The executive team behind unique software that integrates renewable energy into the power grid has scooped the prestigious Scottish Venture-backed Management Team of the Year at this year’s BVCA Management Team Awards. Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) is headquartered in Glasgow with offices in London, New York and San Francisco, and will now represent Scotland at this year’s UK finals.
SGS’s enterprise-level distributed energy resources management system (DERMS) software connects a full spectrum of low carbon technologies to the grid (e.g. electric vehicles, solar and wind power generation, battery storage, flexible loads) while optimising grid operations and revenues for distribution network customers. The company’s flagship product, ANM Strata, is the only DERMS software on the market to combine ‘look ahead’ grid optimisation functionality with real-time control of service delivery.
The award was open to companies backed by a venture capital firm, i.e. not an MBO or MBI, where the investment was substantially to develop an innovative technology product or service. SGS investors Scottish Equity Partners made the initial nomination, before independent assessors Grant Thornton interviewed the shortlisted management teams, covering track record, achievements to date and future plans, plus team structure and strategy.
A representative of Grant Thornton’s judging panel said of SGS’s success: “Jim Kent and his team have created an industry-leading product at Smarter Grid Solutions, resulting in a business which has performed incredibly well in a competitive market. They have successfully transitioned to a software product model, expanded internationally and created a trusted reputation and brand, underpinned by the management team’s strong technical capabilities. There is huge potential for further growth.”
Over ten years, SGS has grown to a team of 70 and now works with approved energy network integrators across the globe, including North America, EMEA, India and Australia. The company estimates that it has connected over 1.3 GW of distributed energy assets to the grid to date, generating cost savings worth over €200 million to its customers.
Jim Kent, CEO of Smarter Grid Solutions, said: “This award is a special one for us, as it emphasises not only the quality of our products and internationalisation strategy, but also pays tribute to the fantastic team we have here at SGS. Their tireless hard-work and attention to detail means that our world-class product is continuously being improved and refined to reflect the needs of our global customer base.”
Last year, SGS opened a global R&D lab in New York City, which links with its Glasgow-based R&D lab to create a single virtual development environment and allows its development teams on either side of the Atlantic to collaborate closely. The labs support the development of SGS’s next generation of products by testing the scalability of its technology to millions of distributed energy resource devices and aligning product development activity with global market developments and standards.
The UK finals of the BVCA Management Team Awards take place in November.