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Grid Edge: Artificial Intelligence for Energy Systems

Grid Edge: Artificial Intelligence for Energy Systems

Grid Edge is a spin out company from Aston University. Its Artificial Intelligence software develops intelligent insight and control strategies to help public and commercial building owners understand and reduce their energy consumption and in turn save money and reduce their carbon footprint. The on-site hardware bolts on to existing systems to quickly produce benefits and savings.

Grid Edge: Artificial Intelligence for Energy Systems

FACT FILE

Start date: 2016

Website: Visit website

Location: Birmingham

Employees: 24

Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe)

Funding: Grants: £500k; Equity: £3.5m

KEY MILESTONES

June 2016

Started on ICURe programme

December 2016

Secured Innovate UK funding £500k

December 2016

Limited company

March 2017

Closed £150k SEIS investment round

June 2017

Closed £200k investment round from Ignite

August 2018

Closed £2.8million Series A

February 2019

Winners of Britain’s Best Tech Start Up Midlands Region

April 2020

Development of UK’s First Electric Vehicle-To-Grid Control Platform

“I was a researcher at Aston University when I first heard about SETsquared and the ICURe Programme and was initially sceptical. I was worried there wouldn’t be the same level of commercial focus as some of the commercially backed incubators I was familiar with. I am happy to say that I was proven wrong from the outset.”

“As a research fellow within the university I found it difficult to find the support and time to move away from the technical concepts of the work to the wider market applicability. With ICURe you are immediately thrown into an environment where you are looking at real world and commercial impact. Looking at how your idea will make money and create value for customers.”

“During the programme I met with potential customers and other energy companies in the Silicon Valley in the States and also Europe. It was vital to understand how we fitted in the global energy market. Not only would this have not been possible without ICURe’s support, but it has continued to pay dividends as it’s the first question asked by every investor”

“We were introduced to the Business Model Canvas as a method of measuring where you are as a business. This was an invaluable technique and enabled us to confront holes in the business plan. We pitched at the Options Roundabout and were advised and encouraged to go forward and set-up a business.”

“Since the Programme we have gone on to secure investment through introductions from SETsquared and I can honestly say we wouldn’t be where we are today without ICURe, it really has fast-tracked our success. We have won a number of awards including ‘Best Start-Up’ at the Birmingham Tech Awards”

“The investment we raised allowed us to grow the team, which now stands at 24 people. We also applied for further funding from angel seed money and the CSR fund. We added to the management team at a fairly early stage, recruiting for the operations and legal role and then a CFO in 2019 as part of the Series A funding requirement. It became clear that the more we were growing and dealing with big corporates the more our CEO was being stretched so we had to free up his time with new hires.”

“Of course, there have been challenges along the way. The Series A investment round took nine months of due diligence and investment panel committees, which was an incredibly challenging period for our business. Trying to manage the books, whilst waiting for this essential investment round for us to grow, ironically almost stifled our growth for a period of time – which when you’re just starting up is significant.”

“COVID-19 of course has come with its own challenges, if not directly for us but certainly to our core customers which includes shopping centres, airports and big commercial buildings. As a result, our sales growth has slowed. Fortunately, we have good investors that buy the vision, so we’ve been able to redesign the product and work on our IP during the lockdowns.”

“Going forward we are still looking for more investment. We have a current runway of 18-24 months with clear targets set by our investors over that period. Short term sales have taken a hit, but we’re fortunate that our investors are in it for the medium to long term so we will continue to weather the storm.”

“ICURe was a fantastic opportunity to allow us to dedicate time to go and learn about the industry and companies before we started out. It also helped us to spin-out from the University and build our connections with exactly the right people. It’s a fantastic programme.”

Daniel Wright

Daniel Wright, CTO
Grid Edge

SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey