Who are you?
Christopher Neumann studied for his Masters degree in Sustainable Economics at the University of Kassel, Germany. As part of his studies, he researched innovative business models for onsite use of solar power and developed his interest in citizen-driven renewable energy activities.
Christopher joined the Pioneers programme to identify new opportunities for working in the renewable energy sector.
The Pioneers programme encouraged me to think in a business model way and learn how to make successful programme and funding applications.
As a bootstrap start-up, it has been very important for us to gain access to the networks and opportunities on offer through Climate-KIC.
What did you achieve?
Following Christopher’s experience on the Pioneers programme, he co-founded Prosumergy with two other partners. Prosumergy is a start-up specialising in the provision of renewable energy to residents and tenants through the installation of solar PV. The company has completed 30 projects since its launch in 2016.
The start-up offers a range of services to landlords and homeowners, including the planning and installation of PV systems with an economic analysis and funding advice. Prosumergy acts as the project manager to undertake technical, legal and administrative tasks during the installation phase.
Prosumergy can act as the energy provider through renewable energy generation and also has innovative solutions, such as the provision of a ‘white label’ offer. This allows landlords to take on the role of energy supplier to tenants with direct contracts between the landlord and tenant to supply electricity. This includes meter reading and customer billing.
What did the Pioneers experience help you with?
The Pioneers programme provided Christopher with an understanding of business models and opportunities. Although his University studies covered economics, the real-life experience of developing a start-up and entrepreneurial skills was useful to Christopher whilst launching his own start-up business. In particular, the Pioneers experience taught him how to identify and promote the benefits that matter most to customers.
Christopher’s participation on the Pioneers programme was just the start of his journey with Climate-KIC. The Pioneers experience and international connections made through the networking opportunities, provided the stepping stone to further involvement in Climate-KIC’s Accelerator programme. This pioneering start-up has gone on to win several awards for its innovative business model, including Climate-KIC’s Accelerator programme, Georg Salvamoser ‘Junge Energie’ prize and Energy Start-up Award.