Here's Mitch to explain a little more:"Back in the olden days, companies had to build and maintain their internal tools and systems. CRMs, mail delivery services, billing systems. This work, often repeated in each company, required large amounts of engineering resources, led to sub par tools, and was costly. Then came along companies that would do this once, do it well, and be able to offer these products extremely cost effectively. Hubspot, Mailchimp, Stripe, Shopify, all created to take care of specific complexity so owners and employees could get on with running their businesses. It's still the olden days of energy, with companies forced to build these energy specific systems and tools themselves. In addition, the energy industry is getting more sophisticated and more distributed, while at the same time there has been increasing growth in non-engineering roles that need to know about the energy market. I'm building the tools to lower the barriers of starting, running and working at an energy company. A secret weapon to take on the incumbents. Tools that are powerful yet approachable so even outside expertise can enter the industry and get up to speed quickly. Accurate market price predictions are the first cab off the rank, allowing people to know when things are going to happen, and what it means for them, rather than having to react to events as they unfold."
This is a great problem to solve, because it unlocks so much value potential that's already primed. The idea is a result of Mitch's high level of technical knowledge, and his ability to write software means there's good founder-problem fit. But not all great ideas hinge upon a technical breakthrough. In fact, I'd go as far as saying my favourite startup ideas are business model innovations. True, they're often enabled by technology, but it's of the off-the-shelf variety. There's something both elegant and genius about this type of startup that I'm drawn to. This kind of innovation doesn't require a PhD in rocket surgery, either. Perhaps the value it creates for the customer is a cheaper product, one that has more features, or perhaps it's simply a better experience. A phenomenal brand experience need not be an afterthought, it can be the value proposition itself. Look no further than UPowr
. They've reimagined the process of having rooftop solar installed by amalgamating the various moving parts into one online platform and reaching people via their energy retailer.
For this reason the Cleantech20 Program is open to people from all professions. If you've got a skill you can leverage, the right spirit and some hustle, we want to hear from you. So what does the program involve?
Well, we'll fill in any knowledge gaps about the energy sector and map out the startup journey. We'll show you how to come up with ideas, how to validate and test those ideas and we'll even highlight some ripe opportunities that we've come across whilst working with hundreds of clean energy startups over the last few years.
The program is delivered live via Zoom. We use breakout groups to create a collaborative environment, intertwined with content delivery, to guide the cohort through the process of landing on an idea they can go and test out. It was the collaboration aspect that surprised me most about the pilot intake of the program. Perhaps cynically, I must admit I expected that the necessity to run the program via Zoom would quell any meaningful cohesion within the group. But in practice, the reality was rather reassuring. In fact, we had participants who'd never met before, team up and apply to our Pre-Acceleration Program together to develop an idea they came up with as a pair.
The second intake of the Cleantech20 Program kicks off once again in August. Join us
to gather the tools and know-how you'll need to generate a killer cleantech startup idea!Applications close 5th July.If you would like to connect with Adam to learn more, email [email protected].