Second-year undergraduate student Anjali Devadasan is leading a new start-up called EVA Turbines. The start-up looks into how to decrease greenhouse emissions by generating low-cost renewable energy on the roads. Since its creation, the team have reached the semi-finals of the WE Innovate programme and received offers from Hackspace and Enterprise Labs.
In this blog post, Anjali explains more about her experience and what inspired her to lead the start-up.
Can you tell us more about the project?
Our project, EVA Turbines, aims to decrease greenhouse emissions by generating low-cost renewable energy on the roads. EVA is an efficient, recyclable, vertical axis wind turbine which rotates due to the air turbulence of passing vehicles.
We are at the early stages, currently prototyping our minimum viable product, and we are very encouraged by the support Enterprise Labs and Hackspace offers. It has now been around six months since starting the project, and the project was simply an idea/concept when I started with WE Innovate. Since then, I have learnt a lot about business (lean canvas models, value propositions, customer discovery, etc.), met lots of new, inspiring people and formed a great team.
What inspired you to choose this focus for your start-up?
I would like to positively impact the environment and mitigate Climate Change, so I am interested in using technology to contribute towards this. An initial idea from when I was at school has eventually changed and pivoted to become EVA Turbines. This project will likely continue changing as we keep adding ideas and learning from others, but our focus on mitigating Climate Change will always be present.
What is it like leading an interdisciplinary team?
It has been exciting forming the team and working together on the project. We are all passionate about Climate Change and dedicated to making a difference. My team member Yu is also studying Materials Science in my cohort. He focuses on product engineering, having previously worked on other projects such as racing drones and AR glasses. As we are both studying Materials Science, it is interesting when we can apply materials science knowledge to the turbine blades and other components. Ukendar is managing turbine design and development, being our mechanical engineer with experience designing projects such as a 3D-printed sensor for the blind. Mariam studies Geography at King’s College London. She is involved in branding, communication and data analysis, with previous projects related to climate change research, such as a policy proposal for zero-emission vehicles. Having a diverse, interdisciplinary team is exciting, as it means we have a wide range of ideas, can learn from each other and work together to build our skills.
What did you learn and how will this help you in future?
I have learnt a lot from the team, mentors, and the many inspiring start-ups at Imperial. Being part of WE Innovate with an idea is like being on a flowing river; I have been gently pushed forward out of my comfort zone every step of the way. The business coaching, masterclasses and modules have been invaluable, and I especially enjoyed the masterclass about effective communication during pitching, which involved two magicians from Breathe Magic teaching us magic! I am truly grateful for the opportunity and would recommend everyone to explore their ideas further with the Enterprise Labs. As a team, we can continue implementing the lessons learnt about business and prototyping for the project and further explore the venture with Climate Launchpad.
I have learnt a lot from reaching out to others and learning from their experiences, so if you would like to have a conversation, please feel free to reach out.