By the end of 2020, Beta-i has made what most of us do when the year reaches its end: a retrospective and look into the future. We have reached some conclusions and made sure our clients, the ones that accompanied us throughout the unusual months of 2020, knew what those were.
Together we proved that collaboration is crucial, intrinsic and the key to solve every challenge.
During the last year, Beta-i has emerged with a new brand and the statement of collaboration above it all. We embraced even more what we already knew: we are what we share.
That is why we decided to share with our clients more pieces of knowledge for them to enjoy. With the help of Yomu Books, we’ve delivered 156 books to 97 clients in 13 countries.
With one condition: the sharing must go on. These books must be shared among the teams, so that knowledge can keep on spreading. All 97 companies have received at least one of these books, that must change hands once read:
- Freaknomics by Steven D. Levitt
- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
- Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
- Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
We hope that this was the beginning of a journey of knowledge for 2021. Keep on sharing!
As the year of 2019 could not foresee what 2020 would bring, also every single industry could not predict the impacts of a pandemic in its trends. The energy sector is no exception, with different variations in the electricity demands, according to its source. As fossil fuels’ consumption has dropped in 2020, renewables have maintained, in general, a positive growth.
One of the major effects of the worldwide lockdowns lived during the pandemic was the drop in global electricity consumption. As it is expected to rebound in 2021, also renewable energy demand is expected to continue increasing in 2021, as it happened last year, along with its investment. If the collaboration efforts across this sector will, presumably, continue to increase, we’re looking to the rise of new business models and the evolution of energy transition.
Projected global change in power supply, 2020 and 2021
IEA, Projected global change in power supply, 2020 and 2021, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/projected-global-change-in-power-supply-2020-and-2021
Meet Free Electrons
Free Electrons program is now on its fifth edition, so there is a very small chance you’re reading about it for the first time. Nevertheless, you should know that it represents a vision of a future where smart, clean and accessible energy is to transform lives everywhere. Considering that renewables are clearly on the rise, we’d say we continue to follow the right path, and a collaborative one:
It is an Open Innovation energy program
Free Electrons 2021
This means that the selected startups for this edition will work side by side with leading energy utilities. They will work together on pilot projects, commercially deploy products, facilitate investment opportunities and learn from each other.
Free Electrons 2021 is addressing several challenges in the energy sector. The way to do it? Innovation.
These are the challenges that the participating startups will be tackling:
- Energy management and efficiency
- Smart grids and energy communities
- Customer and utility resiliency
- Facility and asset management
- Connectivity & Communication solutions
The Application phase is now ongoing, until March 29.
After an online evaluation, the selected startups will showcase their solutions and their teams through a fast-paced pitch event and participate in intense one-on-one meetings with utilities. The closing of the Bootcamp will see successful startups go on to participate in the remaining modules.
All info at freeelectrons.org
Two years ago, Tonic App was among the 11 startups selected for the bootcamp of Techcare.
On the verge of launching a new edition of the program, we wanted to remind how their journey went and how they are now.
Tonic App was very young at the time of their application to Techcare (they had launched in March 2017). Still, once selected, they decided to bring the whole team to the Bootcamp: the perfect opportunity for all of them to better understand and to know how to work with the pharmaceutical industry.
Trying to narrow down an experience like this, we talked to the founder Daniela Seixas, to get some conclusions and outputs of Tonic App regarding the program:
Human approach is the core
In the end (well, in the beginning too), it’s all about human connection. The intense environment created in a moment like the bootcamp, is set to foster communication. Whether you’re a startup or a program partner, you will be speaking to one another, as you are all there with the same purpose.
Your access is 360º
Following the previous point, we can say that the fast access a startup can have to a company like this is indeed the biggest plus. Tonic App claims for this to be the greatest advantage of taking such an opportunity – in a short period of time they could reach to Novartis stakeholders, in a 360º vision, way faster than in other approaches.
People are the best, but they’re also the biggest challenge
Reaching to the partners is what you want and need, but it can also be your biggest struggle. As a small structure they were, Tonic App team found itself managing more than its internal resources, “the other side”. This means adapting your team to redouble their efforts into dealing and managing processes and expectations of other teams (in this case, Novatis’ one) in an organizational struggle that is also a major learning. Then, a natural conclusion rises:
Corporates and Startups have different timings
And this is a learning for both intervenients. Timings for approvals, results, decisions, are intrinsically different and both parts need to adapt, as to manage expectations. Typically, Startups are going fast, eager to respond and to receive feedback. Corporates on the other hand, follow more structured processes that will contrast to the startup way of living. Expectations need to be managed, for both, but learning from it will only bring benefits.
Culture is very important
And Novartis gets five stars from Tonic App on this. The startup has defined Novartis’ culture as extremely open, proactive and innovative. It represents some risk, of course, as being open to change always is. But it is definitely a plus to work with a company that opens its doors on innovation, and Techcare has proven it.
Life has changed
And keeps changing. Tonic App is nowadays a medical device thanks to Novartis, as it is also a requisite for them to continue working together. The team has grown, and Daniela says that, personally, it has been a very good experience, as more opportunities have risen. They have several ongoing projects with Novartis and new opportunities for internationalization are appearing.
They would do it again
Yes, Daniela says they would definitely do it again. It is indeed rewarding for a program like Techcare to get this kind of feedback from an Alumni. But it is even more important that Techcare have been able to deliver results and pilots between participant startups and Novartis, continuing to foster commercial relationships between them.
Applications for Techcare are now open and we’re eager to know what this edition will present.
We invite you to meet Corship, a consortium co-funded by European Union, that counts with 7 selected partners representing universities, corporates, startups and innovation networks – Beta-i amongst them.
Here is all you need to know about it.
Corship’s mission is to establish and improve the collaboration across Europe, between startups, corporates and universities, with education.
This joint language and collaboration is done by connecting these entities through 3 core results:
- A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
Currently preparing the field to a 2020 MOOC entirely dedicated to the collaboration process between these three entities, this will be the first MOOC on Corporate Entrepreneurship connecting and upskilling 1.500+ entrepreneurs, managers and students.
This course will be open for registration from December 2019 and will last up to six weeks. It will be the first core result of the project and open and free for everyone. Completely online, through the platform mooc.house.
After reading, watching videos, answering questions (multiple choice) and quizzes, besides taking part in discussions and work individually and in a group, participants will also have the chance to apply for the MicroCredential.
Corship presents the first MicroCredential (a modular, flexible format stemming from MOOCs) pilot world-wide on corporate entrepreneurship. This is a modular, flexible mini degree on very specific topics. After the MOOC, this is will be a dedicated high-level training offered to 10 entrepreneurs, 10 managers and 10 students.
It will last eight weeks and will include two face-to-face workshops and three online moments. Applications for the MicroCredential are done via the MOOC and open in April 2020.
A unique Corporate Entrepreneurship Toolbox with guidelines and tools to facilitate the collaboration between the 3 target groups. These guidelines will be complemented with a practical selection of popular, but also less-known, self-developed, hands-on entrepreneurial tools.
The first prototype is to be ready in January 2020!
Get to know the latest research report that is part of the project’s background and follow Corship to get all the updates.
About to complete its third edition, the program will kick off the Module 3 on September 16, in Lisbon – welcome to all the participants!
Free Electrons is the first global energy startup accelerator program created to connect the world’s most promising energy startups with leading utility companies.
Free Electrons is a unique opportunity to bring global perspectives to local challenges via real, meaningful, face to face interactions.
The Module 3 will be the peak of the interactions that have been developing since the 19 edition has started.
During their days in Lisbon, the 15 startups and 10 utilities will meet to align and define the next steps of their possible commercial agreements, once the program is concluded. They will also deep dive into the work that has been performed over the program between participant startups and the partner utilities, the pilots.
By the end of Module 3, the startup winner is to be announced and awarded with the Free Electrons 19 World’s Best Energy Startup worth 200,000$.
The Shin Akimoto Award, initiated in 2017 in memory of Mr. Shin Akimoto, will also be handled to the candidate that best impersonates the values of this award:
- is a Free Electrons Ambassador (has got the Free Electrons Spirit and pushes the program to succeed);
- is proactive and innovative (presents an anticipatory, change-oriented and self-initiated behaviour and embraces change and whether there is continuous improvement and innovation throughout the business);
- is people driven (always ready to help and collaborate with others, lifts everyone’s spirit up and brings good energy to the group).
As a truly global program, focused on deal facilitation and pilot driven, the program has been addressing and solving real problems, namely generating business, investment and disruption within the energy sector.
In fact 2019 edition has originated a pipeline of 58 pilot projects so far, among the 15 startup finalists and the 10 partner utilities – all utilities have found several innovative solutions that can be adopted and integrated into their businesses.
Setting the grand finale in places like Maat and Academia das Ciências, the Free Electrons welcomes all the participants to Lisbon, and couldn’t be prouder of what the program has been accomplishing.
Free Electrons Module 3: 16 – 19 September 2019