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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

Pioneering clean energy start-ups graduate TechX Accelerator programme with £5.2M equity raised

17 June 2022 5 minute read
  • Latest TechX cohort have raised £5.2M in equity during 15-week accelerator programme
  • Since 2018 the TechX Accelerator programme has supported 45 companies who have raised a total of £33M in equity

The Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) continues to be at the forefront of growing revolutionary clean energy start-ups which promise to change the world for the better. The Centre’s fourth cohort of 12 pioneering start-ups, which boast technologies focused on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the path to net zero, have successfully graduated from the award-winning TechX Clean Energy Accelerator after an intensive 15-week programme.

From a radical low-cost floating wind turbine design that boosts performance, to floating buoys that provide cost-effective 5G and submersibles that host worker robots for remote subsea inspection, the ingenuity and promise emerging from the latest TechX cohort encapsulates the pivotal role start-up founders will play in shaping the future of clean energy.

The programme concluded with Demonstration Day, which provided the start-ups the chance to pitch their innovations to industry professionals and investors. Since starting the programme in February, the companies have already raised over £5.2M in equity while establishing valuable industry relationships.

Being primed for success, the start-ups were given access to over 50 experienced mentors and were introduced to a range of potential customers to refine their solutions, including bp, Equinor and ADNOC. They also received support from Professional Services Partner Accenture, which provided tutoring and helped start-ups refine their business model and value proposition and apply insights from an enhanced investor-readiness programme. Each of the teams have accelerated the development of their companies, validated their technologies directly with industry and built compelling business models.

As the recent cohort now joins an elite alumni of start-ups, TechX will continue to work with them for a further two years to ensure continued growth. Since 2018, TechX has supported 45 companies, providing £4.5M funding with an aim of building a thriving clean energy ecosystem that propels economic growth and accelerates the transition to net zero. To date, TechX start-ups have collectively raised £33M in equity.

TechX Director Mark Anderson commented on the success of the latest cohort:

“A key ingredient in a successful accelerator is the quality of the tuition and experience, which TechX along with its global partners offer. In the last 15 weeks, our latest cohort have grasped the wide array of opportunities that come with TechX. Their commitment and dedication not only to advancing their companies, but also in helping industry to reach its net zero targets, has been nothing short of inspiring.

“We will now work with them for an additional two years to ensure they continue to hit key milestones and grow. These start-ups offer highly promising solutions that can help transform industry for the better.”

CEO Colette Cohen OBE added:

“It was inspiring to see a significant leap in gender diversity in our recent cohort, with 42% of the cohort female led or co-led. Companies with a focus on diversity are better placed for success, as these are proven to achieve a higher return on equity and increased employee retention.”

“The innovation and rapid growth of TechX’s fourth cohort illustrates why industry should embrace an inclusive workforce that prioritises diversity of thought.”

TechX Strategic Partners bp, Equinor and ADNOC recognised the latest cohort’s achievements, funding cash prizes and awarding these to the most promising start-ups. The 2022 prize winners were:

  • The bp, Equinor and ADNOC Best Net Zero Technology Prize of £100k awarded to RepAir Carbon Capture with their with their Direct Air Capture technology.
  • The bp, Equinor and ADNOC Most Disruptive Technology Prize of £100k awarded to PJP Eye with their plant-based carbon batteries.

In addition TechX awarded the Best Performance Prize to Aquature with their technology to produce green hydrogen from wastewater.

Nick Kendall, Investment Associate from bp ventures, said:

“TechX cohort 4 has uncovered and showcased some exceptional companies, with innovative technologies that really can be disruptive and make a material impact in the path to net zero. The calibre and diversity of the teams has been fantastic, and it has been amazing – as with previous cohorts – to see their growth through the 15-week programme. bp staff both regionally and globally have been involved in this cohort and have commented that they found the drive and passion of the founders truly inspiring. We will be closely monitoring the 12 start-ups as they continue to grow from strength to strength.”

Jeroen Van der Hoek, Investment Manager from Equinor, said:

“Climate change presents a fundamental challenge to society. Equinor is proud to support the TechX programme to unleash the innovation and potential of clean tech start-ups which alongside investments from industry in renewables, low carbon solutions and lowering emissions from oil and gas production will play a key role in achieving a net zero society by 2050. It was truly inspirational to engage with the Pioneers over the past 15 weeks and we hope to continue the collaboration going forward.”

Dr. Saleh Al Hashmi, Director Commercial from ADNOC
, said:

“We are proud to support TechX which is creating a pathway for innovative and disruptive technologies that contribute towards decarbonisation in the energy sector. ADNOC’s partnership with NZTC, bp and Equinor is part of our commitment to find ways to drive even greater carbon efficiencies and remain one of the least carbon-intensive energy producers in the industry.”  

Ekaterina Kozinchenko, a managing director who leads Energy Transition Services in the UK and Ireland for Accenture, also commented:

“In an accelerated energy transition, innovative clean energy technologies are going to prove essential. We’re excited to play a key role, alongside the NZTC and other partners, in helping this group of start-ups develop their business models that realise their full potential. The Accenture Sustainability Value Promise is to embed sustainability into everything we do and with everyone we work with, creating both business value and sustainable impact, enabled by technology and human ingenuity. This programme aligns closely with those commitments by helping others transition towards a net-zero future with sustainability at the core.”

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