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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship


The Legatum Center supports entrepreneurs all around the world through the Fellowships and Grants

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Awele Uwagwu

Mastercard Foundation 2020 - 2021
Legatum Fellow
SB, Chemical Engineering

Awele’s venture, Idagba, is a solar system design startup aimed at making the design of solar systems faster, cheaper and more efficient. The design package will enable solar installers in Nigeria to save on transportation costs involved in needs assessment visits and come up with an optimal system design in minutes, while ensuring customers’ energy needs are fulfilled and specific needs of designers are catered to. Efficient system design will go a long way in increasing the adoption of renewable energy technology on the continent. It will increase economic activity in the energy sector, and the additional energy capacity provided will increase economic productivity and people’s quality of life.

Awele was born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and experienced first-hand how poor energy access and poor energy resource management affects families and communities. Prior to MIT, Awele was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois where his studies were discontinued because of financial difficulty. He returned home to Nigeria, and after raising $50,000 to pay off his debt he then interned at Ariosh Ltd—an oil and gas service firm in Lagos, Nigeria where he worked on developing a produced water treatment project. Awele is currently in his final year at MIT, majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Energy Studies.


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