University of Birmingham alumnus highlighted as a ‘standout’ entrepreneur

University of Birmingham alumnus Dr Amrit Chandan has been highlighted as a standout entrepreneur through his inclusion the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list.

Dr Chandan was recognised in the Science & Healthcare category for co-founding Aceleron, a cleantech startup looking at how lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in electric cars, can be repurposed for re-use for battery power in developing countries that are in need of cheap, rechargeable energy storage.

Dr Chandan’s interest in business has evolved considerably since he started his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University. At that stage he considered a career in industry, but rejected that option after engaging with the University’s training for academic entrepreneurs.

He received extensive support from the University’s commercialisation team, through its high tech incubation services, offered by BizzInn. He set up Blue Vine Consulting in 2013 to provide technical market intelligence about the automotive, energy and technology sectors.

He went on to found Aceleron in 2016, with Carlton Cummins, who he met while working with a Blue Vine client.

The entrepreneurs share a vision to accelerate access to affordable energy storage in developing regions of the world, where the fall in solar electricity technology prices has encouraged rapid transition away from imported fuels. However these countries lack access to the essential energy storage due to the high cost of today’s storage solutions.

The UK is expected to produce nearly 3 million kilogrammes of battery waste from electric cars purchased in the last five years. While the repurposed batteries are of limited use to the electric car industry, they can be used as a safe, effective and cost-effective power storage facility for energy derived from renewable sources.

The University provided training and support to Aceleron when the company participated in the 2016 PitchFest West Midlands which connects investors with growth companies in the region.

Dr James Wilkie, Director of Enterprise & Innovation at the University of Birmingham, commented:

“We are delighted that Amrit has been recognised by Forbes as ‘one to watch’. His success, and the 50 jobs created by new growth businesses we have helped get started in the BizzInn demonstrate how the University is helping local entrepreneurs to succeed.”

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