USAID Development Innovation Ventures Award Event

November 30, 2011


MIT Media Lab, Sixth Floor, Silverman Skyline Room


This event is free, but registration is required:
USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures is thrilled to announce the award of $100,000 to Sanergy, Inc. with a public presentation by Sanergy founder David Auerbach and renowned development experts followed by a reception, on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s campus. The event is co-sponsored by the MIT Media Lab Development Ventures.
With support from DIV, Sanergy will expand its award-winning, financially sustainable sanitation service delivery system in Kenya’s urban slums. In the 12-month pilot, Sanergy will build and franchise a dense network of 30 low-cost sanitation centers that provide clean toilets to slum residents.
Designed by MIT engineers and architects, the modular, small-scale hygienic toilets cost just $500 to fabricate and can be assembled in one day. The sanitation centers are franchised to local entrepreneurs and local youth groups, who earn income through affordable pay-per-use fees, membership plans, and sales of complementary products.
To collect the waste, the specially designed systems facilitate waste storage in airtight containers. Each day, Sanergy employees collect the full containers of waste and bring them in hand carts to a central processing facility, where the human waste is converted into fertilizer and biogas. The biogas generates electricity, which is sold directly to the national grid, and the output from the biogas generation is processed into high-quality organic fertilizer, which will be sold to commercial and small-hold farms in horticulture, cotton, and animal feed production.
The 10 million residents of Kenya’s slums create a potential $72 million annual market, a significant opportunity to establish an integrated service delivery model that tackles the sanitation crisis holistically. Within five years, Sanergy will expand to 3,390 centers reaching 600,000 slum dwellers – creating jobs and profit, while aiming to reduce the incidence of diarrhea by 40%.
Sanergy was born out of an MIT Development Ventures course led by Professor Sandy Pentland in the fall of 2009. After graduating from the MIT Sloane School of Management in May 2011, founders David Auerbach, Ani Vallabhaneni and Lindsay Stradley moved operations to Nairobi where the Sanergy team is now building their franchise network.

Host/Chair: Alex 'Sandy' Pentland

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