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AI Alumni Video Stories: a balancing act with Sympower

Although we’ve just opened applications for our inaugural AI acceleration program in Den Bosch, Rockstart has quite a bit of experience in the field. Since 2012, we’ve had a few graduates working with artificial intelligence and machine learning across very different industries, applying the innovative approaches and automating key business processes. In a series of blog posts, we’re telling more about the journeys and experiences of our AI graduates.

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For the third post in our alumni stories series, we sat down with Simon Bushell, founder and CEO of our 2016 Smart Energy graduate Sympower. Like many alumni, Sympower elected to remain in the Rockstart building where they have based their headquarters. Simon discusses this, along with some other details of Sympower’s journey, in the videos below.

WHAT IS SYMPOWER?

“Sympower makes software for the energy industry. We optimize when appliances use electricity to make sure the supply and demand of electricity is always in balance.”

WHY ROCKSTART & AMSTERDAM?

“For Sympower, Amsterdam is a great place to be—firstly because of the network we built up through Rockstart. And secondly because of the electricity system and the players in the electricity system here in the Netherlands are quite forward thinking.”

“I think the most valuable thing we got out of Rockstart was the network. So we have a great network now of mentors who have become our investors.”

HOW WILL SYMPOWER APPROACH AI?

“It’s possible now—the technology, the software—it’s all available now, it’s just about making it happen quicker and on a bigger scale, and that’s why Sympower’s here.”

“Artificial Intelligence is going to become more and more important in our product going forward. We’re going to be controlling a very large number of different appliances that are going to be doing different things at different times… and a machine learning artificial intelligence aspect of that is going to be extremely important.”

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?

“I think the biggest challenge as a founder… is that you’re responsible for everything and there are lots of things that you maybe have no idea how to do.”

“Of course there are lots of people around to help, which is one of the other reasons that being at Rockstart is so important and so valuable.”



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