“With us being in
A company that launched last week,
Eunike says it’s filling a gap in the tech ecosystem by guaranteeing startups a pilot program. Others provide coworking space, financing or structured curricula, but Eunike saw a need for startups to work directly with potential customers in testing and using their products.
“There are a lot of accelerators focused on raising money for startups, but nobody is really helping them to get the pilot,” said
Nesh is Eunike’s first startup. It allows employees to ask questions out loud — How many rigs did
This would be helpful in morning meetings where employees are often asked questions that require leaving the room and digging through spreadsheets to answer. Gupta said it can also help C-suite executives answer questions without waiting for someone else to dig up the data.
In exchange for equity, Eunike helped Nesh refine its pitch and identify its strengths and weaknesses. It also introduced Nesh to the energy companies and helped frame the scope of its pilot programs. This promise of upcoming pilots has helped Gupta receive venture capital financing.
But this isn’t the first
Eunike only accepts startups for which it can guarantee at least one pilot program, and its team members have an extensive network and decades of experience with international oil and gas companies. In other words, Eunike has access to C-suite energy executives.
While some entrepreneurial experts claim startup programs can falter if they rely on corporate experience rather than entrepreneurial know-how, Henry said energy experience is crucial to expedite getting the startups’ technology inside these big companies. Eunike will have entrepreneurial mentors as well.
“You can have people with startup experience,” Henry said, “… but if they haven’t worked within an oil and gas company and understand the mindset, the risk, the decision-making, all the things that have to be covered, that just stalls the process.”
Henry used to work with
To select companies for Eunike, Henry and her team evaluate applicants based on the health of their companies, the strength of their employees, the plausibility of their technologies and how they could improve the energy companies’ profit margins. Inamdar said this eases some of the energy companies’ worries about deploying technologies from smaller firms.
And to ensure everyone benefits from the startups,
Eunike is a for-profit funded by taking equity, between 4 percent and 8 percent, or arranging some other revenue-sharing agreement with startups accepted into the program. Energy companies pay a management fee for participating in Eunike, and the organization will also seek out corporate sponsors. Its venture capital arm will be open to institutional investors.
“Anything we can do to break down the boundaries to make oil and gas firms less of a closed innovation model, more of an open innovation model, is good,” he said.
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