OneWatt believes that the future of energy is not just about renewable energy and storage, but also the efficient use of energy. This vision resonated with Shell and picked OneWatt as one of the 20 finalists in their New Energy Challenge. The program kicked off last September 24, where teams from all over EU and Israel gathered in Amsterdam to share their unique startups and technologies.
On the first day of the challenge, the teams went to Rockstart’s HQ in the middle of Amsterdam. Here, the startups were coached by pitch trainers and designers. Each startup has a unique story to tell and during this activity, this is refined such that it is understandable, stimulating, and relatable. Most startups have difficulty communicating their idea because they focus more on the technical solution rather than the overall benefit to the end user. At the end of the day, the goal of the pitch is to share the vision to other people and not convince them on the technical superiority of the solution.
Later that day, the startups were joined by mentors with different expertise ranging from legal to aeronautics engineering. Each startup had 15 minutes to talk to a pre-matched and identify their weaknesses or help that the mentor can address. We got interesting advice during the session like how to check if a sales guy’s skills are real and how to use fear as a driver to close sales. Even though not directly relating to the technology, all these advices are critical to ensure the sustainability of the business.
The second day was focused on validating the product and finding opportunities in the industry. The workshop was held in Yes!Delft and facilitated by the experts from the program. During the morning sessions, teams built their Business Model Canvas and their Value Proposition Canvas and received feedback on how to improve the parts of the business. In the afternoon, the startups had another mentor speed sessions but this time with industry experts. The goal was to validate all the assumptions in their plans with potential users and partners, whether there is a problem in the first place, would it be a viable solution, or if it integrates with current industry standards and opportunities. OneWatt took this opportunity to find potential partnerships with Shell, the Port of Rotterdam, and RHDHV where OneWatt’s EARS could help their businesses.
The morning of day three revolved around the teams and understanding the founders’ interactions. Consultants from TeamWork Productions assessed the startups using the Myer Briggs Type Indicator. It was interesting to note that the founders of OneWatt had very opposite MBTI personalities, only sharing the introversion trait. Complementing each other, they specialize in different aspects of the business from long-term visioning to empathizing with clients.
Halfway through the day, it was time to use everything that the teams learned and pitch to the jury. But before that, each team had a short one-on-one session with David Beckett, where he identified what works and what doesn’t in their story. David thought that OneWatt’s pitch was one of the best that day, although he was unsure whether the pricing should be included in the story. According to him, this usually polarizes the audience and might be better to go subtle with it. Right after that, the team went straight to the jury’s room and pitched.
All that week’s learnings condensed into a three minute story and share our vision of the future of energy to the judges. It was a trembling experience, but very gratifying at the end. The feedback of the judges were generally positive, citing potential avenues where OneWatt and their organizations can work together even after the event. In the end, however, OneWatt did not make it to the finals. The team quickly went through the five stages of grief and came back up on their feet. Looking back, the other startups were more aligned to the goal of the event, which is to bring New Energy to the forefront. Although our vision didn’t get the winning spot, it was still filled with insights, learnings, and connections that can further accelerate the adoption of OneWatt’s vision.