Inspiring Innovator 2021 -
Smart Cirquit crowned Inspiring Innovator of the Year 2021
We were delighted to host our sixth Inspiring Innovator of the Year in November, an annual event where we select four new businesses with the potential to disrupt their markets. This year, technology start-up Smart Cirquit took home the overall prize.
Smart Cirquit install so-called smart circuits in homes to improve the efficiency and shelf-life of existing switches. Installing these circuits means customers do not have to pay for expensive upgrades to electrical infrastructure and can keep previously owned devices or purchase any items off-the-shelf as the circuits are product-agnostic. These circuits also improve sustainability by encouraging usage monitoring. For example, if a pot of boiling water has been on a hob for two hours, the customer will receive a notification to their mobile phone that an electrical appliance has been on for an extended period of time.
“The circuits use artificial intelligence to monitor behavioural patterns and offer suggestions on when to turn off applications at certain times of the day” Osman Faisal, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Smart Cirquit, said during his five-minute virtual pitch on 18 November. “The circuits directly derive information from the appliances and monitor electricity usage.”
The company is targeting care homes and people with disabilities, a market it says is overlooked. The company estimates there are around 17,600 care homes in the UK and aims to sell their circuits to 300-400 care homes in five years.
“Smart Cirquit has very much identified a gap in the market—providing an essential service for customers with disabilities who have been historically underserved by many businesses and bringing a product to market that improves the efficiency of electrical infrastructure” said Paul Beach, Head of Executives and Entrepreneurs and co-founder of the Inspiring Innovator programme. Paul acted as Master of Ceremonies and co-hosted the event with Shalu Kara from our Wealth Planning team.
A night to remember
The Inspiring Innovator of the Year Award gives four new businesses from Bayes Business School, (part of City, University of London) a platform to showcase their business to key industry figures in the entrepreneurship landscape and build relationships.
This year, the other finalists included friendship app Fethr; PanMoja, a peer-to-peer micro financing digital group; and Smoofii, which sells ready-made smoothie kits.
Four panellists questioned each of the finalists after their five-minute pitches, drilling into the detail on their business proposition, financials, forecasts and competition. Panellists included Christine Nicholson, Mentor of the Year, a businesswoman and author of four business books; Jim Keeling, Chairman and Chief Executive of Corbett Keeling, one of the oldest corporate finance advisory firms in London; Lauren Le Franc, founder of The Little Coffee Company and winner of Inspiring Innovator of the Year 2018; and Khalid Al-Qaqa, CEO of Elevator Engineering Enterprises and a Bayes Business School, (part of City, University of London), alumnus.
Enter the dragon
Theo Paphitis of BBC’s Dragon’s Den fame and serial entrepreneur, made a video for the event sharing business tips and congratulating the finalists. Joel Satchi of EMenu Now, who won last year’s award, gave a brief speech about how winning the award in 2020 helped him grow his business from turning over £250 a month to £25,000 per month in six months, and how they are now on track to hit £1m per month within the next 12 months.
“Being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a plane and building it on the way down” Joel said. “You may have a fantastic idea, but no one believes you. You really need a door opened. And winning the Inspiring Innovator award last year opened so many doors. Arbuthnot Latham was core to helping us get off the ground. They are a fantastic family to be a part of.”
Following an audience vote, Joel went on to announce the winner and passed the virtual baton on to Smart Cirquit.
Shalu Kara, co-founder of Inspiring Innovator of the Year said, “I am delighted that Smart Cirquit won the award, and we’ve already received offers of support coming directly from our audience. I can’t wait to see what they deliver in the next 12 months.”
“Thank you so much,” Osman said on video, beaming. “It’s overwhelming to win this competition. I just want to thank everyone who voted for our idea. You don’t know how much this will help us get the product into the homes that need it.”
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