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Climate Tech

IoT For Sustainability

Written by – Agrim Nagrani on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

The current fast paced world is creating new opportunities for growth every day. With emerging technology and an interconnected world via IoT, there is always room to create a new market and provide solutions for growth of older ones to create a more technologically advanced society. 

The fourth industrial revolution, more commonly referred to as Industry 4.0, is characterised by the use of smart technology developed by a combination of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing and Internet of Things, to analyse data in order to increase efficiency and user satisfaction.

The creation of smart factories and machines, opens up a realm of possibilities, providing for solutions in Manufacturing, supply chain management, modernising enterprise applications, edge computing, smart systems, 5G and many more. 

What exactly is Industry 4.0?

In a most generic way, Industry 4.0 describes a rapid shift to the use of automation and data exchange in technology and manufacturing processes, creating a system where machines rely on wireless connectivity and data analysis to monitor and process statistics and data to make autonomous decisions.

With the availability of affordable edge infrastructure and advanced connectivity technologies, Industry 4.0 has become increasingly mainstream, taking hold of the traditional manufacturing system and   completely revolutionising it.  

Heavily dependent on IoT, ML and AI, it has paved a way for the next revolution, one guided by robotic automation.

Why is IoT important?

The internet of things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes the idea of the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices.

The data from IoT is important as it creates an improved customer experience, with greater efficiency in production and optimised monitoring and data analyses to further industrial growth.

With the changing world, the need for novel solutions is now greater, with more focus being put on the future, especially a self-sustainable one. 

Businesses need to rebrand themselves, or prove themselves to be at the head of the change as reliable information providers in order to keep up with the flow of the tides.

IoT entrepreneurs need a wide range of vision to cater to the needs of the market, both the current and future, and as such the IoT businesses can be generally categorised as core, adjacent or transformational depending on the type of services it provides.

IIOT and Industry 4.0

Industrial IoT or IIoT takes the concept of IoT and applies it on large scale industrial settings with focus on instrumentation and control of devices using cloud computing.

Use of Machine-to-Machine communication to achieve wireless control was a pre-existing working concept, however, with use of cloud computing and machine learning, a new level of automation can be achieved, thus leading to unprecedented growth in revenue and creation of new business models. 

Some of the more common uses of IIoT are: 

  • Smart manufacturing
  • Smart power grids 
  • Smart cities
  • Smart digital supply chains

While IIoT and Industry 4.0 are separate concepts, they do benefit each other and are considered as a set piece when working to increase efficiency in operation via automation.

Industry 4.0 itself is non-existent without IIoT while the concept of IIoT is inefficient without the concept of Industry 4.0 and as such, they share several common agendas.

  • Focus on results and efficiency to streamline production process and make manufacturing viable and cost efficient
  • Both categories heavily depend on high speed wireless communication between smart machines and constant real time monitoring and data analysis.
  • People Driven and requiring constant development and implementation with people capable of interpreting data to further innovate on faster efficient processes

Benefits of IIoT

Maximising revenue – By eliminating unplanned downtime and getting to market faster, improve revenue growth

Lower operational costs – Interconnected machines and industrial data boosts productivity while lowering cost of production

Improved Quality – Market analysis and monitoring via an interconnected system improves efficiency and quality of service/product

Creating a Brand

With the vast domain that is IoT, it is difficult to find a niche to hold onto and create a business model surrounding it.

In order to keep up with the booming growth, there is a need for constant influx of novel ideas and sharing information in order to create a brand image that is credible and also due to the recent nature of all developments and a lack of general awareness, it may be difficult to provide both efficiency and sustainability.

This is where IoTAGI comes in, enabling access to technology and partnering with Industry 4.0 based service providers to curate customised IIoT solutions and help usher in a new era of digitization.

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Climate Tech

Energy Transition: The Real Challenging Scenario

Written by – Chandrashekhar Chincholkar on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

The World is going through a serious climate crisis, and it is important to start addressing the issue.  Paris Agreement signing by 194 Nations and subsequent submission of INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) has set the ball rolling.  

COP 26 strengthened commitments from various countries further to Energy Transition. The move towards complete Green / Renewable Energy is the need of the hour. Solar, Wind, Renewable Fuels like Hydrogen is the real need of the hour. Solar prices per unit have dropped significantly in the last 10-12 years and it is important to move faster to further penetration in power generation through Renewable Power. 

Hydrogen as a fuel of the future has a lot of promise but the initial costs of Hydrogen Green are higher. The Green Hydrogen prices are in the range of $ 5-8 per Kg. Further reduction in electrolyzer power consumption required per Kg of Hydrogen needs to drop at least 20-25%.  Also, the technological advancements to reduce the cost of Electrolyzer is also the biggest need for low cost of Hydrogen / Kg.

Decarbonization which is the biggest need for the World today has two major areas from Energy perspective:

  1. Mobility related Decarbonization – which is approx. 22%. 
  2. Manufacturing related Decarbonization – which is approx. 78%. 

Both these phases of Decarbonization needs huge capex going ahead and as per recent reports from IEA and Mckinsey, the funding requirement will range from $ 150 to $ 270 Trillion over the next 30 years. This is going to be biggest challenging area for the World as Corporates gear up for Decarbonization in every activity. This move towards Decarbonization will address the biggest concerns faced by Institutional Investors as ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) reporting and disclosures becomes deeper day by day. 

Challenging times ahead for Global Economies and Corporates.

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Climate Tech

Energy Tech startups need more support

Written by Beth Henderson on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

You believed in us and completely changed the trajectory of our startup” A startup that I’d been working with once told me this after they’d come through an accelerator program I was involved with. This startup almost didn’t make it onto the program because they couldn’t clearly articulate their business model or value proposition. But I took a chance on them even though I didn’t really understand their solution, because I had a gut feeling the founding team were something special.

This got me thinking, how many start-ups in the past have invented complex hardware technology with the potential to solve some of the biggest problems we face today, but never succeeded to commercialise? There are a multitude of reasons why startups fail, but it pains me to think that incredible technology is out there sitting dormant because its technical founder couldn’t quite pitch it right, or understand the right market to target or the angle for the value proposition.

More support is needed for early stage technical founders who are struggling to get the business side right. Particularly for climate and energy tech, where the technology can be highly complex and it’s higher risk for investors and industry to get commercially engaged without demonstrated traction.

So what can the startup support ecosystem do more of to help these founders succeed?

Over my past 5 years of being involved with energy-tech startup accelerator programs, below are the top three responses on the things that had the biggest impact on accelerating their growth:

  1. Learning a structured method for customer discovery and sharpening the value proposition: This was the number one most impactful outcome for startups. It’s traditionally been an area only taught in marketing degrees but education in this space is highly needed for technical startup founders. Early stage founders have often told me hiring a marketing person is something they can only afford once they start getting decent revenue, but getting to that point is so hard without the skills to talk to customers in a way to understand their pain points, then frame your value proposition in a way that directly addresses those. I’ve seen so many ‘aha’ moments from founders who started out overloading on jargon and buzzwords when trying to sell, then swap to a message that clearly addresses a customer problem in simple terms.
  2. Relentless pitch practice and feedback: During our programs, founders deliver their pitch to different audiences 10-15 times, each time getting valuable feedback from our pitch coaches and adding new learnings. The main takeaway is that they should be able to go into any investor or customer meeting and have a clear and compelling story that they know back-to-front and can deliver with confidence. Early stage founders can’t outsource sales, so it’s critical for them to learn this skill as they will continue to struggle to make a business out of their technology if they can’t sell the vision for it.
  3. Connections for mentorship: There are a lot of intelligent and successful people out there who are willing to help founders, they just need the right channels to find each other. More dedicated channels to aggregate mentors and startups in specific verticals, and oversee the success of mentor matching are needed. Having access to corporate industry experts to help validate assumptions in a no-pressure environment has been instrumental to helping accelerate the startups’ growth.

The elements I’ve described above don’t take millions of dollars to implement but can make a huge difference in helping to accelerate getting game-changing technology to market. So, if you’re in any capacity to support startups, consider these areas to focus your efforts. 

And where is that startup from the start of the story now? They’ve done over 30 customer interviews, completely overhauled their value proposition messaging, their pitch is unrecognisable from the first version and they’ve just been awarded the ‘Most Disruptive Renewable Energy Startup in South East Asia’ by a major publication. 

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Climate Tech

Satgana: A Global Venture Studio

Written by Jashna Pillay – Digilah (Thought Leadership)

Want to find out more about our operations and exactly what we can provide to you and your start-up? Or are you looking to make an impact investment and explore the potential of capital for good. You’ve come to the right place!

Why?

Today, the investment landscape is powered by a broader base of investors who are marshaling billions of dollars to tackle one overarching global threat: climate change. “Climate tech VC isn’t just having a moment, it’s entering a new age”, says Andrew Beebe of Obvious Ventures. Climate tech includes solutions aimed at decarbonizing the planet. This has been bolstered by recent trends including a staggering rise in extreme weather disasters, an international push for net-zero emission targets and new technological breakthroughs that can potentially fight climate change. 

We believe that some of the most successful businesses of this decade will stem from solutions addressing the climate and ecological crisis. Based on this premise, Satgana was launched in September 2020 with the aim of being a launchpad for other good companies that develop market-based solutions to solve these issues.

What?

The Venture Studio Model is dedicated to systematically producing new companies. Our mission is to launch and fund planet-positive startups that address the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

The diversity of fund structures positioned to foster and profit from early-stage business development and support is increasing. Incubators and accelerators are the first round of model innovation whereas Venture Studios represent a continuation of this trend. Further, this model thrives on shared solutions, shared talents and shared growth, which in turn result in reduced, distributed costs and better applied efforts. 

How?

For an entrepreneur, starting out may seem like the hardest part. How do you grow an idea from the ground up with little resources, reputation, or staff? You’ve had this amazing idea, you know it has potential, you’ve identified your target market and know how to sell to this demographic. But there’s work to be done in getting a company off the ground. 

At Satgana, we support and invest in impact-driven startups

The best entrepreneurial talent is sought by their ability to solve real world problems and to execute on those ideas. Therefore, our purpose as a Venture Studio is then to test those ideas and back them with funding and resources to launch and grow responsible companies with a triple bottom line approach: People – Planet – Prosperity

How much?

We create bespoke support from the idea-stage until the first round of external funding, which typically occurs through a seed round, 12-18 months after our Venture Studio work.

Our goal is to invest capital in tranches, from 30k€ in founding capital to pay a stipend to entrepreneurs for their first few months, and up to 500k€ in pre-seed capital. The goal is to work alongside entrepreneurs during the “valley of death”, where great ideas are not yet fundable by traditional sources of capital which typically require traction and oftentimes existing revenue and growth.

Where?

We are a globally distributed company, leveraging remote work to tap into global talent and foster collaboration between teams in the Global North and the Global South. We are a diverse team of professionals from a large spectrum of backgrounds across Europe, India and Africa.

We believe that talent is evenly distributed across the world, and so should opportunities. ​At Satgana, we strive to solve wicked problems and we have the opportunity to do so through the flexibility that the Venture Studio model allows. Guided by the SDGs, we see the challenges the world is facing and aim to create start-ups to solve these gaps by inspiring entrepreneurs around the world to build market-based solutions. 

If you’re interested in building an impact-driven startup with Satgana, apply here or, send us your pitch deck to jointhejourney@satgana.com. We are on a mission to build and invest in climate-positive start-ups.

Categories
Climate Tech

Climate Tech

GREEN-SHOPPING MAINSTREAM

Written by Deepak Subramanian – Digilah (Thought Leadership)

As COP26 comes to an end, there is an even bigger emphasis on sustainability within the business sector and we can expect more brand owners to jump on the ESG and sustainability bandwagon. At the same time, there is growing consciousness with consumers about climate change. All of us slowly begin to understand that the choices we make can have a lasting impact on the health of the planet. We are all increasingly being flooded with green offerings of some sort or the other. And more will come!!!! Consumers are indicating that they need help in solving some of the pain-points around shopping for green products.

They say “Don’t…

  • make me change my daily habits and make it inconvenient for me to use green products”
  • make it so hard for me to find green products”
  • make it so expensive for me to use green products”
  • make it so hard for me to identify which products are really green and which are not”
  • make it so technical that I don’t understand my impact when I make a green choice”

I believe that online shopping can be a big force to trigger the green shopping movement. There are many aspects of e-com that can address these pain-points in the moment of the shopping act

  • High quality first party data can help identify current and potential green shoppers.
  • Live streaming can help mobilize key local influencers to make green shopping trendy
  • Green labelling can help to better signal to shoppers which products are truly green.
  • Product pages can help educate on the performance and benefits of green products (vs regular offerings)
  • Gamification tools like coins can help measure the impact of a green cart vs a regular cart
  • The pricing algorithms can drive better repertoire purchase with cross-sell and upsell actions
  • The high reach of these platforms can drive scale economies to bring down green product costs.
  • The efficient fulfilment networks of these platforms will allow for brand owners to also avoid the fixed costs related to running a targeted go-to-market system

It’s no surprise that a big retailer like Amazon looks to address these friction points with the launch of the Amazon Climate Pledge.

Two major developments are needed to make online shopping for green products truly impactful.

  • Retailers will also need to play their part in designing and implementing more circular delivery systems which promote reuse and recycling of packing material (including options with less / better / no plastic). It does not help to deliver green products to the consumer homes with lot of virgin plastic and cardboard.
  • Brand owners and retailers must leverage industry bodies to establish independent and science-based certification systems that become the common currency in the industry. We must avoid the fight for ‘my certification VS your certification’ as this will erode consumer trust.

As with most big transformations, this requires strong leadership from the top of the organization. It also needs a different kind of leadership from the past. We need a mindset that prioritizes partnerships across the value-chain (suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers) with the common intention of solving the consumer friction points and to make shopping for sustainable products truly simple and easy.