The Journey of the InnoEnergy Startup Heat Power #1 - The InnoEnergy Highway and AlumniUnite 2016
Let me introduce the startup Heat Power and our journey since we have been accepted to the InnoEnergy Highway and participated in the 2016 AlumniUnite event. With this blog I want to give you some insights into what it is like to be in the Highway programme of InnoEnergy. The Highway is the accelerator programme of InnoEnergy in which startups are supported during their growth from a working prototype towards a launching customer. Upon entry in the Highway, Heat Power had successfully demonstrated its technology at lab scale and was looking to make the first steps towards market adaptation. Today, almost half a year later, it is time to share our journey so far!
About the Highway
Through the Highway programme, InnoEnergy supports new startups and entrepreneurs in creating successful and sustainable businesses that bring valuable solutions to a global market. After a positive assessment, a business coach is assigned to the venture. Together with a coach, the startup designs a roadmap that will take you from the working prototype to the launching customer. This roadmap includes tailor-made services focused on the market, technology, team and finance of the venture. This holistic approach ensures that all relevant aspects for accelerating the business toward long-term commercial success are covered!
Heat Power and the RCG
At Heat Power we strive to make the manufacturing industry more energy efficient. After all, a reduction in the use of energy can greatly improve the competitiveness and lower the environmental impact of heat- and power-intensive industrial processes. However, efficient and rapidly responsive cogeneration systems are not yet available for small scale industries. Heat Power satisfies that need and developed the Rankine Compression Gas turbine (RCG) system, which is capable of providing heat and power for industrial processes at a highly reduced fuel cost and with fewer CO2 emissions.
The novelty of the Rankine Compression Gas turbine (RCG) compared to existing steam cycles is that the steam turbine drives the compressor of the gas turbine cycle. This means that this combined cycle installation is going to be able to operate at rapidly changing speeds and give torque when the load is standing still. For a combined cycle, this is unique. Using this technology,a cost of energy reduction ranging from 10 to 30% is possible compared to existing steam cycles. Moreover, the system can be fired with all sorts of biomass enabling a renewable energy supply. This unique product property gives Heat Power a competitive advantage and a good market position.
AlumniUnite and the power of co-creation
Shortly after Heat Power entered the Highway, I joined the team as an InnoEnergy alumnus and ever since I have been working on developing the business. This involves pitching, writing the business plan and developing a roadmap for the months to come.
As an InnoEnergy alumnus and entrepreneur of Heat Power, I joined AlumniUnite in 2016, with the aim of sharing ideas and knowledge. A co-creation session designed by the Open Space Studio supported us in uniting with fellow alumni and current students to develop a roadmap for financing our first RCG pilot plant. As an outcome we received a holistic review within hours instead of weeks. Together with 20 alumni, we co-created a roadmap that would lead to the realisation of a pilot plant. The energy of the session was motivating and various sparks for new ideas were ignited by the participants. The final roadmap includes actions such as an inventory of subsidy supplier, attending network events for pilot customers and showcasing the current prototype in a promotional video.
I am happy to share with all of you that we executed most of what was suggested. Our website is live, we have a promotional video showing the working prototype and we succeeded in securing government funding for a small scale pilot in a wood milling factory near Eindhoven! The last achievement is an especially great step in the right direction for demonstrating reliable operation in an industrial setting.
In the coming months, we will continue with our roadmap and hope to report a success story at AlumniUnite 2017. Towards AlumniUnite 2017 I will keep you posted with regular follow-up blogs on Heat Power and what it is like to work at a startup in the InnoEnergy Highway programme.
By Tom Huizer
In collaboration with the CommUnity Post
Published 3 April 2017
Tom Huizer - Short bio
Tom Huizer currently works as a business developer at Heat Power B.V. as part of his work towards his professional doctorate degree in engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. After his bachelor studies in mechanical engineering, Tom joined the European Master’s school of EIT InnoEnergy, which focuses on sustainable energy technologies and the entrepreneurial opportunities that arise from that. He completed his first year of study at UPC in Barcelona and graduated at TU/e Eindhoven, during which he was an active member of Team Energy TU/e and researched climate change in Greenland with the University of Denmark.