Smart Home ‘IoT’ Technology Heating Up For Birmingham Business

Last night, the 16th April, Birmingham-based technology company Heat Genius were awarded the edie award for Energy Efficiency Product Innovation.

Now in their 17th year, these awards recognise and celebrate advancements in green technologies and excellence in onsite energy, water and resource management. Winners in other categories include EDF Energy, Heineken, B&Q and National Trust. [1]

This success highlights how the Midlands is a hidden hotbed of entrepreneurial innovation. Nearly 13,000 companies were set up in the city during 2014/15, with this number growing faster than all other UK cities. Birmingham has 12,972 startups, the highest number outside London. [2]

The edie award recognises that the Heat Genius smart home heating control is leading the market. It’s the only system that can learn when each room of a home is normally used, and automatically schedule each radiator to come on at the appropriate time. That puts it ahead of strong competition from Google Nest, Honeywell and British Gas’ Hive, by offering greater potential energy savings.

International business press leader Bloomberg previously awarded them the title

“Business Innovator 2016” [3]. The award puts them alongside other innovative companies from across the UK that are shaking up their respective industries, including Transferwise, GoCardless, Funding Circle, Crowdcube and Deliveroo.

That award came just days after closing their first funding round, receiving £200,000 from three of their existing customers. Director Alasdair Woodbridge welcomes the recent recognition and support:

“It’s wonderful to receive recognition for what we’re doing, I think the award really shows that Midlands businesses can compete on the national and international stage.

I think our winning strategy has been to focus on making sure our customers receive an excellent experience. These awards and the fact that three of our customers are prepared to invest in our future growth shows that this strategy pays off in the long run.

The investment will be incredibly helpful to stay ahead of the competition, by developing our product and improving our marketing. We’re up against some huge competitors including Honeywell, British Gas and Google, but we’re confident we can stay ahead of the game.”

Their smart heating control system is the most technically advanced on the market, and the only that can learn when each room of a home is used, switching radiators on and off automatically at the appropriate times.

It can also control underfloor heating and operate via a mobile internet connection. It’s this flexibility that has attracted a solid customer base, including Accord Housing who installed the system as part of a energy efficiency programme for their tenants.

Heat Genius has previously participated in the Cognicity Challenge, organised by the Canary Wharf group. They have benefited from the support of Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) incubator and Climate KIC, the EU’s climate change innovation programme.

REFERENCES

[1] http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/business-news/birmingham-sees-largest-increase-start-10495910

[2] http://www.edie.net/news/6/edie-environment-energy-EE-awards-2016-winners-Birmingham-edie-Live/

[3] http://www.bloomberg.com/ukinnovators/

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