#StartupStory: The Sun Exchange

Through The Sun Exchange, anyone can go solar and start building wealth powered by sunlight. It allows for collaborative solar finance using blockchain. You can buy solar cells and lease them to schools and businesses in developing nations. We had a chat with founder, Abraham Cambridge.

 

Tell us about your startup business. How did you come about the idea?

 

Through The Sun Exchange, anyone in the world can own solar panels powering Africa and earn an income from them. We are streaming monetised African sunshine around the world. I come from the solar industry and I have a climate change science academic background. To fix the world, we need to transition the foundation of the energy system and we now have the open source fiscal tools available to build a better world. I came up with the idea at a friend’s braai.

 

How did you hear about, and what motivated you to apply for the Barclays Accelerator programme?
I have been a member of The Rise for a year and the buzz around the programme was unmissable. We had to apply. I wanted to work with the best and brightest startups in Africa and be at the forefront of the fintech revolution that is leapfrogging Africa ahead of the rest of the world.

What is the long-term vision for your company?
The fusion of solar energy with digital currency is the basis for the shift to a whole new silicon-based economy, one that is solid state, abundant, clean, and totally decentralised.

I also see that Africa is the world’s power station – it’s the sunniest continent on earth. Africa is going to be solar powered. Fact. Let’s make it so everyone on earth can benefit from possibly the biggest infrastructure build of the 21st century. Africa then gets to develop sustainably using clean affordable energy, the rest of the world benefits from having a planet not destroyed by fossil fuel reliance whilst harnessing the power of the African sun for profit. And we won’t just stop at Africa. We will let our customers put their solar panels up on all corners of the globe to be continually sourcing solar powered income 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What do you hope to gain/learn from this programme?
I am from the solar energy industry. I am used to dealing with teams of installers, logistics and the building environment, not necessarily the tech space. There is no better place to develop my skills and lead a world-changing tech company than at Techstars. It has the programme nailed. I am learning from the best.

What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming 13 weeks of the programme?
Working with the associate staff at Techstars, they are brilliant. We have ten virtual employees available to us to build, design, support, and advise. With them, we are looking forward to achieving 12 months’ worth of progress in three months. I am looking forward to getting to know the other teams from companies from around the world, sharing ideas, and making friends.

What are you most unsure of/nervous about?
I am nervous that we won’t solar power Africa fast enough to save the world’s climate and the resultant extinction of the human species!

How do you define the word “success”?
Achieving your goals and a respectable degree of wealth without becoming an a**hole in the process.

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