Practicing an investment pitch at a Virgin StartUp event earned founder Hugo Tilmouth a huge £200,000 to kickstart his mobile phone charging business.

Photo of the ChargedUp founders

Hugo, 24, launched ChargedUp in 2017, giving bar and restaurant-goers the chance to charge up their mobile phones using a portable power pack.

Wanting to scale the business through crowdfunding, Hugo participated in our Accelerator programme, CrowdBoost, which equips founders with everything they need to know about devising and delivering effective crowdfunding campaigns.

He found the programme so useful that he didn’t even need to launch his campaign.

“We were going to do a crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube and they recommended the CrowdBoost programme to us to help us achieve our goals,” Hugo said.

“The programme was brilliant. It was a six-week crash course in lots of different things: from financial modelling to pitching, and even how to produce a video to attract investors.

“The pitching practice was so good that one of the investors who we practiced our pitch on said they’d fund us straight away. They were a group of angel investors- we were only going to look for £150,000 and they invested £200,000.”

Photo of a phone

And it wasn’t just the investment that helped ChargedUp take their business to the next level.

Hugo added: “Aside from the money, we used everything we learned in CrowdBoost to help grow the business. It was very useful in sharpening up the business. And what’s more, you go through it with about ten other businesses, so you get to learn from your peers – especially as we thought we were a little bit behind some of the other businesses on the programme.”

Powered by green energy supplier, Octopus Energy, ChargedUp say they’re removing the need for people to own power banks and reducing the demand on the planet’s lithium resources.

A ChargedUp battery costs just £1 per hour of charge. Now in 1,500 venues across the UK, Hugo and the ever-expanding ChargedUp team are setting their sights high, both here and further afield.

Hugo said: “We want to be in 10,000 outlets and are just about to expand into Germany. We have 35 people working for us at the moment and are keen to hear from people who want to work with us – we’re constantly hiring.

“London is the best place for a tech start-up. It’s got the most VCs, the most investors, great talent – it’s the greatest city for start-ups.”

Find out more about how our CrowdBoost programme could help you and your business today.