Tech start-up benefits from environmental consultancy
A local tech start-up business is looking to go from strength-to-strength, after working with Keele University and Stopford Energy and Environment to establish a sustainable supply chain and business model for their new product.
Urgos, based in Stoke-on-Trent, is in the process of developing an innovative energy-efficient kettle with the disabled in mind. With environmental responsibility and ethical business practices being a key part of Urgos’ values, they were keen to be part of Keele’s landmark Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND)* project.
Batsirai Muguti, Chief Digital Officer at Urgos, said: “We understand that consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, and we want to reflect that in our business at foundation level. We wanted to establish a sustainable supply chain and business model before we launched our product to market, but lacked the resources to research this as thoroughly as we’d like, so we approached Keele for support.”
Through the SEND project, Keele University aims to transform the UK’s largest university campus into a living laboratory researching, developing and testing the latest energy efficient technologies. Alongside this, more than 200 local businesses from a range of industries are being provided with access to expert consultancy to help them to identify development opportunities in low carbon and smart energy markets.
The fully-funded consultancy services, provided by Stopford at no cost to participating businesses, aim to boost sustainable supply chains across Staffordshire and enable the county to benefit from the expected growth in the low carbon economy over the coming years.
Thanks to the support provided by Keele and Stopford, Urgos have developed a new and comprehensive knowledge base on sustainable business practices, specifically tailored to meet their needs. The work has also supported the development of their product through the introduction of a new approach to manufacturing based on material properties and environmental impact.
Batsirai added: “The team from Keele and Stopford have been extremely helpful and the information provided exceeded our expectations both in terms of quality and relevance. The SEND project has given us the firm foundational knowledge we needed in order to make our business model sustainable in the future.
“We now have a clear sustainability strategy and, thanks to the significant amount of time and money that the project has saved us, we have been able to push our business forward significantly.”
If you are a Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire SME and are interested in finding out more about the opportunities available through the SEND programme, please contact Stopford Energy & Environment on 0151 357 7740, email SEND@stopford.co.uk or visit www.keele.ac.uk/send.
*The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator project (ref: 32R16P00713) is part-funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds England Growth Programme 2014-2020. It is also part-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).