“Winning the Digital Solar & Storage Startup Award gave us visibility across the entire solar value chain”: Q&A with Joan Collell from FlexiDAO about winning the 2019 Startup Award

For the third year in a row, SolarPower Europe is searching for the brightest business ideas in the sector. At the virtual SolarPower Summit 2020, the 3rd annual Digital Solar & Storage Startup Awards, which will take place online, will honour small, early-career startups with the most innovative ideas in the field of digitalisation and solar storage.

FlexiDAO, a Barcelona-based startup that provides a blockchain-based software platform for energy retailers, won last year’s award. Joan Collell, the Co-founder and COO, convinced the judges with his presentation that demonstrated his company’s vision of providing the IT backbone that enables the transformation of the energy sector into a truly carbon-free, prosumer-centric, decentralised, and democratic market.

We asked Joan a few questions about his experience and any advice he had for new applicants.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about FlexiDAO and the service you offer to customers?
FlexiDAO’s platform offers transparent data on the origin of the energy that companies buy and its emissions, with an audit trail on a blockchain. Transparent energy data helps Sustainability Managers to: (1) lower the costs of energy data collection and reporting; and (2) prove and claim to stakeholders that their money goes into building more local renewable plants. FlexiDAO currently works in 9 countries, tracking more than 3TWh of renewable energy per year, working with global utilities such as Iberdrola, EDP, and Acciona.

2. How does your use of blockchain enhance your product?
We use blockchain as a digital notary which keeps a tamper-proof record of the hourly matching of energy from the production plant to the consumption point. This process can also be done manually without blockchain, but we chose this technology as it is the most cost-efficient notary for such a service.

3. Why did you first apply for the Digital Solar & Storage Startup Awards? 
We knew that this was one of the leading awards for the solar industry and we wanted to get more exposure from the SolarPower Europe ecosystem to help us learn from the latest market trends and to make connections with leading industry players.

4. What was the highlight of the experience?
After we won the award we had the opportunity to meet with industry experts, with whom we still keep in contact and who have helped us to grow our business – which is now active in 9 countries!

5. What advice would you give to applicants of the Startup Award?
Don’t be shy and be yourself! You have an important story to tell the industry, so just tell it in a clear and concise way so that everyone can understand it.

Voting for the Startup Awards will take place at the SolarPower Summit 2020 on Tuesday 29 September. The winner will receive €5,000, free coaching from Beefounders, and other valuable prizes!

To apply please click here and fill in the form by 31 August.

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