NEC meets… Teraloop
Teraloop was one of the top 10 finalists of the New Energy Challenge 2021. We asked them how they experienced participating in the NEC.
Teraloop is a revolutionary electrical energy storage technology developer. Energy storage will play a critical part in a decarbonized energy system and Teraloop focuses on EV fast-charging and distributed energy systems. Its system operates in synergy with renewable generation assets, balancing the natural variation of supply and demand. By enabling a fully renewable electricity generation system, it can safeguard the world’s resources for future generations.
Why did you join The New Energy Challenge?
We took part in The New Energy Challenge in 2018 and it was such a good experience that we jumped at the chance when we were scouted by Unknown Group to take part again in 2021. We’d made progress since the first challenge and felt we had a new offering to bring to the next challenge.
We’d do it again (a third time!) if we had the chance. I have been working in the open innovation field as a lecturer and entrepreneur for over two decades and I would say that the NEC is the best competition in terms of value for time given: it doesn’t demand too much time but its offering is exceptional.
How did you experience the NEC 2021?
We found it to be a great way to understand Shell and make connections with our fellow cohort of finalists. We received great advice and tutorials from the NEC team around it – and it all fitted together really well because it was superbly organised.
How do you think taking part in NEC21 will shape your business going forward?
It had a positive impact in two ways:
- The intense 3 weeks of preparation for the pitches gave us access to really good practical advice and feedback on how to prepare and deliver our value proposition.
- Engaging with Shell gave us an understanding of the language of our customer – it offered a unique opportunity to communicate with experts and business leaders within Shell, which is really helpful for a small company who wouldn’t normally have the privilege of this level of contact with a “lighthouse company” like Shell. It changed the way we put across our key messages in all media – from project proposals to social media, even emails – shaping the way we project ourselves as a company.
- We gained a more realistic understanding of how long it takes to do business with big customers like Shell and to achieve a better product-market fit by understanding the way that Shell works with young companies to integrate new products or services into their own portfolio. It’s given us the right perspective when it comes to time scales and lead times for our plans.
What would your advice for future participants be?
1) Soak it up like a sponge: make the most of every aspect of the opportunity. Engage with tutors and advisers; attend as many sessions as you can; and use the opportunity to understand Shell’s business better.
2) Don’t go in with unrealistic expectations about the end result. Use it as a building block to advance your business. Only one company will win in the end, but it’s not about winning per se: it’s about taking advantage of every opportunity you get to develop a relationship with the NEC mentors and Shell.
What does the future hold for you, now and beyond?
Since the NEC (but not as a result, although it has been influential), we have been developing exciting plans to help independent power producers, in particular hydropower plants, in Europe to make better use of assets and increase revenues. Extend capability. Pursuing opportunities for EV fast charging. Talking to energy companies – users of power and energy – how they can address head on the challenges of EV fast charging infrastructure.