Unreasonable Group’s Shell Startup Engine UK Pilot To Get Started Soon

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The Unreasonable Group, which runs multiple accelerator/business mentorship programs for growth-stage social entrepreneurs, is about to launch the pilot of its latest program, this time with Shell UK. Called Shell Startup Engine UK, the pilot targets clean energy startups likely to help the UK transition to green power and improve access to energy.

“Our hope with this partnership is that it becomes a hallmark example for how countries and even the most established energy companies can support startups to accelerate the energy transition,” says Shankari Mylvaganam, director of strategy and global partnerships at Unreasonable. 

The program’s 30 ventures will either be UK-based or plan to move to there. Scheduled to kick off in September, it will take place over 12 months, though the proceedings won’t involve a continuous, year-long engagement. While the ventures haven’t been publicly announced, according to Mylvaganam, they target the spectrum of energy needs, from direct consumer businesses to energy generation.

Take Aceleron. Founded in 2016, the London-based company makes lithium batteries, assembled in Birmingham, with a circular economy approach. Its technology allows batteries to be assembled in a way that makes continual maintenance and upgrading possible, extending their lifetime to up to 20 years.

Among other benefits, according to CTO and co-founder Carlton Cummins, that makes it easier to deploy them in remote, off-the-grid areas, as well as for use storing power for electric bikes and other light mobility applications. “We designed a battery that can be updated and maintained, instead of having to replace the entire product,” he says. Also, according to Cummins, customers, who are distributors, find servicing their own end-users more satisfying, since they can easily repair the problem.

An On-Ramp

Unreasonable also is about to announce the second cohort of its Unreasonable Future accelerator. Launched with Accenture, Pearson and Fossil Foundation in March 2019, its focus is combining emerging technology with an inclusive philosophy to address and shape the next generation of work, an emphasis of particular urgency in the time of Covid, according to Mylvaganam. “The primary focus is on ensuring that an on-ramp for underserved youth and life-long learners will be built into the economy and jobs of tomorrow,” she says.

Other Unreasonable accelerators include Unreasonable Goals, for growth-stage ventures aimed at addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, working with the U.S. State Department and the United Nations, and Unreasonable Impact, which, together with Barclays, focuses on enterprises trying to solve urgent societal problems that also are well-positioned to create a sizeable number of jobs.

Shell StartUp Engine UK is part of Shell UK’s larger portfolio of socially conscious, innovation-oriented programs, like Girls in Energy. The one-year course delivers weekly lessons, workshops and field visits to young women age 14 to 16 to learn about career opportunities in energy.

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