11 Apr 2017 Upside Energy is the 2017 Shell Springboard National Winner

Shell last night awarded a total of £180,000 of equity free funding to Upside Energy and Aceleron as the national winners of Shell Springboard and Shell LiveWIRE. With a total of £440,000 in funding available in 2017, the programmes are designed to recognise and reward the most innovative UK low-carbon businesses and the most inspirational young sustainability entrepreneurs.

The 2017 Shell Springboard National Winner, Upside Energy, received a total of £150,000 to support the scale-up and commercialisation of its technology. Upside Energy has developed a cloud-based energy aggregation service that creates a Virtual Energy Store that can be sold to the grid to help balance supply and demand and which helps reduce the need to turn on the older, most polluting and expensive power stations during peak demand times. Upside Energy was chosen from six national finalists, out of a total of 131 applicants to the programme.

Carlton Cummins from Aceleron was awarded a total of £30,000 as the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year. The equity-free funding will help Aceleron to develop its technology which aims to tackle battery waste by transforming end-of-life batteries into energy storage solutions.

Commenting after the evening, held at the Royal Academy of Engineering, Shell UK Country Chair, Sinead Lynch, said:

“Congratulations to our Shell Springboard and Shell LiveWIRE 2017 winners. Upside Energy and Aceleron are excellent examples of the innovation, creativity and hard work that is driving entrepreneurial growth in the UK today.

“SMEs are an important force within the low-carbon economy. We know accessing finance is a key barrier to growth, and our programmes aim to provide a vital foothold in the funding ladder. In addition, through our wider business support activities, such as coaching events, networking and publicity, we aim to help these inspirational entrepreneurs build successful businesses.”

The Shell Springboard and Shell LiveWIRE programmes are designed to support UK entrepreneurs in starting-up and scaling-up innovative businesses that have the potential to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for over 90 percent of the UK’s low-carbon sector, yet less than half of UK SMEs survive beyond their first five years*. Encouragingly, the survival rates for Shell Springboard and Shell LiveWIRE winners outperform the national average, with over 70 percent of winners surviving beyond five years.

Dr Graham Oakes, Founder and CEO of Upside Energy, the 2017 Shell Springboard National Winner, said:

“Being named as the Shell Springboard winner is great for our business. It comes at a crucial point, as we figure out how we can scale-up. I believe that this funding and the wider business support we will receive can accelerate our plans.”

Professor Dame Julia King, a British engineer, crossbench member of the House of Lords and Chair of the Shell Springboard judging panel, said:

“The overall quality of the Shell Springboard finalists this year was impressive – the judges had an inspiring day hearing from six young businesses focussed on making a difference. Their diverse approaches to innovation, encompassing technology, product, process and systems were backed up by strong business plans and delivered real CO2 savings. Many congratulations to Upside Energy.”

The Shell Springboard national winner is selected from a group of six national finalists. The national winner is determined by a panel of independent judges, all leading professionals in the low-carbon sector:

• Professor Dame Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, DBE FREng
• Roy Williamson, Technology Scout at the Department of International Trade
• Beverley Gower-Jones, CEO of Carbon Limiting Technologies
• Professor Martin Siegert, Co-director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment

The Shell Springboard finalists are:

Desolenator, a start-up which has developed a clean water technology with the potential to improve the lives of millions of people without access to clean water.
GrowUp Urban Farms, using aquaponic and vertical farming techniques to produced year-round harvests of leafs salads, herbs and fish.
TRINE, closing the gap between private capital in developed countries and local solar partners in emerging markets.
Nova Energy, a start-up which designs, builds, installs, commissions and operates tidal energy projects.
Perpetual V2G Systems, developed a Lithium-based technology which provides a zero-carbon, zero noise mobile power solution.
Upside Energy, a cloud-based energy aggregation service which creates a virtual energy store that can be sold to the grid to help balance supply and demand.

Shell Springboard provides funding and other support to help innovative, low-carbon business scale-up. Now in its twelfth year, the programme has awarded £3,850,000 million to 98 low-carbon enterprises, creating over 60 new jobs with combined annual turnover of almost £5.6 million.

About the awards
With a total of £440,000 no-strings-attached funding to be awarded to entrepreneurs in 2017, Shell’s Enterprise Development programmes deliver an integrated approach to supporting the UK’s innovation pipeline at both start-up and scale-up phases:

Shell LiveWIRE offers monthly start-up grants, coaching and online business support to 16-30 year-old entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas for a more sustainable and efficient future.
Shell Springboard helps small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with commercially-proven business models that reduce carbon emissions take their businesses to the next level.

In addition to financial awards, both programmes provide marketing support and networking opportunities with some of the key players in the low-carbon and sustainability sectors through annual awards ceremonies, coaching sessions and exhibitions.