All businesses need customers and champions to survive, and the sustainability companies that Exeter Velocities supports – particularly those building deep CleanTech solutions – especially need more opportunities than ever to discover their target customers better, run feasibility studies with trusted partners, and collaborate with people who can help them reach further along their journey, as they carve out their new, innovative propositions in mainstream industries.
We run Demo Day events twice a year to showcase the companies we’ve been working with over our last 6-month accelerator programme cycle, who are developing low carbon, energy, mobility and circular economy business propositions, bringing forth technology used in revolutionary ways, to achieve more sustainable cities.
“Finding the right partners and customers for a start-up is the difference between life and death. Finding a customer with whom you can really develop your product market fit is like bursting through the surface of the ocean and suddenly being able to breathe.“
– Glenn Woodcock, CEO of Global City Futures
Be part of these businesses’ product discovery and business development journey. Come along to our next Demo Day on Thursday 12th September, 1-5pm at our Exeter City Space, to hear from and celebrate the 10 startup businesses we’ve been supporting for the last 6 months, over food and drinks.
All 10 companies have made incredible progress and have exciting updates to share on their work, and how you can get involved. These businesses need all kinds of support to help them thrive to the next level of their journey, and everyone can have something valuable to input by meeting the teams in person: whether that be sharing your own insight to the market spaces they are operating in, or potentially helping to connect the dots for them between your own partners and clients. All these contributions are extremely valuable.
Please RSVP here.
To cast a light on what to expect at Demo Day, we’re going to recap what exciting stuff happened at our last one!
Demo Day #4 Highlights
Back in the mists of time (28th February, 2019) we celebrated the graduation of our fourth cohort of start-ups at Exeter Velocities’ Demo Day #4. Last February was unseasonably warm with wild fires breaking out on moorland around the country, and the climate crisis felt more tangible than ever. Yet, a sense of hope pervaded in Europe (with Greta Thunberg addressing the EU) as well as in the Exeter City Space (with entrepreneurs providing sustainable and mobile solutions for the cities of tomorrow.)
What is EV?
Before turning to the solutions pitched at Demo Day, a quick explanation of Exeter Velocities itself. EV is an accelerator for start-ups, offering support and funding through a variety of different programmes, and with a specific goal to improve sustainability and mobility in the places we live.
What is Demo Day?
Demo Day is like a graduation ceremony at the end of the programme for the cohort; it’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase the progress they have made over the last six months. We were also joined by a flourishing audience of potential strategic partners, customers, collaborators and investors, from the South West and beyond, who were interested in their potential to help these businesses further along their journey. As mentioned above, the day was one of optimism and anticipation for a more sustainable future, a mood ignited by our guest speaker Marvin Tabi, the founder of WESAF.
Up first, were the teams from the Nurture Programme:
Anaphite are rethinking the way graphene can be used, and had spent the 6 months testing it alongside a variety of other materials, realising the commercial opportunities that different composites can offer. They also partnered with the National Physics Laboratory and Warwick Manufacturing Group (Warwick University)
Find out what they have been up to since here.
ChargedUp offer portable power banks that can be picked up and dropped off at different stations across the network, and can also be rented by 205+ Venues. In February, they were operating in London with 5000+ users but, at the time of writing, both these numbers have grown.
If you haven’t heard of them already, you should have! Check them out!
EcoSync are working to solve an obvious but difficult issue: the heating of empty rooms, which causes an excess of CO2, pollution, wasted energy and money. Over the course of Nurture, they have amongst other things, won awards with Unilever (in their global top 20 2018 Young Entrepreneurs Awards).
Their website follows if you want to find out more about EcoSync.
FlowX were next to pitch, explaining how they use video analytics from local authorities’ underutilised CCTV footage, in real-time, to help gain better understanding of the way a city moves. They had recently won a £50K SBRI bid sponsored by the Department of Transport to fund their feasibility study with Exeter City Council.
Check out what they did with the bid, 6 months later.
Homelync– told the audience how an IoT integration platform can enable landlords of social housing to deliver a better service. It can also help tenants better interact with the energy appliances in their home, to make financial savings. Over the course of the last 6 months, they had run pilots across Scotland and south west England and have now been invited to scale up these pilots.
Find out more about Homelync.
Polipop are launching the market’s first completely flushable and biodegradable sanitary pad. Polipop’s solution is redesigned to start to disintegrate within minutes of flushing down the toilet – they had recently passed certification by the UK Institute of Water of being truly “flushable”, which is the highest flush ability standard in the world.
Ultra IoT use modular sensors combined with an environmental data analytics platform to reveal valuable insights for air quality, noise and footfall mapping and monitoring. They believe that through the use of data then we can create smarter, more mobile cities. At the time of Demo Day there had three paid pilots; now, you can see for yourself.
Following the Nurture Cohort, up next were our Advance Programme teams.
Aceleron are the company to go to for better batteries. Carlton Cummings, their co-founder reminded the audience that they wouldn’t replace a car if it just had a flat tyre and that batteries should be considered in the same way. Aceleron has patented a unique design of lithium battery pack that enables them to be repaired, restored and re-serviced for new applications – giving them a second life, to reduce energy waste, lower energy bills and help transition to renewable energy.
OTA Water started their pitch asking “what if we could control the rain?” They have developed an internet-enabled rainwater harvesting system for utilities, commercial customers and domestic households that enables rainwater to be captured, controlled and monitored. Over the six month programme, they started piloting in Devon, they have gained partnerships with UK water companies including Anglian Water, Severn Trent and South West Water.
Six months on, find out what OTA Water are up to!
Predina provides the world’s first dynamic risk platform to predict road accidents in real-time for the safety of drivers and for the intelligence of insurance providers. At the time of pitching, they were working research partners at The Alan Turing Institute. Find out what they are up to today.
What we learned ?
Following the pitches at Demo Day is the opportunity to network, exchange ideas and see how those attending may be able to help these businesses progress further along their journey, and even be a customer. Not only does this help create ecosystems of entrepreneurs but also allows for a more informal sharing of information and ideas, and gives opportune access to all-important customers – more vital than investment, for startups to discover their product/market fit. Events like Demo Day are pivotal to create an ethos of “can-do” in regard to the global resource and climate crisis, as well as creating optimism for the future of our increasingly changing cities.
“The best way to ensure product market fit is to get a trial sale and further develop it with a customer. This may mean external funding is not required. If it is still required it will massively improve the likelihood of getting funding quickly and at a fair valuation. This should ensure a win win for everyone”
– Stuart Nicol, Venture Advisor at Exeter Velocities.
Now, join us for the next Exeter Velocities Demo Day #5 on 12th September. As we have limited capacity and so we can take your dietary requirements, please RSVP here.