LIGHTNING LAB ELECTRIC VENTURE UPDATE: WEEK 8

This is the second to last update from our Lightning Lab Electric 2017 cohort. Demo Day is feeling very real now, our ventures are crafting and practising their pitches, refining early adopter agreements and talking to potential customers. The cohort attended the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards in Auckland, we’re able to network with a very enthusiastic and engaged industry audience. If you missed our last venture update, read it here.

How’s everything going for your venture and tell us what you’re most excited about at the moment? 

Polany.io | We’ve faced some headwinds and have pivoted and reconfigured a little, whilst still riffing on the electricity demand management theme. We are excited about the fact that we have now set ourselves a much more ambitious goal which has a more compelling story behind it. More about this on demo day!

emhTrade | Whilst there are just not enough hours in the day, our earlier customer discovery work has given us a crystal clear focus on our priorities.  The execution against these is building a real depth of understanding of our customers and partners and insights in how to bring them all on this journey to elegantly address their problems. Drawing on the LL toolkit, right now it is particularly exciting to be having really open, honest and frank dialogues with consumers and industry partners about how we can collaboratively step through the complexity to deliver a real alternative for peoples energy needs.

Ampli | Our venture is progressing along at a slow but steady rate. Getting data out of retailers has been a recurring theme of pain, however we are excited about two retailers verbally accepting an early adopter agreement – provided their legal departments are prepared to comply – and this will allow us to get to the next step in our goal towards building strong relationships with them and showing how our product can provide value.

How are your early adopters responding to your product/service?

Polany.io | We’ve had to go back to the drawing board with our customer discovery process, but this has also challenged us to think bigger in terms of how the new concept would address global markets. We have one early adopter/partner on board for whom we will develop an initial feature set.

emhTrade | Survey results from our target customer base show a 90%+ engagement level (and re-affirms at similar rates their frustration with their current choices). Matt – as we speak – is leading our baseline customer MVP pilot taking 10 entirely new (cold) consumers through the journey before they use the skeletal service daily – and every day is more enthused by the level of enthusiasm.  People really get it, which is a great place to be.

Ampli | Warmly, but cautiously. They can see how what we do is good, but their concerns lie with the possibility of setting a precedent which could hurt them in the long run. It is imperative that they set a good precedent for the releasing of data, which will enable us to work together in the future and ensure that they don’t open themselves up to other threats from within the industry.

What did you enjoy most about the Deloitte Energy Awards? How’s your pitching going?

Polany.io | The Energy Awards were amazing, with lots of new innovations showcased and a great diversity of individuals from across the industry. Every opportunity to pitch helps us to refine the story a little more. It was great to pitch at the stakeholders’ event kindly hosted by Deloitte, with Auckland Harbour as the backdrop.

emhTrade | The award highlights include seeing the number of smaller, fast growing firms or businesses for whom energy is not their core driver, making a real impact.  The enthusiasm of these people and the fresh energy they bring to the industry is infectious. Personally, it was also great to meet so many old and new faces and put faces to names of the people from around NZ that we had only had the chance to speak to over the phone. There was barely a moment to pause and enjoy the food and wine!

Ampli | The opportunity to talk to consumers and be inspired by the creativity of the sector. Our pitching is coming along, we are dealing with different feedback coming from different people, trying to work out what is relevant to our main objectives and how to incorporate that into our pitch. We have found ourselves in some situations where our pitch has really resonated with people in the industry, so this is encouraging.

What quote is inspiring you at the moment?

Polany.io | “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
emhTrade | “If you never venture beyond what you know… You’ve spawned your own limitations.” – Sumner Redstone, Business Man
This just fits so neatly with the LL process – bringing in new tools and techniques and an entirely different mindset to securing early adopters to drive development – the who process has gone beyond what we know, what we are instinctively comfortable with so that ultimately every consumer and the industry can venture to a real alternative for cleaner, greener and cheaper power.
Ampli | “Are we there yet?” “No.” “Are we there yet?” “No.”

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