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GWENT COMPANY RANKED AMONGST COUNTRY’S BEST 60 NEW BUSINESSES IN HSBC START-UP STARS AWARDS

Two entrepreneurs, who run a business that produces renewable energy devices, have outperformed thousands of entrepreneurs to reach the Semi-Finalist phase of the 2009 HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards.

The national contest, now in its ninth year, recognises, supports and celebrates the initiative and dedication shown by new business in the UK.

Dan Hughes and Nick Bill, who started Solaesthetic, are now hoping to scoop the top title and a cheque for £25,000, courtesy of HSBC.

Inspired by a love of architecture and a concern for climate change, Dan and Nick decided to invent a form of solar collector for all property types.

Formed in March this year, Solaesthetic aims to produce a range of renewable energy devices that not only make a positive difference to the environment but also enhance life and combine beauty, function and sustainability.

The Solaesthetic Solar Thermal Collector (ST1), is aimed at high value new building developments, as well as properties in conservation areas and buildings of historical interest or architectural significance.

Dan strongly believes that producing beautiful renewable energy alternatives will accelerate the uptake of renewable by bringing them closer to people’s hearts and creating a desire-led market for them.

With only limited financial resources, the prototype ST1 was developed in a forestry shed, with only a bench and hand tools. Dan was able to save on costs by learning to use 3D computer modelling software to create and ‘test’ virtual prototypes of his designs before making a ‘real world’ version.

Using a fusion of techniques derived from art, engineering and science, as well as a practical experience of the construction industry, Dan has created a product that fuses functionality with aesthetic impact.

The ST1 can be mounted on plinths in a garden or courtyard near to a host building, on posts or even as part of a water feature. The construction is relatively simple but every internal component has multiple and simultaneous functions. It can be assembled with non-specialist tools and is easily serviceable.

Once installed, the ST1 produces zero carbon emissions and all future products will follow the same design criteria throughout their development.

With a UK patent now pending, Dan expects the ST1 to achieve six installations in the first year, building to a full capacity of 14 major installations per year. He has already received interest from a planning consultancy specialising in healthcare building projects, and discussions are underway with The Eden Project in Cornwall about hosting a demonstration model.

Marketing of the product falls into three main categories – Retrofit for individuals; New Build for architects; Licensees and third party installers. And with an eye on the international market, Dan will be seeking licensees in strategic countries within Europe, as well as the Middle East, Asia, South America and the USA, ready to meet expected demand.

Solaesthetic is one of 60 companies to secure a place in the Semi-Finals. Their entry will now be considered by a panel of business experts who will select the top 25 start-up companies to go forward to the national judging.

There will also be £10,000 cheques for the best new Green business putting the environment at the top of its agenda, the best new business set up by a Graduate, and the best new business trading Internationally.

All entrants currently have access to a support programme and networking opportunities through HSBC’s business network. This month’s Webinar tackles the issue of cash flow and controlling costs with special guest and former Dragon’s Den judge Doug Richard on the panel. Previous webinars in this series have covered topics such as marketing, green business and women in business. You can find out more about these online resources by visiting www.network.hsbc.co.uk.

Head of Business Banking for HSBC, Huw Morgan, said: “HSBC Start-Up Stars is about demonstrating by practical example that with the right help and support, there are still opportunities out there for people with the dedication and will to succeed

“We hope the success of Solaesthetic in this year’s HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards will help it go from strength to strength, as well as prove to other budding entrepreneurs that business dreams really can be turned into reality.

Start-Up Stars supporter, Google, will be offering £11,000 worth of free services plus mentoring at Google’s UK headquarters, to be split between the four winners.

Specialist Business Partner, Start Your Business, will also be offering a year’s free subscription to each of the category winners.

The overall Winner will be revealed at a black-tie gala dinner at London’s InterContinental Hotel on November 23rd.

Other supporters are the NCGE (National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship), The British Library and Sky News.

Email: Media3@comms.aspectgroup.co.uk


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Arundel Jones Associates Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 07334149
Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333 email
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News Categories : Renewable energy devices