I first met Pete Armstrong as he was pitching at the Ecosummit event in Berlin in 2018 and last year. The scale of the impact possible in transforming our heating and water storage systems in our homes blew my mind. I’ve always been so involved in the ‘electrification of everything’, so I’ve watched since with interest. Mixergy were also mentioned in a recent podcast episode with Robert Trezona of IP Group, one of their early (and follow on) investors. So I thought I’d invite Dr Pete Armstrong to join us.

About our guest

Dr Pete Armstrong is CEO and co-founder of Mixergy, an Oxford University spin-out company which has brought to market a unique hot water tank. Pete completed his PhD on intelligent hot water tanks at Oxford Uni with fellow student and co-founder Ren Kang, before going on to win a Technical Innovation award within the 2013 Shell Eco-Marathon electric car competition, and a prize in a Climate KiC venture competition, which was the genesis of Mixergy in 2014. Mixergy has since received investment from IP Group, Oxford Science Innovation, Centrica Innovations and Foresight Williams to grow and develop the business.

About Mixergy

Mixergy has developed an intelligent hot water tank, which is unlike others on the market. The Mixergy tank operates on an integrated Internet of Things platform and is designed to selectively heat smaller portions of water. As a fleet, Mixergy aims to offer a Demand Side Response (DSR) service to the National Grid, absorbing excess power load and time shifting demand to help balance the grid. This “Internet of Tanks” vision will help to facilitate the generation and utilisation of more renewables nationwide to support a greener future. The Mixergy tank is also a benefit to consumers, saving up to 40% on hot water bills through sophisticated machine learning.

GUEST LINKS

Mixergy Website- www.mixergy.co.uk
Mixergy on Linked In: www.linkedin.com/company/mixergy-ltd/
Mixergy on Twitter: twitter.com/MixergyLtd

EPISODE LINKS

Cleantech Mixergy Raises £3.6M – www.businesscloud.co.uk/news/cleantec…gy-raises-36m
Mixergy on Fully Charged – www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1Z4JCoPAGc
Mixergy at Ecosummit 2019 – www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AL_wDpTVEc
Chaos: Making a New Science – James Gleick – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos:_Making_a_New_Science

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As you will have gathered from this podcast, I live in and love the intersection of clean technology and entrepreneurship. This passion, and my role as CEO at Hyperion Executive Search brings me into contact with so many fascinating people, and I love to hear and share their stories.

On recent podcasts I’ve spoken to leads at cleantech VCs, Publicly Listed tech funds and soon Corporate Venturing entities, but today a very import part of the funding ecosystem are Angels and Angel syndicates, and my guest Simon Acland has great insights into this part of the funding community.

About our guest

Simon Acland is a Founder and Director of Green Angel Syndicate, the only UK Business Angel group focussed on investing in companies that develop products and solutions that help tackle the climate emergency and environmental crisis and aim for a more efficient and sustainable use of global resources. He sits on the Board of Triple Point Income VCT plc, which has invested extensively in renewable energy and vertical farming, and is on the investment panel of the Triple Point Impact EIS Fund which makes green investments. He is a member of the investment committee of the Angel CoFund. He acts as chair or non-exec director of two companies he has backed in the green technology sector – Powervault, a developer and manufacturer of home electricity storage devices, including products which reuse batteries from electric vehicles, and NatureMetrics, a pioneer of environmental DNA sequencing techniques for monitoring biodiversity. Simon is a Non-Executive Director of the Satellite Applications Catapult, and Vice-Chair of Plantlife, the UK’s main wild plant conservation charity.

Simon has a successful track record from over thirty years of investing in young technology businesses. For 19 years he was part of the team that built Quester into one of the UK’s most active early stage venture capital investors, and was Managing Director when it was sold in 2007. Since then he has personally been an active Business Angel investor. Many of the businesses that he backed have floated on various Stock Exchanges, and/or been successfully sold. He has lost count of the number of company boards of which he has been a member.

Simon spent eight years as a Lambeth Borough Councillor and stood for parliament in 1987 as a candidate for the SDP/Liberal Alliance.

Simon’s 2011 book “Angels, Dragons and Vultures – how to tame your investors and not lose your company”, is widely regarded as one of the most useful guides for entrepreneurs to the world of venture capital. His First Crusade historical novels, the Waste Land and the Flowers of Evil, may be of less practical use to the budding entrepreneur.

GUEST LINKS HERE

Simon Acland on Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/simonacland/
Green Angel Syndicate on Linked In: www.linkedin.com/company/green-angel-syndicate/
Green Angel Syndicate on Twitter: twitter.com/GAS_Investments

EPISODE LINKS HERE

Angels, Dragons & Vultures – www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/18578…rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

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I first became aware of the work of Kimmo Rauma, and Visedo from my good friends at Life Size. I’ve long believed in the electrification of everything, though I’m always open to be persuaded otherwise! There are of course some areas where that is far more challenging. Heat is one, and long haul and heavy transport are two such areas. Kimmo has been addressing long-haul and heavy transport for many years, and it’s great to share his thoughts and how this problem is being solved.

About our guest

Dr. Kimmo Rauma is Vice-President of Danfoss Editron. He co-founded and was CEO of Visedo before the company became Danfoss Editron following its acquisition by the Danfoss Group in December 2017.

Before pioneering heavy-duty electrification with Visedo, Dr. Rauma founded several technology start-ups in various fields, from dental technology to machine learning.

Dr. Rauma holds both Master’s and Doctorates degrees in Electrical Engineering from LUT University in Finland. He is also a member of the Electric Vehicle Systems Program steering group of the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, as well as a member of LUT University’s Board of Directors.

Danfoss Editron manufacture and deliver the world’s most sophisticated hybrid and fully-electric drivetrains for the marine, off-highway, renewables and transportation sectors. The company’s EDITRON system has been designed from the ground up to ensure maximum efficiency at real-world load speeds. The software-based approach allows for greater intelligent management of power distribution, delivering superior performance for heavy-duty applications in even the mos

GUEST LINKS HERE

Dr Kimmo Rauma on Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/kimmorauma/
Danfoss Editron on Twitter: twitter.com/DanfossEditron
Danfoss Editron onLinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/danfosseditron
Danfoss Editron onFacebook: www.facebook.com/DanfossEditron/?ref=br_rs 
Danfoss Editron on Instagram: www.instagram.com/danfosseditron/?hl=en

EPISODE LINKS

Independent energy statistics – energywatchgroup.org/
Books of Yuval Noah Harari – www.amazon.co.uk/Yuval-Noah-Harar…line_cont_book_1

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What’s it all about?

At Hyperion we love all things energy storage, and we’re always following new companies and technologies that can and will enable the energy transition. I recently met the team from Gravitricity at a trade show I was speaking at, and liked the look of their solution, anything that uses old and established technologies for new and innovative solutions is good as far as we’re concerned, so we asked their MD Charlie Blair to share more.

About our guest

Charlie joined Gravitricity as a founder shareholder in 2015, having worked with co-founders Peter Fraenkel and Martin Wright while in the Innovation Team at the Carbon Trust.  The team has grown since then and he’s been instrumental in developing the strategic relationships with manufacturing partners that will allow the technology to get to market fast.  Gravitricity is currently building at 250Kw, 50 tonne, Concept Demonstrator in Leith, Edinburgh.   Charlie has a Geography degree from Durham University and an Energy Systems MSc from Imperial College. He was elected a Fellow of the Energy Institute in 2019. 

Gravitricity is an energy technology company based in Edinburgh developing groundbreaking underground storage.  Grid-scale electricity storage spend is projected to grow from around $3 billion per year today to over $50 billion per year by 2040.   

Gravitricity’s patented technology is based on a simple principle: raising and lowering a heavy weight to store and release energy. The Gravitricity system suspends weights of 500 – 5000 tonnes in a deep shaft by a number of cables, each of which is engaged with a winch capable of lifting its share of the weight. Electrical power is then absorbed or generated by raising or lowering the weight. Gravitricity technology has fast response (<1s), extremely long life, high efficiency and levelised cost of storage almost half that of chemical batteries.   The technology will initially be deployed at existing mine-shafts; later on in purpose-sunk shafts exactly where the grid needs storage.   

GUEST LINKS HERE

Website – www.gravitricity.com    

Twitter – https://twitter.com/gravitricity

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/gravitricity 

EPISODE LINKS HERE

How UK’s disused mine shafts plan to store renewable energy https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/21/how-uks-disused-mine-shafts-plan-to-store-renewable-energy

Edinburgh company generates electricity from gravity https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-50146801

Gravitricity are Crowdfunding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WE2vgFZY5A

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What’s it all about?

Solar power is my first love, and whilst in recent years it has been battery storage, EV Charging infrastructure and eMobility that has dominated my work at Hyperion, we’ve kept our love for and focus on the solar industry. I was introduced to Haggai by Ulrich Seitz at Bay Wa Ventures, and I love what they are doing. As ever it’s another great start-up story for an entrepreneur with a passion to make a difference to the world.

About our guest

Solar energy has been part of Haggai Hofland’s life for as long as he can remember. The CEO and founder of Raycatch was born and raised on a kibbutz in the Arava Desert in southern Israel, where his father built one of Israel’s largest solar energy companies. Solar energy has been the most installed energy source in the past few years. At Raycatch we believe that cutting-edge software will make it even more cost-effective and will enable a higher global adoption rate. The next leap in solar adoption will be led by the data revolution!

The Raycatch team includes solar industry experts and serial software entrepreneurs and the company is successfully enhancing over 2.5GW in solar assets worldwide. Raycatch’s leading solution, DeepSolar, is a pure SaaS AI solution that provides actionable insights for solar asset owners and operators to significantly enhance yield and improve asset ROI.

Haggai holds a B.A. in economics and management with a specialization in entrepreneurship, and has been working in tech companies in the renewable energy sector since 2010.

He is passionate about creating tech solutions for real-world problems with a global impact. Prior to Raycatch, Haggai co-founded Webper, a start-up that personalizes feeds in content websites and served as VP Business Development at Brighttech, a leading Israeli software developer. Haggai also advises public companies in PV production and data analysis of renewable energy assets.

GUEST LINKS

Raycatch on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/raycatch 
Haggai Hofland onLinkedIn : www.linkedin.com/in/haggaihofland/ 
Raycatch Website: www.raycatch.com/
Raycatch YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCc9FbY2rAPBtiBxDks1qq2w
Raycatch Direct video link: youtu.be/eA8-raT7tpI

EPISODE LINKS

Follow us online, write a review (please) or subscribe. I’m very keen to hear feedback on the podcast and my guests, and to hear your suggestions for future guests or topics. Contact via the website, or Twitter.

If you do enjoy the podcast, please write a review on iTunes, or your usual podcast platform, and tell your cleantech friends about us. That would be much appreciated.

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What’s it all about?

Limejump are one of the great UK cleantech start-up stories. Recently acquired by Shell Ventures, the company continues to grow and play an active part in the clean energy transition. I talk to CEO and Co-Founder Erik Nygard about the company journey, including how they helped in the recent UK blackout, the future of energy and the part AI will play, how is life as a cleantech start up owned by an Oil major, and his optimism for the future.

About our guest

Erik Nygard – CEO & Co-Founder – Limejump. Erik has worked for Centrica and British Gas; while at Centrica it became clear to him that people did not have much opportunity to try and be more proactive when managing their electricity. Therefore, he decided to set up Limejump, knowing that there was a definite opportunity to provide a better product and proposition for customers. Most recently Limejump has won the Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer award for 2018, S&P Platts Rising Star 2018 and WIRED London Smarter Energy Stage and manages the largest portfolio of battery assets in the United Kingdom. Erik has led the development of the Limejump Virtual Power Plant (VPP) concept to create the Future of Energy. Alumni of University of San Francisco, BSC in Finance an MSC and Cass School in London – Energy Trade finance.

Limejump is a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Shell New Energies.

GUEST LINKS

Erik Nygard on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/erik-nygard-1685611/

EPISODE LINKS HERE

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If you do enjoy the podcast, please write a review on iTunes, or your usual podcast platform, and tell your cleantech friends about us. That would be much appreciated.

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What’s it all about?

I first heard Billy Wu speak at a renewable energy event in London about four years, and my inner battery nerd was born and thrust into the world. Dr Billy has the knack of being a fully fledged Dr of batteries, whilst being able to articulate to non scientific nerds like me, and possibly you, if you are reading this.  We talk batteries, supercapacitors, and of course Hydrogen Fuel Cells, where we are, what’s next, and who will win!

About our guest

Dr. Billy Wu is a senior lecturer in the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London where he co-leads the Electrochemical Science and Engineering group. His research activities include: energy storage/conversion technologies (lithium-ion batteries, redox flow cells, supercapacitors and fuel cells) and manufacturing (3D printing, nanofibre electrospinning).

He has published 35 peer reviewed journal papers, 2 book chapters and 4 patents since completing his PhD in 2014 and sits on the editorial board of Scientific Reports. He has been an investigator in research projects worth in excess of £46M, directly managing a budget of >£2M and is a co-investigator for the UK Faraday Institution battery research centre. He directly leads a team of 7 post-docs and 6 PhD students within the wider Electrochemical Science and Engineering group which has >50 researchers. Prior to his PhD in automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cell-lithium-ion battery hybrid systems, he completed his masters in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2010.

Guest Links

Episode Links

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What’s it all about?

Martin Baart has a passion to bring solar projects to the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sector in emerging markets. Fighting against local misconceptions about what solar can do, and bigger issues around how to fund such projects, they found a solution through crowdfunding, and transparency in all areas of the business. Martin and ecoligo have a great business and story to tell.

About our guest

Martin Baart has more than 14 years of experience in the renewable energy industry with more than 10 years in emerging markets. He started his career with a German regional municipality on grid integration of grid-scale solar PV projects. During his Masters he lived and worked in Australia for the global leader in Microgrids, Powercorp, on the technical integration of solar and wind solutions into Microgrids, mainly for remote communities, mining operations and island utilities. Moving into business development he opened up the European office for Powercorp. After successfully entering the market, he supported the management in its sale of the business to ABB. For ABB he build up the Microgrid business unit in Madrid, after which he left to join Berlin based Start-up OneShore Energy as CTO and first employee. With them he developed the East African markets and technologies suited for the risk minimization of Off-Grid Solar PPA’S. After building up the company, he left in 2015 to prepare for the foundation of ecoligo, addressing the key barrier for solar projects in emerging markets: a fully serviced and financed solution, taking away all worries from the clients. Since then, he led the business into regional hubs in Central America, West Africa and East Africa and introduced the solution also for energy efficiency projects in the markets.

Martin is a qualified Electronics Technician, has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Trier University of Applied Science, a Master of Business and Engineering from Steinbeis University in Berlin and a Global Executive Master of Business Administration from IE business school in Madrid. He also is a Certified Expert for Climate & Renewable Energy Finance from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

ecoligo provides a fully financed solar-as-a-service solution for businesses in emerging markets. With a complete digital platform for financing and delivering solar projects, ecoligo removes the barriers that prevent such projects from being realised. Supplying businesses with affordable electricity enables them to grow and boost the local economy. The solar projects are financed through the crowdinvesting platform www.ecoligo.investments, offering fixed and attractive returns to private investors. Investments start from 100€ and save tonnes of CO2 emissions, enabling impactful citizen participation in the global energy transition.

News stories discussed this week

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What’s it all about?

This week I catch up with Alisa Murphy of Life Size, and extract a confession from her early pre-Cleantech career. We discuss her start-up journey and challenges, including the opening overseas business units. We also chat about her tips and advice for any cleantech company on how to manage your communications, and to stand out from the crowd.

About our guest

Alisa Murphy is CEO and Founder of Life Size, one of the only communications agencies in Europe that works exclusively in cleantech. For nearly 10 years, Life Size has used communications to help build market-leading cleantech companies. The company is focused on growth-stage companies and builds campaigns around significant commercial goals including raising finance, planning for exit, driving sales and international expansion. Life Size has offices in London and Berlin and works with clients across the continent. The company also works closely with several venture capital funds.

Alisa has built an international team from very different paths, though all share a desire to do stimulating work that matters. The agile working culture and common ambitions at Life Size make for an agency which not only fights for global sustainability, but lives for it too. Alisa is certain that the role of communications is crucial for business success and shares this belief through workshops, keynote speeches, videos and webinars.

Before Life Size, Alisa was the CEO of a clean energy start-up in the carbon capture industry, where she led a major media campaign and engaged with industry and government to promote awareness of new decarbonising technology. Prior to that, Alisa’s eclectic background included co-founding Life Slice Films, an independent film company producing documentary films to raise awareness of social issues.

Alisa doesn’t often admit this, but she originally trained as an actor, studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and subsequently working in film, television and theatre for several years. The connecting threads throughout her career are her belief in the power of good storytelling and desire to positively impact audiences. Her background is unusual inthis industry and her punchy attitude a breath of fresh air against an often-traditional demographic.

When she’s not thinking about ways for cleantech to proliferate the mainstream, Alisa is a wife and mother, plus is currently learning German.

Alisa Murphy on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/alisamurphy/

Life Size on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/company/life-size-media/

Life Size website https://lifesizemedia.com/

Alisa Murphy at EcoSummit 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjXt0jiSxi8&feature=youtu.be

Life Size on Twitter  https://twitter.com/LifeSizeMedia

News stories discussed this week

Simon Sinek TedTalk Why https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA

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What’s it all about?

This week I travel to one of my favourite cities, Berlin, in a balmy 36C degree heat, to meet sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann. The sonnen story is a highlight of the cleantech sector, from bootstrapping, through many rounds of fundraising, to a significant sized acquisition from Shell. I’m delighted to have worked with sonnen as a client, since their first expansion out of Germany, and to meet Christoph again to share this super success story.

About our guest

Christoph Ostermann is Co-Founder and CEO of sonnen, the global market leader for residential energy storage systems. In 2008, when even in Germany the market for storage systems was still non-existent, he and his co-founder Torsten Stiefenhofer decided to join forces and to use their complementary skills to turn their vision into reality. Since the launch of the first prototype in 2010, Christoph is now on the mission to create a global one stop shop for decentralized energy and to disrupt the energy market. Christoph is a serial entrepreneur and started his first venture at the age of 18. Before launching sonnen, he had already built and developed four companies. In addition, Christoph spent five years in consulting, focussing on marketing and sales. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

The sonnen Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of smart energy storage systems and a pioneer of clean, decentralised and networked energy system technologies.  As one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe, sonnen has received numerous internationally recognized awards. With its virtual battery, which consists of digitally networked home storage systems, sonnen offers new and highly innovative energy services for network operators and customers. sonnen’s products are available in many countries and has offices located in Germany, Italy, Australia, the UK and the USA.

Christoph Ostermann on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/christoph-ostermann-bb804976/

Sonnen on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/company/sonnen-gmbh/

Sonnen website https://sonnenbatterie.co.uk/(UK)

https://sonnenusa.com/en/    (USA)

https://sonnen.de/(DACH)

News stories discussed this week

Christoph Ostermann at EcoSummit 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z30_Ij4TEM

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I’m very keen to hear feedback on the podcast and my guests, and to hear your suggestions for future guests or topics. Contact via the website, or Twitter. If you do enjoy the podcast, please write a review on iTunes, or your usual podcast platform, and tell your cleantech friends about us. That would be much appreciated.

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