Aceleron gets ready to accelerate

Carlton Cummins, co-founder of Aceleron, a cleantech start-up supported by the University of Birmingham’s BizzInn business incubator, has won the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

The last few months have seen a snowballing of interest in Aceleron, which repurposes lithium-ion batteries from electric cars for re-use as battery power in developing countries that are in need of cheap, rechargeable energy storage.

Until recently, the company was testing its business model using batteries supplied by battery and laptop recycling companies in the Midlands.

It is now making plans for a supply chain that will service demand from Central and South America for its repurposed battery packs, which will enable people in those countries to store the energy generated by solar panels, for re-use in the evening and overnight.

The Shell award is the second award the company has received this year. In January, University of Birmingham graduate Dr Amrit Chandan, who is Carlton Cummins’ business partner, was highlighted as a standout entrepreneur through his inclusion in the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list. Since then, Aceleron has entered into talks with providers of international funding that aim to achieve substantial societal development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way.

Dr Amrit Chandan commented:

“The mass availability of cheap solar panels has enabled domestic customers in the developing world to generate their own electricity, without the need for supply from the grid. The irony is that while there is typically enough sunlight to generate this electricity, the cost of storage solutions is prohibitive for many of these people.”

The company will meet this need, and also reduce the amount of lithium-ion battery waste exported by the UK, which currently stands at over 1,000 tonnes a year.

Aceleron, which is also participating in Pitchfest West Midlands 2017, has benefited from the support of BizzInn business incubator staff at the University of Birmingham.

David Coleman, Head of Enterprise Acceleration at the BizzInn incubator commented:

“Birmingham attracts a number of really innovative and entrepreneurial people, like Carlton and Amrit. With the right support behind them, such as that provided by BizzInn and Pitchfest, these individuals can go on to transform their ideas into really impactful high-growth businesses.”

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