Enel: Incubating innovative projects

Published on Tuesday, 22 November 2016

“Innovation is part of our DNA and is a fundamental part of our business strategy. We are placing our bets on local talent and promoting digital entrepreneurship across the country, while putting into action ideas that contribute to the industry of the energy sector and generate value for our customers”

– Carlos Mario Restrepo, Market Manager for Enel - Codensa and Enel Group in Colombia.

Therefore we decided to create OPEN INNOVATION to provide several diverse multidisciplinary teams with the opportunity to liaise and come up with practical solutions to sustainability hurdles. Enel's first Open Innovation event was the first virtual Hackathon for the energy sector in Colombia.

In pursuit of intelligent solutions for greater energy efficiency 

A hackathon is an event that seeks to come up with a solution to a problem, usually of a technological sort, through the creation or transformation of a product. Enel's first Open Innovation Virtual Hackathon for the energy sector in Colombia called on people who had ideas to "hack" the “energy problem”.

15 teams were organized to take on the Enel - Codensa Challenge: how to achieve the efficient management of energy services through a technological product.

“It was an enriching experience all around. It was extremely demanding and we learned so much in such a short time. We really managed to reinvent ourselves and explore new ideas at the Hackathon”

– Members of the Colombian Innovation Team, winners of the 1st Enel - Codensa Challenge.

Engineers, experts and tech novices spent 4 weeks receiving mentoring and training in order to come up with a viable minimum product to develop. The finalist teams competed for the grand prize of $20,000,000 pesos as seed capital, which was to be accompanied by a period of consulting and mentoring by Enel.

It was a tough decision, but the Colombian Innovation Team was the winner with its project AMY - an intelligent lighting system that automates a lighting environment (including intensity and adjusting to settings) via a HUB and sensors placed in special lamps manufactured by the team themselves.

“AMY was designed for use in the home: we worked on developing a product that saves energy, but is also accessible to the majority of the population. For the Hackathon, the challenge was to offer a product to small and medium-sized businesses that would save energy and be more sustainable, and so AMY - Enterprise was born. Right now, thanks to the Hackathon and its E-Challenge, our company has two lines: AMY-Home and Amy-Enterprise. Colombian Innovation Team.”

– Colombian Innovation team.

Being more energy efficient isn’t complicated – users adjust AMY with a simple application to AMY’s savings recommendations based on user energy usage patters. At $70,000 to $150,000 pesos per lamp (6w to 24w) users can save up to 40% and recover their investment in 7 months.

We support entrepreneurship that makes a difference

The Enel - Codensa E-Challenge was a great opportunity for Enel Distribución to unveil a promising group of Colombian entrepreneurs and endeavors that will prove to be agents of change in the nation’s energy industry, and to harness the broader panorama of the nation’s potential.           

“In Colombia there are so many talented people with really good ideas, and this type of initiative uncovers our potential. Furthermore, every entrepreneur who goes through this type of meeting comes away with fresh business knowledge. You may not win, but you can gain a wealth of information that will allow you to improve and polish all your collective ideas while learning about how to lead a venture and to set up a successful company.”

– Colombian Innovation team.

Enel will continue its search for talented people with the drive to succeed and to set a milestone in the history of Colombian innovation, and we will do our best to give them the energy necessary to achieve it.