UrbanVolt wins Google’s Adopt a Startup competition

13 Dec 2018

From left: Anne James of UrbanVolt, James Allen of Adopt a Startup and Hannah Cusack of UrbanVolt. Image: Shane O’Neill/SON Photographic

UrbanVolt beat out some serious competition to become the winner of the latest Adopt a Startup competition.

After many weeks of work and competition, LED lighting innovator UrbanVolt has won the latest  Google Adopt a Startup contest. An intense finale at Google EMEA headquarters in Dublin on 11 December saw UrbanVolt emerge victorious.

Anne James, marketing manager at UrbanVolt, described the win as “a wonderful recognition of the work our team put into the programme over the past 12 weeks”.

She offered insights into how the team earned the top spot: “At the outset, we identified a number of OKRs (objectives and key results), the achievement of which has transformed our business. Our Google mentors shared their expertise in automating business processes and scaling, and we’re excited to put our learnings to the test in the US market.”

Helping companies reduce their carbon footprint

UrbanVolt works with some of the biggest companies in the world to reduce their carbon footprint through a move to LED lighting. According to James, UrbanVolt has saved the emissions equivalent of taking 9,000 cars off the road annually with its first 200 clients.

Google mentors told the UrbanVolt team that its pay-as-you-save model was a unique selling point and recommended that the team communicate the benefits of it in simple language. “Another objective we achieved with our team was developing an online pricing calculator, where potential clients can get a quote for their project in just 38 seconds,” James said.

“Over 20 new sales leads have come to us online during the programme, signalling the beginning of a new digital growth spurt for the company.”

A competitive final

Eight finalists presented a seven-minute pitch focusing on the results they achieved through working with their Google mentors.

The judges were: Mary Phelan, global head of search, trust and safety, Google; Gennadiy Nissenbaum, manager of large customer sales in Russia, Google; Colin Goulding, director, YouTube; and Joe Healy, manager of high-potential start-ups, Enterprise Ireland.

They had the difficult decision of picking the winner from a diverse line-up of companies.

UrbanVolt – making a positive impact

Speaking at the final, Paddy Flynn, head of Google Ireland’s start-up programme, said: “UrbanVolt is a great example of a company who are trying to make a positive impact to the environment while at the same time building a strong commercial business.

“UrbanVolt was chosen by the judges because of the significant progress they made over the 12-week mentoring programme. Working with their Google team, they identified a series of objectives, which they explained to the judges along with the impressive results they achieved.”

UrbanVolt will receive €10,000 in Google Ads credit and will become eligible for the Google Cloud Platform for start-ups – this comes with $100,000 Google Cloud credit. The seven runners-up will also be eligible for the programme, along with $20,000 Google Cloud credit.

Runner-up Nasal Medical was awarded €5,000 in Google Ads credit. In third place, Dashmote received €3,000 in Google Ads credit and Trustap was awarded three months’ free hot-desking at Dogpatch Labs.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects