Sheffield-based Mobile Power off to Boot Camp

Sheffield-based Mobile Power off to Boot Camp

13 October 2016

Sheffield start-up, Mobile Power, will go head-to-head with other winners of The Duke of York’s prestigious business event series, Pitch@Palace, at tomorrow’s boot camp in Oxford.

The boot camp follows the first event hosted by the AMRC’s Factory 2050 in Sheffield where a panel chose three successful tech firms from 20 pitches. These three tech businesses have now been given the opportunity to receive support and guidance in developing their pitch, as well as the chance to pitch at boot camp on 14 October.

Sheffield-based Mobile Power, one of the winners of Pitch@Palace, delivers renewable energy at a price-point affordable to  emerging markets in Africa.  Using a pay-per-charge rental model, they supply smart battery packs at an affordable price to low-income households.

The idea originated when Jono West was in The Gambia, a small West African country in 2011. Shocked by the number of mobile phone users who had no access to grid electricity, Jono and colleagues came up with the idea of renting out battery packs (instead of solar panels) at an affordable price.

The team then came to Sheffield to develop their idea, sending their first battery packs to The Gambia in January 2013. The company are based on Division Street in the centre of Sheffield and employ 6 people of which some are voluntary workers.

Cllr Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business and Economy, said: “We are very proud of Mobile Power’s success. Pitch@Palace is a great opportunity for businesses to receive business support and mentoring that connects them with internationally operating financiers and influencers.

“We wish them the best on Friday and will continue to support them through our business services at Business Sheffield.”

Jono West, Founder of Mobile Power and Boot Camp Finalist of Pitch@Palace, said: “We are delighted to have been selected for boot camp. Our business has social aims and is really important to developing countries, so we are really excited about this opportunity.

“People in The Gambia have to walk miles to charge their phones on diesel generators and rely on polluting oil lamps for light so our battery packs really could change people’s livelihoods.”

“We came to Sheffield to develop the battery packs because of the city’s rich manufacturing industry.  It’s been a great city to develop our idea and the amount of support we have received from institutions like Business Sheffield has been fantastic.”

Jono and colleagues approached Business Sheffield when they first thought about building their idea into a business.  With help from a start-up growth advisor, they were guided through everything from launching their product to helping them prioritise.

If you are looking to start a business, become self-employed or already have a business operating in the city, Business Sheffield are here to help you get your idea off the ground, set up and grow.  Call them on 0114 224 5000 to find out how or visit the Business Sheffield events page and book on to a workshop today.

For more information on Mobile Power visit:  www.mobile-power.co.uk