Renewable energy storage business, Sherwood Power turned to the Innovation SuperNetwork after being involved in a pre-seed fund of £200,000 and were looking to spread their net wider for the next level of funding.
Their innovative solutions in renewable energy storage that reduce emissions meant that they were selected as one of twelve North East businesses to pitch to investors in London as part of Entrepreneurs of the North in 2019.
Alex Hunter, Managing Director of Sherwood Power talks about what the experience of working with the Innovation SuperNetwork has done for the business:
‘Taking part in Entrepreneurs of the North was a great experience for me, not only in terms of the connections made but also the preparatory events. The pitch training really made us reflect on the business and having to do a 60 second pitch helped focus on what we’re trying to achieve, getting it across as succinctly as possible. That was a really helpful exercise to be part of.
The connections made at the event were incredible. There aren’t many opportunities to have that many investors in one room, especially ones that are actively looking to invest. As a result, we left the event with 12 investor leads, who all requested more information.
Now that I’ve been part of several Innovation SuperNetwork events, I’ve found that they’re exceptionally good at bringing together lots of layers of connections into one space, such as local government, LEP’s, funders and business supporters. They’re trying to coalesce efforts in the region rather than being piecemeal. This has proved extraordinarily helpful to us, because it shows you who you’ve got to go to, to get your project where it needs to be. Typically, this would involve researching and approaching all of these organisations individually, which would take months to do.
The SuperNetwork brings together all the players to one table to try and unite the North East through collaboration.
We’ve had great success from the initial round of funding we received in 2017. We’ve developed a piece of energy storage kit that uses compressed energy rather than chemical batteries, which is much more environmentally friendly and lasts three times longer, we’re developing field prototypes in Kenya.
We’re now going into the next stage of our business and are looking for a significant amount of funding to build a large-scale commercial solution. We’ve made so many fantastic connections from previous events and from Entrepreneurs of the North, so we’re going to revisit them to look for investors to join us on this exciting stage of our journey.
It’s great to be part of the network that the Innovation SuperNetwork have created, as a result I’ve made countless connections, got invaluable pitch training, met with active investors and raised our business profile. I definitely recommend getting involved.