Up We Go! BeFC selected to participate in the PrioJumpStart Accelerator Program

January 2023
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Up We Go! BeFC selected to participate in the PrioJumpStart Accelerator Program

This summer, BeFC's biofuel cells were selected to be part of the PrioJumpStart startup acceleration program. Our miniature battery solution was chosen for its advanced technology and for its potential to revolutionise the world of miniature batteries’ green energy production. BeFC’s biofuel cell is free of toxic materials, and contains biodegradable and organic components instead. These sustainable properties and our alignment with the energy transition’s priorities have earned BeFC’s place in the accelerator program. PrioJumpstart’s was such a rewarding learning experience, a high-end support focused on real-world implementation, that we wanted to tell you more about it!

Prio Jump Start: Open Innovation Program

The PrioJumpStart open innovation program is organised by the brains behind the Prio team. Why do we mention this? Prio is extremely qualified to run a green energy startup accelerator program. We did not select the program by chance : BeFC’s choice to apply to PrioJumpStart in particular was the result of a thoughtful and extensive research. In fact, Prio’s proven record of taking the lead in their industry, and initiating change with sustainable products is a teachable success story that would inspire any entrepreneur.

Today, Prio is key player in the biodiesel industry. Prio is Europe's third largest producer of advanced biodiesel with over 2 million monthly customers. The company operates in Portugal and Spain, and currently has 250 stations all over the Portuguese lands. These are impressive achievements but what is even more stirring about Prio is their ability to challenge the status quo of their industry. By blending innovation with scientific best practices, hard work and a thirst for creating a healthier stronger future, they have continuously brought important improvements to their whole sector of action. This is what happens when organisations go the extra mile. Prio was the first to offer rich bio-diesel blends to end customers, the first to launch robust digitalisation initiatives by providing mobile payment systems through phones, and the first to move into the electric age and the future of mobility.

Prio started their operations in 2006 as a startup. They know first-hand about the challenges of entrepreneurs and what it takes to actually deliver. After more than a decade and a half of building expertise in scaling, Prio has amassed a wealth of knowledge and tools about launching a green energy product and driving it forward.

PrioJumpstart asked us how far we’re willing to fly, and for BeFC, the sky is the limit.

Always in the spirit of encouraging and integrating the latest efficient innovations, Prio has released PrioJumpStart. The accelerator program seeks out the brightest technologies of our times in terms of energy transition, and focuses on the implementation of the concrete actions for growth. Eliott Aubert and Nathan Le Flao, BeFC’s business developers have carefully prepared our application for the competition in May 2022. PrioJumpstart received a high number of demands and we were eagerly waiting for the results. At the end of June, our patience was rewarded as the Prio team contacted BeFC! They informed us that we had won the chance to go through the Jumpstart accelator program, along with the 13 other winning startups.

This year's edition of the highly selective annual acceleration program focused on three core criterias: sustainability & energy transition, customer centric solutions and digital transformation. Prio collaborated with iMatch as promoters to build this competition, and the objective was to empower startups in the energy and mobility sectors through integrating their solutions within Prio, in the form of pilots.

BeFC's experience at the PrioJumpStart accelator program

The program started in July, with an intensive 3-day bootcamp focused on product design and pitching. Nathan and Eliott reported learning a lot and the workshops helped them develop some distinctive new approaches. Then began the month of coaching, where a mentor worked closely with them to perfect a tailored solution with the BeFC’s ecologic paper-cell, its active sensor tags and Prio. The outside viewpoint was very useful as we learned about new ways to optimise the biofuel cell batteries in alignment with the industries and market expectations. The mentoring sessions brought a fresh perspective to our team, focusing on technology’s valorisation and the development of our competitiveness through an approach centered around the customers.  Eliott and Nathan kept us informed of their progress, of the questions they received and opportunities to improve our products. They particularly noted and praised the involvement of the coaches, who were clearly driven by the desire to see the biofuel cells take off. Pedro Afonso and Andre Lopes, our mentors, were very reactive and efficient, and went beyond expectations to ask their various departments for information and quickly provide us with feedback. They were clearly experts who knew how to listen, understood our needs and advised us correctly, offering a very active and highly personalised support.

BeFC is proud to have had the opportunity to interact at length with such leaders in innovation and green energy. We have gained considerable mileage from this program, including a very deep understanding of what it takes to scale at high speed. As our team and activities are currently growing at an important pace, PrioJumpstart could not have come at a better time.

Contact us at info@befc.fr to discuss how BeFC paper biofuel cells can provide a sustainable battery replacement for a range of low-power electronic applications.

Together, power the future with nature. ©

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