The 2015 edition of the pan-European startup contest Idea Challenge sees an increase in variety and internationality. The series of events re…
CEO Miloš Milisavljević, Photo credit: Strawberry Tree
“We want to create a world where you will never run out of energy again.” This is the ambitious goal of the Strawberry energy Company, the first Serbian startup to ever receive an investment of 100k euro, coming from the accelerator and capital venture fund Eleven.
The invested amount has already been received by Strawberry energy, with all procedures having gone smoothly, Strawberry energy CEO and founder Miloš Milisavljević reported. In exchange for this support, Eleven will own between six to twelve percent of Strawberry energy, with the exact percentage depending on the valuation of the next investment round - the higher the valuation, the lower the share.
Intensive workshops, sessions and meetings
“We are really honoured to be the first Serbian company to receive 100K,” Milisavljević told inventures.eu. “It gave us a new energy to push innovation forward, it is a confirmation for us that our project has a lot of potential and that we have a lot of opportunities ahead of us. We are really thankful to Eleven to have recognized the value of our business and now we are quite amazed with the whole program.”
Moreover, the Eleven accelerator also supports startups via mentorship in the form of intensive workshops, sessions and meetings with mentors. “The concepts we find extremely valuable for our future progress are Lean Startup and Design Thinking. These new trends direct startups in their aspirations to create a viable and scalable product that will be the best answer to people’s needs. Moreover, the coworking atmosphere in the Accelerator is motivating and inspiring, fastening and energizing this way the whole process,” the young founder declared.
A startup with a green vision
Strawberry energy was founded in 2011 by Miloš Milisavljević. However, while the company has been around for only three years, the vision for creating public solar charging stations dates back to Milisavljević’s middle school days, when he was a student of the School of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade.
Currently, the startup employs seven green energy enthusiasts. However, with the aid of this latest investment, the team plans to add a few electrical engineers in order to boost the product development by introducing additional features and optimizing the Strawberry Tree further.
As for the future, the startup plans to upgrade its existing products and possibly also make changes to the business model in favour of scalability. In order to design new products, Strawberry energy plans to stick to the Lean Startup concepts and will therefore take steps towards researching, testing and validating learning. Later on, they plan to launch the new Strawberry Tree on foreign markets, but also to continue innovating and exploring new needs.
Power up under the Strawberry Tree
The young startup has invented the world’s first solar charger for mobile devices, which they call a Strawberry Tree. “Strawberry Trees are permanently installed public solar charging and WiFi stations where people can recharge their portable devices such as phones, tablets and cameras for free, only with the usage of clean solar energy,” explained Milisavljević. He told inventures.eu that they “install these solar stations in high traffic places like parks, squares and streets so they can be accessible to people along their ways, and power their mobile devices when they need it most - being outside their homes with an empty battery.”
Moreover, these charging stations serve a double purpose. As green urban furniture in the centre of town, Strawberry Trees are constant reminders of the benefits of renewable energy sources and social hubs where people can get together and enjoy their time outside while charging phones.
Stay tuned! The next time your phone runs out of battery, a Strawberry Tree might just save the day!
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