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The 2022 edition of Ethiopia’s Startupper of the Year Challenge by the oil giant TotalEnergies concluded yesterday, announcing Natnael Alemayehu, Hoheyat Berhanu, and Mihiret Redi as its winners.

The Challenge that aims to identify and reward the best innovative and sustainable projects developed by young entrepreneurs, recognized the three individuals in three categories, awarding each of them 370,000 birr, and giving them a chance to compete for the Challenge at the continental level.

The Award for Best Startup under the 3 Years category went to Natnael from Haleta Tutors, a web-based tutorial service platform where parents can search among 400+ tutors.

On Haleta, every tutor’s profile comes with a name, profile picture, education background, service price, and elevator pitch as to why they are the best tutor. The platform allows parents to filter tutors by price, subject, grade level, and schedule; meanwhile, tutors provide a detailed progress report on each lesson, allowing parents to track their children’s progress.

The second winner, Hoheyat, won in the Best Business Creation Idea category through Husky Energy and Technologies: a renewable energy startup trying to solve energy poverty, waste problem, and indoor pollution. Hoheyat plans to turn coffee waste into a source of energy that can be used in its smokeless stove that combats indoor pollution.

The startup also plans to sell its biofuels made from compressed coffee waste, as primary products while selling gasifier stoves, fast-food pushcarts, and biomass electric generators as its secondary products to create a sustainable environment.

In the third category Best Female Entrepreneur, Mihiret took the prize with Dynamo Center for Technology: a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and research center in Southwest Ethiopia. The center gives short-term practical-based training using its local language-based digital teaching devices to deliver science education in an easy and artistic way based on the student’s age and knowledge.

Besides the financial support, the three entrepreneurs will get personalized coaching to develop their project and get increased visibility.

The Startupper of the Year Challenge in its third edition in Ethiopia was launched in November 2021 attracting a total of 888 entrepreneurs. Fifteen finalists pitched their project before a local jury that included Addis Alemayehou, Chairman of Kazana Group, Yordan Tilahun, Founder & CEO of Flawless events, Dawit Abraham, Founder & CEO of Qene Games, Salahadin (Sal) Tsihira, Operations Director at Cepheus Growth Capital Partners, among others.

The winners of the 2022 edition were awarded their prizes ceremony organized on May 11, 2022, at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Addis Ababa. The three winners of this edition will have their project presented in front of a Grand Jury and compete with other winners from 32 African countries.


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