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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

OGTC’S TechX graduation goes virtual

26 November 2020

Virtual cohort shows grit and resilience whilst delivering disruptive technology solutions, accelerating their companies and the drive to net zero

  • OGTC’s latest cohort of Pioneer start-ups graduate from its award-winning TechX accelerator programme
  • 16-week programme delivered virtually with 50% of cohort from cleantech companies
  • Now in its third year, TechX has supported 33 companies and provided £3.3M of funding

OGTC’s accelerator programme, TechX, celebrates the graduation of its third cohort of technology start-up Pioneers, the first to be done via a virtual programme. In 2020, TechX had to ‘pivot’ the Pioneer programme to digital delivery, transforming and adapting to a completely virtual format, with 12 companies successfully completing the 16-week programme, culminating in a ‘virtual graduation’, today, 26th November 2020.

This year the programme saw over 150 applications across 37 countries from around the globe, culminating in 12 Pioneer companies being selected – eight via the global application round and four through the TechX Ventures programme – a partnership with Deep Science Ventures (DSV).

This third cohort of Pioneers have developed disruptive and exciting technologies and each company has benefitted from up to £100,000 investment with no equity take or payback required.

With unprecedented access to potential customers, training and investor readiness coaching, as well as support from over 110 experienced mentors and forward-thinking business partners, the Pioneers have accelerated the development of their companies, validated their technologies directly with industry and built compelling business models.

The third cohort has already delivered some impressive achievements:

  • Five new offices set up
  • Three new laboratories established
  • Over 180 customer interviews completed
  • 10 major pivots in company direction
  • Nine offers of field trials
  • Over £2m of additional investment secured

The TechX programme continues to support the industry’s drive towards a net zero future, with 50% of this year’s cohort being cleantech, including technology that supports the bio-recycling of plastics using a unique enzyme and ultra-efficient direct air carbon capture.

The successful alumni of 2020 to join the community of 33 graduate companies since 2017 are:

  • Actuation Lab: next generation composite actuators for extreme environments
  • Carnot: ceramic engine (multi-fuel) that doubles efficiency and half fuel consumption
  • Creid 7: metal-to-metal seal integrity inspection tool
  • Mellizyme: bio-recycling of plastics using a unique enzyme
  • Mission Zero: bio-inspired, ultra-efficient direct air capture technology to remove CO2
  • Nudge Exchange: connecting companies with a flexible, high-skilled workforce
  • PipelineSentry: predictive analysis and AI to create a pipeline digital twin and automated FEA
  • Pulse UK: a unique tool for identifying and verifying pipework and tubing
  • QLM Tech: gas detection and quantification for reducing fugitive emissions
  • sHYp: producing green hydrogen from sea water without the need for desalination
  • Steel Space Casing Drilling: downhole powered drilling technology
  • Supercritical: revolutionary new electrolyser creating low-cost hydrogen

In recognition of outstanding achievements, the TechX team, partners and mentors also announced the following awards:

  • bp – Performance Award – PipelineSentry
  • bp – Technology Award – Pulse UK
  • Equinor Awards – Mellizyme and Mission Zero

Commenting on this year’s programme Colette Cohen, CEO of OGTC, said:

“Now in its third year, our TechX Pioneer programme has gone from strength to strength. The team did an excellent job transforming our accelerator programme into a virtual offering – showing true grit and resilience and adapting to the environment around us. The technologies developed by this cohort will make a real difference to the industry and to the energy transition and I am excited to be at the beginning of their journey.”

The Pioneers heard from extreme athlete and Guinness World Record holder, Mark Beaumont – who provided invaluable advice to the cohort on mental toughness and bottom-up planning as they began their entrepreneurial journey. The support coupled with access to rapid prototyping, test facilities and co-working space, provided each Pioneer with a unique opportunity to accelerate into the energy market.

David Millar, TechX Director at OGTC, said:

“Once again, we have graduated an elite group of tech start-ups tackling big industry challenges. Regardless of the programme being delivered virtual this year the 12 companies have embraced the unprecedented challenges of 2020 and shown up every day ready to learn, grow and accelerate towards success. Even in just 16 weeks these companies have taken on new offices, set up new labs, secured nine field trials and raised over £2 million in additional investment.

“These companies are the future of our industry and each one of them is knocking it out the park. We look forward to continuing to support them as they build on these early successes and accelerate towards commercial success and positive impact in our industry and region.”

Following on from graduation each company will have the opportunity to join TechX Plus – a fully funded two-year incubator programme which will allow them to continue to accelerate their businesses. They will have access to a scale-up space, support for further investment and field trials.

For more information on this year’s cohort and their technologies or to learn more about the TechX programmes visit: https://www.ogtc.com/techx/overview/

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