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Microsoft selects Bangladeshi startup for Airband Grant fund

  • Published at 03:49 pm September 3rd, 2018
A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California US on November 7, 2017 Reuters

Microsoft will provide ME SOLshare with support to scale up their connectivity solutions

Microsoft has recently announced the eight early-stage companies it selected for its third annual Airband Grant fund. The fund provides internet access and cloud-enabled solutions to underserved communities in the US, Africa, and Asia.

ME SOLshare, a solar electricity provider for rural and underserved people of Bangladesh, is one of the eight recipients of the fund—the only Asian recipient.

ME SOLshare will use the grant funding to help form partnerships with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to: connect sites, increase product adoption, identify mobile money partners, and build secure mobile money and energy-routing mechanisms.

ME SOLshare is building a peer-to-peer solar energy trading platform in Bangladesh with Wi-Fi towers. The company has created a groundbreaking new approach to bring affordable solar electricity to everyone in Bangladesh, and beyond, through its peer-to-peer solar energy trading platforms—based on distributed ledger technology. 

The project will provide more households, that could not previously be reached, with access to electricity. More households will enjoy a flexible, reliable and cheaper electricity service than before; more households will be able to earn direct income from their Solar Home Systems (SHS) by cashing in what they have fed into grid. 

Microsoft will provide these startups with: cash investments, access to technology, mentorship, networking opportunities, and other support—to scale their connectivity solutions. 

This year’s grantees were selected for their focus on developing affordable internet solutions that connect underserved communities and create internet-enabled applications that improve: agriculture, education, healthcare, and small business.