Following Winfield’s Startup Example
He took a gap year and made it productive by deciding to join a competition that challenges students and postgrads to come up with creative and ingenious idea that will help lower carbon emission in London. He made something that might help not only his country but also the entire world. Let’s take a closer look at Winfield’s startup; you might want to follow his example in the end.
James Winfield, a postgraduate student from the Centre for Environmental Policy, along with his colleague Dominic Jacobson from the Department of Chemistry accepted the challenge posted by London’s mayor, which is about having innovative and creative ideas efficient in cutting down carbon emission in London. With that, they created the social enterprise, known as Crowd Power Plant, which involves the purchasing of surplus electric power from renewable energy sources and then offering it for sale to the wholesale market or to energy businesses or companies for a better price.
Winfield and Jacobson hope that this startup business will encourage and inspire the uptake of green technology, foster change and innovation, and eventually increase and raise investment on renewable electric power or energy. Their strategy of the startup is letting members sign up on the business proposition and then rewarding them financially through a profit share for becoming a part or a member of the startup or the crowd. Winfield, before he came up with such marvelous idea, he first looked on things such as crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. After researching about them he incorporated his idea about business plan and his capability as an entrepreneur and then combined his knowledge about environmental technology. When he was able to form the plan about the startup, he invited his friend Jacobson who is an expert on solar cell fabrication, to become a co-founder.
Both worked hard on creating and building the low carbon startup, the Crowd Power Plant, which was inspired by their crowd members; and their efforts indeed paid off. They were announced as the winners by London’s Mayor Boris Johnson and given the Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award. They receive the grand prize of £15,000 along with practical support to build and set up Crowd Power Plant.
Seven days before the awards ceremony, all those who joined and made the cut in the competition were called. They were asked to introduce and explain their ideas in front of the panel of judges, which included Deborah Meadon (from BBC’s Dragons’ Den), Richard Reed (founder of Innocent Drink), Roland Aurich (Siemens UK CEO) and Zak Goldsmith MP.
According to Winfield, the experience was nerve-wracking but at the same time fantastic. To him and his partner Jacobson, it was a great opportunity to showcase their skills, knowledge, creativity and innovative ideas and also a privilege to help their country and impact a change in the environment. Winfield then added that they were thrilled that the judges which were major business holders were impressed and amazed of what they have presented and saw a great future of their startup.
Being heralded as 2014 Low Carbon Entrepreneurs is a wonderful achievement for Winfield and co-founder Jacobson. Winning the challenge has opened doors of business opportunity for them. Now they are busy talking to and doing business with suppliers and generators.