentation: Our range of services, including rentals of lanterns and batteries, and home kits, are designed to offer access to energy services based on affordability, willingness to pay, usage, and accrued benefits. • Community anchors/local entrepreneurs would be engaged in a franchise model to deliver the community-centric service, becoming stakeholders in the local operation and bringing capability, credibility, and legitimacy to support the sustainable provision of energy solution. • Co-locate with and/or connect high usage customers using wires in the medium to long-term, in order to slowly develop a decentralised access that will evolve into micro-grids.


Who We Are

Pooya Nikooyeh: BEng, MBA – MIT Sloan / London Business School Sulico focus: Operations, Strategy Mechanical Engineer (1st Class Honours), work experience includes project management for General Motors, strategy consulting for BCG, founding a high-tech startup, and programme management for an NGO in Ghana. Analysed East African solar market for SolarAid (largest UK solar NGO) in Kenya last year.

Srilata Kammila: BEng, MBA, MPA – MIT Sloan / Harvard Kennedy School Sulico focus: Community engagement, NGO/govern’t partnerships Experience in energy and community development with particular focus on sustainable energy access, Worked in large-scale as well as household energy access and provision issues in rural Kenya and India, Focus on sustainable development connecting policy and community experiences.

Will Chapman: BA, MBA – London Business School Sulico focus: Finance, Fundraising Oxford graduate, Manager at Accenture. Founder of renewable energy start up (GSVC, MIT, Tulane and Intel finalist). VC/PE/Consulting background. Chair of European Clean Tech Challenge.

Travis Weldon: BA, MBA – London Business School Sulico focus: Sales, Franchise Development, Finance Experience includes 3+ years in international development, with 2+ years training rural entrepreneurs in West Africa on small business development and management. 2 MBA internships in Africa-focused private equity. Former Finance Director of a private U.S. company.

Steven Keating: MSc – MIT Mech. Engineering Sulico focus: Technology PhD Student at MIT. Photovoltaic materials specialty. On-ground experience with solar lighting products in Ghana

Aymeric Sarrazin: MSc, MBA, MIT Sloan Sulico focus: Operations, Technology Masters in electrical engineering, 6 years in energy industry, 2 years in Africa. Background in Engineering, Project Management and Business Development. Studied access to capital in Kenya and Rwanda. Interned at a solar company.

Our Community Partner

Partner Name

Egg Energy


Chanika, Tanzania


EGG-energy is a two year old MIT start up dedicated to helping low-income consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa gain access to clean, affordable energy, using a unique strategy based around portable rechargeable batteries.


  • Service Location
    Msanga, Kisarawe, Tanzania
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Comments and Support

  • Guys! Great to have you here. How's everything coming along? Send us word of your travels over IAP -- share photos! / kate

    Posted by K. Mytty on Fri, Apr 15th 2011, 11:54 Report Abuse

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