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Competition opens for start-ups looking to break into the energy sector

By EDF | Posted May 07, 2019

Start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs with new ideas that could spark innovation in the energy sector are being encouraged to enter the latest innovation challenge by EDF Energy for a chance to take their idea to market.

Part of EDF Group’s Pulse Awards, young companies with the best ideas will have the chance to gain expert support and advice, as well as attract investment, to help develop their concepts for the mass market.

The company’s innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, is on the lookout for entries to fit key areas of focus for the organisation.

These are:

  • Electric Vehicles – products and ideas for businesses and consumers transitioning to electric vehicles
  • Improving Customers’ Lives - innovations to make life better for EDF Energy customers
  • Electric future through Artificial Intelligence - Solutions to accelerate the electric future and make EDF Energy the supplier of choice through emerging AI.
  • Wildcard - Fresh ideas outside the scope of the other three categories but which still fit with the EDF Energy brand and have the potential to energise the sector.

Start-ups with the best ideas to meet the challenge will gain access to EDF Energy’s scale and network to help develop business opportunities.

Jean-Benoit Ritz, Director of Innovation and Blue Lab, said: “This challenge offers the most innovative start-ups a unique gateway into the world of energy to help us, jointly, deliver a powerful future for the benefit of society. EDF Energy has a strong history of promoting innovation and we want to ensure we continue to gain a fresh perspective by collaborating with an even wider range of young companies.” 

Short-listed organisations will work closely with the company over a 12-week period, with mentoring from senior leaders within EDF Energy and access to experts.

They will be given an opportunity to validate their products, and trial and test them in live environments to gain valuable customer feedback and consumer insights.

Free office space is also available during the challenge at IDEALondon, an innovation centre in the heart of London’s Tech City, run by EDF Energy, Cisco and UCL Engineering.

The challenge is the third run in partnership with L Marks. Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks, said: “It is wonderful to be continuing our partnership with EDF Energy to launch this new innovation programme and build on the success they have generated through working with start-ups and scale-ups from across the energy sector. Together with EDF Energy we will be discovering early-stage companies as we journey into an electric future and look to improve the lives of their customers.”

The challenge gives start-ups the chance to gain investment from EDF Energy, along with a £10,000 cash prize for one overall winner.

Previous winners of the challenge include Powervault – a British company that designs and manufactures smart energy storage systems for the home which store solar energy and cheap electricity from the grid to reduce household energy bills and increase energy efficiency – and smart home monitoring system, Howz, which supports independent living. Both companies received expect advice to further develop their offerings and accelerate their route to market.

Powervault’s Managing Director Joe Warren said: “Winning the Blue Lab competition has been amazing.  The Blue Lab team has worked with us to launch Powervault to EDF Energy customers, creating a market-leading proposition.  We are very grateful for the huge opportunity Blue Lab has given us and we look forward to continuing to grow with EDF Energy in the years ahead.”

Louise Rogerson, Chief Operating Officer at Howz, said: “Working with EDF Energy has been a great opportunity for us. Our partnership has provided access to a broad customer base, along with their ongoing support and expertise.”

To apply for the programme, simply complete the application here before 21 May 2019.

Notes to Editors:

Blue Lab, EDF Energy’s innovation accelerator, is working in partnership with L Marks to offer start-ups and innovators the chance to fast track their ideas to the next stage of development.  Rewards on offer include free office space, during the challenge, at IDEALondon, an innovation centre in the heart of London’s Tech City, run by EDF Energy, Cisco and UCL Engineering

Short-listed start-ups can gain investment from EDF Energy, along with an overall cash prize of £10,000.

L Marks:

L Marks is a leading advisor in applied innovation and experienced investor in early-stage technologies. Led by Stuart Marks and Daniel Saunders, L Marks has created the UK’s largest network of corporate accelerators and launched over fifty innovation programs across Europe, Israel, Japan and the US. Their unique approach and methodology is building bridges between large organisations seeking to innovate and young companies looking to scale.

They work with some of the world’s best-known brands, including BMW, Lloyd's of London, Arsenal FC, and British Airways to identify business challenges and transform them into opportunities for growth. The L Marks collaborative, results-driven programs provide insight and access to start-ups whilst embedding their pioneering technologies into corporates to enhance operations, improve customer experience, and cultivate an entrepreneurial ethos across the business.

Through creating these relationships and experiences, L Marks is achieving rapid digital transformation across industry sectors and accelerating the businesses of the future.

For more information

EDF Media Team
24-hour press line: +44 (0)1452 652233

About EDF

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission, electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity(1) and supplies millions of customers with electricity and gas.

It generates low carbon electricity from five nuclear power stations and more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and there are advanced plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with more than 1.5GW of renewable generation in operation and almost 14GW in planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland.

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity, selling energy back to the grid or installing a heat pump. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Dalkia, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 14,000 people at locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

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