ENEL just won the Prix du Jeune Entrepreneur PJE 2021 by Les Conseillers du Commerce extérieur de la France. The startup was pitted in final against BioT Healthcare from EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), Digit Soil and fyn foods from ETH Zürich, BottlePlus and Soul Bites from University of St. Gallen - HSG.
Led by co-founders Sami El Bouari (CEO) and Hassan Lantry (CTO), two engineers who have known each other since elementary school, EPFL spin-off ENEL is developing a solution that transforms old generation electricity meters, such as those found in most developing countries, into smart communicating meters, in a few minutes, at a tenth of the price.
Making Old-Gen Electric Meters Smart
Electric meter reading hasn’t changed in most countries over the last 50 years making it tedious and very expensive to capture one unique data point monthly. This small visibility on consumption catalyses fraud. The only solution yet, Smart meters, is too expensive for developing countries at around 200€ per household. ENEL’s device, transforms old-gen electric meters into smart meters at a tenth of the price in a plug & play approach, after connecting it to the old gen meters in 5 minutes. ENEL measures data , transmits it and alerts providers in case of fraud. Its SaaS handles this data and automizes energy providers’ tasks allowing fraud detection, remote reading, automatic billing & dynamic pricing.
As Sami El Bouari explains to Startupticker.ch “Winning the PJE in Bern was a great opportunity for us to gain visibility in the Swiss Startup Ecosystem. Also, it allowed us to meet various people ranging from potential investors to C-suite Executives in the energy industry and new clients.”
ENEL is part of part of the first EPFL Blaze Accelerator Program cohort launched in March 2021 comprising 6 other future startup projects: Crypties (Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies), BIoT (IoT Medtech), Green Future (logistics, SaaS), Hikane (hardware, social impact), Limoo (foodtech, social impact), H2Tech (energy).
Speaking of the future, ENEL is set to successfully operate its test deployments taking place between June and August 2021. In the meantime, the team is also finalizing a fundraising round for the end of Summer 2021 that will help it catalyse ENEL and accelerate it on different new markets.
Supporting rising talent
Focusing on promising new ventures and entrepreneurs, the PJE CHF 10’000 prize rewards projects in the creation phase or very recently created. In recent years, the jury has selected startups such as: Caulys (Grégoire Gentile, Tom Lachkar et Vincent Keller), Cyberhaven (Vova Kuznetsov, Cristian Zamfir and Vitaly Chipounov), Sun Bioscience (Nathalie Brandenberg and Sylke Hoehnel), Volumina Medical (Amélie Béduer), Apety ( Aurélien Soccard and Teo Stocco), Abionic (Nicolas Durand, 2010).