We’re starting the year off with a new interview from our entrepreneurial series. Today we’re speaking to Miguel Frasquet, CEO of Solatom, a company dedicated to providing a sustainable and affordable alternative to the fossil fuel boilers currently used by factories. Thanks to its activity including the proposal of “solar boilers”, this start-up contributes to the decarbonisation and efficiency of industrial processes, especially of small and medium-sized companies.
Generating thermal energy from renewable sources in a competitive way is one of the main challenges for energy companies. For this reason, Solatom’s project was one of the 14 selected among the almost 400 initiatives that participated in the Positive Energy+ call for proposals launched in April 2020 with the aim of mitigating the economic and social effects of COVID-19.
During 2020, the start-up also opened a financing round that allowed companies from the energy sector, including Enagás and BP, to join the organisation’s shareholders. Finally, last October it was selected from the 11 finalists of the 116 ideas received by the programme Ingenia Energy Challenge, and awarded a second prize for its proposal of hybridisation with natural gas.
What attracted us was a combination of the stage we were at and the companies behind the call. We have always thought that to be agile enough you need innovative ideas and start-ups to bring them to life, but to maximise the impact you need the support of big business. Positive Energy+ brought the two together, and both from the energy sector.
“To maximise the impact you need the support of big business. Positive Energy+ brought the two together, and both from the energy sector”
The outcome has been very positive. During the process we had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with large energy companies, something unthinkable until then. As a result of these first conversations, we have found synergies, points of collaboration and so on, and now they are our partners. Couldn’t be better.
This investment represents a qualitative leap for Solatom. Firstly, we will be able to continue evolving our technological roadmap with solutions such as the hybrid solar boiler with natural gas, which will be a milestone for our start-up and a great boost to our commercial offer, allowing us to access a greater number of potential customers. This is a great opportunity for the Spanish industry to minimise fossil fuel consumption.
Furthermore, this investment allows us to start exploring international markets.
Many things, one of the most important for me is having a clear vision. Vision is essential because it gives us focus, tells us which lines we should cross and which we should not, and helps us to be resilient when things don’t go the way we expect. If along with vision, you also know how to convey it, it is likely that you will build an extraordinary team. A solid vision is like the counterweight of a roly-poly toy or the keel of a boat, no matter how big the waves are, it will always keep you upright.
“At Solatom we are part of this change, bringing sustainable thermal solutions to the industrial sector. We are providing new alternatives to promote the use of renewable heat”
The energy sector is currently experiencing a period of great change. We are in the midst of a transition to a much more decarbonised, decentralised, digital model. The famous three D’s. But those are not some distant future, those are our present. At Solatom we are part of this change, bringing sustainable thermal solutions to the industrial sector. We are providing new alternatives to promote the use of renewable heat.