Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
Co-founder Thomas Grant was the 4th employee in a solar energy start-up that grew to over 120 people and 100 million Euro/ year in turnover. He ran the R&D department for 8 years, during which he let a business unit that identified opportunities and developed new products. He was the lead inventor on nine patent applications that were directly responsible for over €120 million in revenue.
During this time, he gained valuable experience growing a business in a new and unproven industry, which has seen the amount of solar installed grow at a cumulative rate of 45%/ year and is now 40 times larger. This depth of knowledge in the industry is rare.
He has applied this knowledge to help shape CEP’s product offering and business model to ensure it is well positioned to excel in this next wave of industry growth in the off-grid sector.
Co-founder Tom Miller, an economist and investment banker, spent 2 years living and working in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a part of the small team responsible for implementing the Tabubil Futures initiative for the PNG Sustainable Development Program, a US$1.5 bn fund dedicated to grow the Western Province of PNG. During this time, he was responsible for identifying, and structuring a range of new entrepreneurial ventures that could help diversify and grow the economic base of the regions surrounding the massive Ok Tedi mine. His primary objective was to discover opportunities that could disrupt the boom and bust cycle of mine based rural economies.
This expertise is incredibly valuable and it has helped CEP redefine the off-grid solar sector. His knowledge and skills will help CEP include social impact as a core feature of all projects.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?
Accelerate Cambridge: In-depth meetings with over 80 mentors and their contacts, particularly executives in the mining, finance, and renewable energy sectors. Monthly meetings with 10 high-profile Accelerate Cambridge mentors.
Renewable energy equipment suppliers and Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) firms: We have forged strong partnership relationships with several industry-leading companies. Two main benefits to CEP: 1) During the patent application process, these organizations provided considerable guidance and input on the redeployable system design and are well positioned to help build a prototype/ pilot in the near future. 2) These firms have shown considerable interest in sharing potential customer leads because they are motivated to sell equipment or build projects, and they believe CEP can facilitate this process.
Social Development: Strong support has emerged from individuals involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Social Innovation, including organizations such as: the Smart Villages programme at the University of Cambridge, consulting firms that advise on responsible mining practices, and the in-house CSR specialists within mining companies.