Original article was published in dubaiweek.ae
A green start-up from Dubai is off to Oxford University after earning a place in the finals of a Dragon’s Den style funding challenge.
Dubai-based Taka Solutions, which launched three years ago, will represent the GCC region in the upcoming final of The Venture, in New York City this July, to compete for a share of US$1 million.
Next month they will head to the prestigious UK university, for a 10-day accelerator programme.
Their vision? Taka Solutions aims to make homes and businesses green to help save energy and money. The twist? They’re only paid by the saving their work generates.
The bright idea was one of 25 startups from across the world to be finalists of Chivas Regal’s global search to find and support the most promising social entrepreneurs.
Managing director Charles Blaschke told judges at a regional finals held at China Grill, the Westin, that his firm could reduce the world’s energy usage by 20 per cent – the equivalent of all the world’s new CO2 and power plants for 10 years – simply by using better existing technologies to control energy use.
Exciting stuff! Charles says of the winning pitch: “We’re really happy to be part of it. What we do is very social, very environmental and has a huge impact on the world.
“What we do is not a new concept, but what is new is that we offer what we do to the client at no cost. We’re every active with our results and so far what we do has been good. We have a huge positive impact, we get paid and I think that is what the judges liked.
“We weren’t just some guys wanting to get a million dollars, we had some good ideas, we were ready to take it round the world and we could save 20 per cent of the world’s energy.”
Engineer Charles, along with co-founders Chris Burkhardt and Philip Schloss, already has 30 business clients, including the Fairmont the Palm hotel.
Now they want to take the concept to residents and show them how they can save AED 5,000 from the average annual AED 10,000 spend on energy. That could be sooner rather than later if they win The Venture, with a new energy-saving app already in the pipeline.
“We have a big task at hand to do this region proud and to represent this region and Dubai,” adds Charles.
“We’re hoping to get the backing and support of the UAE government, as we’re very aligned with Sheikh Mohammed’s vision.”
“Our model and what we do and the impact we can have on the world is greater than any company we know. As long as we deliver, I reckon we can crush the competition.”
Want to reduce your environmental impact? Check out our guide to going green in Dubai.