The Success of the Urban Tech Challenge Competition

Posted by Vincentas Vitkauskas

In late 2022, our partners, Kaunas Science and Technology Park, launched the Urban Tech Challenge competition, a platform for startups to tackle industry problems in the areas of Health Tech, Smart City, and Greentech. As representatives of Ignitis Group, our team presented five challenges prevalent in the energy industry that we are currently facing or anticipate in the near future. To incentivize solution providers, generous EU grants of up to 60,000 EUR were made available. While not all challenges were fully met, we are already witnessing the remarkable benefits of at least one successful endeavor.

Among the challenges presented, the task of creating an integrated mobile application solution for electric vehicle (EV) owners to optimize charging based on energy market prices captured our attention. Building upon our previously launched Ignitis EnergySmart mobile application, which enables households to monitor their energy consumption and production, we sought to incorporate additional features that would enhance consumer experience. This is where Gridio, an innovative Estonian startup, stepped forward, accepting the challenge to tailor a solution specifically for our existing mobile application.

The solution providers embarked on a series of stages to deliver the final product, encompassing hackathons, demo days, MVP creation, piloting, and scaling. In Q1 of 2023, Gridio successfully developed a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to conduct a proof of concept and test smart charging integration with multiple car models. A crucial aspect of Gridio's solution was its direct integration with cars, as smart chargers are not yet widely prevalent in Lithuania.

The pilot stage commenced in March, and since then, we have been diligently expanding the range of compatible car models and refining the user experience of the smart charging functionality. As of early June, an tally of 93 cars are now connected to the EnergySmart application, leading to savings of over 200 EUR. Looking ahead, our focus will shift towards scaling the solution after the final stages of the competition.

We take great pride in participating in our partner's initiatives and collaborating with agile market participants. If you are a startup in the energy sector with a groundbreaking solution, we encourage you to reach out to us without hesitation. Together, we can explore potential partnerships and drive innovation in the field of energy towards a brighter and more sustainable future.

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