Lessons learnt:

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Entering the energy-efficiency market as a startup

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Lessons learnt:
Lessons learnt:
Lessons learnt:
Lessons learnt:

“You have a great product, but I am sorry, our management doesn’t buy from young, small companies”. I was told this again today. This time the statement was a lie: the energy manager admitted that one time he was able to persuade his boss to buy from an inexperienced supplier. He didn’t want to share the result; it obviously didn’t have a great ending.

Do I need to add that the company I am talking about is a large one? There is a reason why I approach them: our product is most suited for the energy intensive companies. We have an intelligent real time monitoring system that automatically can detect energy losses in machines as soon as they occur. It can be in a cooling, compressed air or steam installation. We make a difference of 10% in energy consumption. The larger the energy bills of the company, the higher the ROI, the more they might benefit from our system. The fact that we are young won’t make the savings less, but I understand their concern.

When I started Enprove three years ago, I was aware it was not going to be easy. In Belgium and beyond, more or less half of startups survive to 5 years. Only 8% will become “successful”.
Happily many people in large companies can look beyond this, and are our early adopters who believe in what we are doing and are willing to give us a chance. So my quest, as a young and innovative company, is to find those smart and open minded companies so we can help them operate more efficiently.

In some cases we are competing against one of these older and larger successful energy players. They figured out too that energy efficiency can be a very good business case. When it comes to budgets, they are Goliath.
So we needed to find our own unique selling proposition, and to distinguish from them. We don’t have the same manpower and budget, but we are smart and flexible. We had to find a way to turn this into an advantage: we didn’t make software with lots of bells and whistles (for now). We developed an intelligent system that can do some impressive things, such as detecting refrigerant leaks much more quickly in an innovative way.

One of our customers had a very nice way of putting it: “with system Goliath we will have a nice, multifunctional software that will impress our management. But with your Enalyzer, we will save energy and costs”.

I wish all startups not to feel intimidated by large companies, neither as a client nor as a competitor! There are certainly things that you will do better. Once you’ve found your unique focus, you’ll be building something new that will excite your future customers. And isn’t this our reason to exist?

By An Beazar, founder and director of Enprove, dedicated to reduce energy costs by improving companies' energy efficiency.

Posted on November 13, 2013 - (1491 views)
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TIMGlobal Media (formerly Thomas Industrial Media) concentrates upon meeting the need of industrial professionals for up-to-date product information. Since 1975, we have served the European market with industrial publications, websites and e-media.

TIMGlobal Media is a pioneer in providing specialised information for the industrial purchasing process. We serve the whole of Europe with IEN Europe, PCN Europe, Energy Efficiency: business & industry.

Local markets are provided with the following: IEN D-A-CH in Germany; PEI and ECI Electronique Composants & Instrumentation in France; IEN Italia, Il Distributore Industriale, Manutenzione Tecnica e Management, and CMI Costruzione e Manutenzione Impianti in Italy; and Endüstri Dünyasi in Turkey. Our goal is to bring buyers and suppliers together and to be the solution provider for the whole industrial buying process.

We achieve this by creating awareness, supporting the identification of new suppliers, providing up-to-date product and vendor information, and offering measurable benefits to advertisers and users.

Whether your company needs to be promoted locally in Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, or across Europe, TIMGlobal Media offers a custom mix of marketing, advertising and editorial services using a full suite of print, digital and online media.

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