Shell has 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 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.

The 2017 Shell Springboard National WinnerUpside 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 on 6 April 2017 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.”

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.”

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