But the founders had a vision for the company’s growth and domination in the energy efficiency industry and we quickly silenced the doubters.
As well as disrupting the energy industry, we also wanted to create a strong company culture which would attract talented staff.
Here’s a few facts you probably didn’t know about UrbanVolt
1. The name UrbanVolt was deliberately chosen as those two words are the same in every language in the world
We had global expansion in our minds from the very beginning. And it also sounds pretty cool. Rock band, energy drink or energy services company?
The other shortlisted names? PowerStaq and Nascient which both got the thumbs down.
2. UrbanVolt had to move office 3 times in the first year as we grew so rapidly in response to client demand
From humble beginnings, UrbanVolt started life as a team of 4 in a university campus innovation centre before quickly doubling in size and moving to a shared building.
We made our third move less than 6 months later to our own building, UrbanVolt HQ, which is home for now to our 30 staff.
3. UrbanVolt is the only company worldwide to offer true Light as a Service
While UrbanVolt created Light as a Service, there are now many imitators in the sector. However, none have been able to offer a true service and are merely offering financed lighting with a service tagline.
But we enjoy having imitators and it gives us a good opportunity to educate and advise our clients.
4. The Ark is UrbanVolt’s incredible and unique software which immediately calculates energy usage and potential savings
We have used machine learning and AI to create a powerful software which can generate immediate data on energy consumption for any premises around the world.
It is a game changer for the industry and demonstrates our commitment to innovation.
5. It was clients who started calling themselves UrbanVolters
So delighted were clients with the results of the projects, that they took a leaf out of the Googlers book and branded themselves UrbanVolters.
Now both UrbanVolt staff and UrbanVolt clients are affectionately known as UrbanVolters.
6. UrbanVolters range from pig farmers to big pharma Pfizer
If a company has a lighting or solar problem that we can solve, we’ll work with them.
Pig farms, bakeries, hospital, pharmaceutical plants, warehouses, car parks, manufacturing sites, the list goes on.
It makes for a great mix of business people at the UrbanVolt social events.
7. The staff like to get down and dirty with each other
But it’s not what you’re thinking!
We don’t sit around drinking coffee at team building days. Instead the UrbanVolters have opted to start an annual tradition of competing in assault courses. There is much fun and laughter - and even more bruises!
8. Office dogs are not only welcome at UrbanVolt HQ, they’re encouraged
Can you blame us?
Wilson arrived first and is now the beacon by which we can locate our CEO anywhere in the building.
Minnie followed soon thereafter - by bike.
Both have their individual personalities but they’re similarly great at breaking the ice with visitors to UrbanVolt HQ and they help with strategic decisions...we don’t trust ‘cat lovers’.
9. The annual awards ceremony is the highlight of the Christmas party
Awards you say?! But like everything, we do it in UrbanVolt style.
Previous winning titles were:
- They Scrubbed Up Well Award
- Amn’t I Brilliant Award
- Overheard In UrbanVolt Award
- Office Pet Of The Year Award (was not won by one of our office dogs!)
10. Speaking of awards, the first award UrbanVolt won was lost immediately - and a replacement was smashed
It’s true. Our Startup of the Year Award was lost in a taxi after the event (and after, ahem ‘several’ drinks).
How you ask?
Well, we tackled the awards ceremony with the same enthusiasm we tackle all of our projects and we went all in.
We were shortlisted for the award but had no hint of whether we would win or not. So we threw caution to the wind - and also threw ourselves at a few bottles of beverages.
Lo and behold, UrbanVolt was announced as the winner and at that stage we were hands down the most enthusiastic and vocal group in the entire venue.
Of course the celebrations couldn’t stop there, so we decamped to a local pub where the glass award took pride of place amongst the (many more beverages).
In truth, things were a little hazy after that.
But there is a group recollection of our CEO offering to bring the award home as it was quite heavy. But no, it was tightly gripped by another team member who insisted on bringing it home.
The next morning the text messages and phone messages starting flying early. ‘Do you have the award?’ ‘No, do you?’
Suddenly we were award winners with no award. Oops!
Many phone calls later it was clear that it hadn’t been handed in anywhere and it wasn’t going to show up.
But did it matter? Hell no. We won and that’s what mattered. And even better, we had a great story to tell about our first award.
A few more phone calls and we had a replica award on the way which took pride of place in our boardroom.
Until a clumsy UrbanVolter knocked it over and smashed it…….
So the lessons learned are: Let the CEO take the award if he offers to bring it home. And then lock it up forever.