Business Creation

MPower Ventures AG

Virtual mini-grid to provide communities in off-grid areas in emerging markets with solar power on a subscription/rental basis

MPower Ventures AG logo

c/o South Pole, Technoparkstrasse 1
CH-8005 Zurich


Thematic field:

The start-up

  • Manuel Seiffe (CEO), M.A. political sciences, 12+ years mangement in solar (Yingli) and consulting
  • G. Nau (CFO) finance partners/control dom. ops, MBA, 11+ yrs accntng/consulting,
  • M. Eschmann (COO), gen. mgmt, M.A. poltcl sc., 6+ yrs consulting,
  • A. Jimenez (CTO) software dvpmt, 10+ yrs, M.A./Y-Combinator

The need

In certain off-grid areas (markets, refugee camps…) solar home systems are not viable (e.g. not enough space, or ownership of full system too expensive) and mini-grids have issue of being too static in energy provision

The solution

Fast and easily deployable containerized solution that can be scaled up and down depending on demand, while at the same time being affordable to the consumer. Container is run by domestic partners in their community on a lease to own basis. The HUB is connected to MPower providing for remote control and data collection as well as payment methods (mobile money)

The value proposition

  • Hardware: access to mobile, high quality solar products
  • Software: optimization of operations, gain control of assets, maximise sales process
  • Financing: Access to capital to reduce working capital needs, monthly payments allow for affordability for end-customers
  • Expansion of customer base and scalability potential to partners; access to reliable and affordable energy to end-customers
  • Business support: Direct access to manufacturers, access to technical expertise
  • Facilitator between distribution partner, corporates, government and financial institutions