Pitch to the Panel: Hallidays

Hallidays is a fish friendly hydropower group that is creating a world where anyone living near a river can generate electricity from the flowing water. Their focus is making hydropower an accessible and affordable electricity generation source that is competitive with fossil fuels.

Hallidays founder, Henry Reilly-Collins explains how it all began “It started in 2007 when our family took on a derelict mill to develop into beautiful apartments. It was going to be a lot of work, so I joined the team as an engineer. Immediately I recognised the rush you could feel inside the apartments from the flowing water, you could literally feel the energy from it. I started working on a big proposal to make these apartments as sustainable as possible. This outlined harnessing electricity from the falling water, heat energy from the river, using the large roof for solar power and super insulation throughout.”

This passion for sustainable living led Henry to discover a new technology during a visit to Germany. “This is such amazing technology, it’s called an Archimedean hydro screw. Throughout history it was used to pump water. But I wanted to use it to generate electricity. The beauty of this as well is that it is fish friendly, as it moves so slowly that if fish travel inside, they are unharmed. The first time we started doing this, we were like This is amazing, the waters rushing past us and creating energy, it makes so much sense’. We wanted everyone to do this. But this was so expensive to build, so we needed to find a more cost-effective way.”

This is when Henry set up Hallidays Hydropower and began developing a lighter weight and lower cost hydropower, fish friendly technology out of recyclable polymers.

Due to the nature of the work Hallidays carry out, they were heavily involved with Oxfordshire’s Low Carbon Hub. It was through this connection that they were signposted to OxLEP for additional business support. Henry tells us about his experience “As a scale up business with a social purpose, we joined OxLEP’s eScalate programme. It offered terrific one-to-one business mentoring support as well as peer network group sessions. We found the sessions really valuable; it was great to speak to like-minded people who were going through similar experiences as us.”

PITCHING IN!

As a growing business with the ambition to expand and scale-up internationally, Hallidays were invited to take part in OxLEP’s Pitch to the Panel – an event that gives businesses the opportunity to meet and pitch to a group of Oxfordshire based investors.

“I’ll be honest, we’ve previously avoided pitch panels because pitch decks are always evolving and I guess we’ve never quite felt ready for it. But when this event came up where a panel is already selected and put Infront of you, we didn’t want to turn down the opportunity. It really focused us to pull together a new pitch.”

Following the pitch the group of investors submitted feedback to Hallidays and Henry tells us how helpful that is to the business …

“The feedback we received was extremely valuable, there’s plenty of nuggets of advice in there for us. I’ve shared it with my whole team and financial manager. It’s allowed us to see what we could do better and what we need to incorporate next time. It’s put us in a much stronger position for our next pitch. It will focus our mind about what we need to do to be investment ready. The Pitch to the Panel was an all-round good experience and if you’re a scale up business thinking of getting involved in the next one, I would say definitely do it.”

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