Australia has one of the highest greenhouse gas emissions per person in the world, and the vast proportion of our electricity comes from dirty coal and gas. In fact 85% of energy produced in Australia is still generated from fossil fuels!
One startup looking to change that stat is Switch & Shout, a platform designed to help as many Australians as possible switch to clean energy, reducing pollution and furthering the fight against climate change.
The company was founded by Michelle Keam who successfully applied to the Energy Lab Accelerator program and is working to make Switch & Shout a reality. By increasing consumer demand for renewables, Michelle believes we can fast-track the conversation about the benefit of secure, clean energy and move away from unsustainable (and environmentally damaging) fuel sources.
Michelle arrived at the idea for Switch & Shout after graduating with a Masters of Business Sustainability and applying her expertise across the globe while working for Not-for-Profits, government organisations and large corporates. Her career took her to all corners of the globe including Nepal, India and London. But it was arriving back in Australia that fueled her desire to help people make more sustainable choices and embed sustainability further into the Australian way of life.
Since joining the Energy Lab accelerator program Michelle has found that “the biggest takeaway has been to surround yourself with like-minded people”. In particular, “having access to a group of startups who are in a similar position to use, experience similar set-backs and generally are able to emphasise with our situation has been immensely helpful”.
Not only that by clean tech or energy tech startups often face a number of additional challenges compared to software only companies. The fact is they are dealing with hard science, physical resources and often expensive hardware. To bring all this together, while still presenting a compelling opportunity for investors makes the value of accelerator programs like Energy Lab all the more valuable.
On this topic, Michelle was quick to say “we admire the work of the team at Energy Lab who have identified the challenge faced by startups in the clean tech sector and provide the best possible environment for success”.
Success is what Michelle will be chasing in the coming months. The plan for Switch & Shout is to their MVP up and running for testing within six months, before moving to release a product that is valuable, accessible and demystifies the energy sector for all Australians within the year.
This article is part of an in-depth series we are running on the EnergyLabs Accelerator Program. Over the next few months we will be profiling all of the startups taking part in EnergyLabs program to showcase how they are tacking some of the world’s most pressing challenges when it comes to clean and renewable energy.