After our 99 day sprint through Lightning Lab Electric it was a huge thrill to deliver our demo day pitch to an audience of energy industry players. An accelerator programme is a fast moving, high pressure environment and (quite frankly) it’s not for everyone. But for a software company breaking into another industry for the first time, having the accelerator team open doors for us was critical to success.
Accelerator programmes can be very prescriptive. But the key for us was to pick out the very best aspects of the programme that worked for our team and our project. The energy industry is huge globally but it’s also a bit like a supertanker – lots of inertia and slow to change direction. This is understandable when you consider that planning timeframes for the sector can be 20-30 years. So the industry struggles to deal with agile startups where decision cycles are measured in hours, not months.
As energy generation becomes more distributed and consumers look towards renewables, energy companies know that change is coming. I guess we made a start, but there’s still a long way to go before the industry fully embraces startup innovation as a way to address changing technology and customer needs. Notwithstanding this, we found a solid industry partner and have a road map for the future. The product we are working on involves aggregating commercial electricity consumption data to bundle customers and negotiate better deals with retailers. The logical progression from this involves providing a micro-retail solution. So any commercial energy user can become its own supplier, as well as offering a retail solution for its own customers. That’s an exciting prospect for the future.