1. What is Shell IdeaRefinery?

Shell IdeaRefinery is a 10-week accelerator programme supporting startups with proven digital technologies that can be pivoted to the energy industry. You will learn about trends, gaps and opportunities in the energy sector; and to create new opportunities for your startup to transform the energy sector, with focus on the ongoing energy transition in Singapore. That’s not all – you will also stand a chance to present your innovation to investors and collaborators during a Demo Day to be held at the end of the programme.

2. What is the difference between the Launch programme and the Pivot programme?

Type Pivot Launch
Value Gain insights into the energy sector, create additional opportunities for your established startup in a new vertical. Move from Minimum Viable Product or pilot to finding a product-market fit, and develop a viable business model and strategy for a successful launch.
Lifecycle Mid-stage startups (preferably Series A raised) Early-stage (Angel or seed funded)
Vertical Startups not currently in the energy sector, but who are keen on exploring alternative applications for their products and solutions to create an energy impact Deep tech startups already developing solutions with an energy impact.
Features
  • Curriculum focused on opportunities and pain points within the energy sector
  • Mentors from Shell and our partners with deep knowledge of their businesses and needs
  • Networking opportunities with corporates, accelerators, investors, academia and government agencies supporting energy startups

No funding will be provided as a programme offering, and Shell will not take any equity in your startup.

  • Curriculum focused on developing a sustainable business model and commercialising deep-tech solutions.
  • Mentors from Shell and our partners experienced in launching new businesses and products.
  • Networking opportunities with corporates, accelerators, investors, academia and government agencies supporting energy startups

No funding will be provided as a programme offering, and Shell will not take any equity in your startup.

Selection Criteria Proven expertise in current core competencies, and a strong intent in finding opportunities in the energy sector. You are not required to have viable plans for the energy sector at the submission stage. Technical viability of concept, potential of team to scale the business
Timeline Compressed 2-month programme, takes place in second half of the year 6-month programme, takes place in first half of the year
A Fictional Example HairRaising.tech uses advanced machine vision algorithms to predict your preferred next hairstyle, and recommends hairstylists best suited for you. Having raised its Series A round last month, the HairRaising.tech team is now exploring alternative applications for its machine vision technologies in the industrial or energy sector, but is unsure of the pain points and opportunities within this new vertical. FloatSun is developing high-efficiency long range wireless power transfer solutions for floating solar panels, based on radio-frequency transmission technology spun out of a local university. Small team of six: Four engineers, one sales/business development manager, one CTO. FloatSun hopes to create a sustainable business model around its technology.

3. Can I apply for both programmes?

We strongly recommend that you join a programme that is relevant for the stage of growth and industry vertical of your startup.

4. How many startups will be selected for this programme?

We want to ensure that the selected startups receive dedicated resources that are optimised in their maximum capacity. During the planning stage, Shell will carefully curate a programme tailored to give each startup personalised attention and direct mentorship – and a quantity that best serve this purpose.

5. How do you define young startups?

As a guideline, companies should not have received Series A funding of more than USD 5 million.

6. What is the selection process for startups to join this programme?

Startups with relevant innovations and the potential to tackle global energy challenges will be strongly considered.

Eligibility Criteria

We are looking for early stage Singapore-registered startups that:

  • are registered or have significant business operations in Singapore;
  • series A
  • not more than 3 years in business
  • fundraised not more than SGD$5 million
  • have a digital solution or new business models with early revenues and a strong team;
  • have an interest to pivot their technologies to one of the following energy areas:
    • Lowering the carbon footprint of how goods and services are produced and transported;
    • Changing the way people move within cities and across the globe;
    • Transforming the way energy is generated, managed and consumed; or
    • Improving energy connectivity and supply chains

Strong applications should include:

  • A form of digital solution or a new business model that has shown early revenues; and a strong delivery team;
  • that addresses one of the following energy areas:
    • Transform the way society generates and consumes energy
    • Lower the carbon footprint of how we produce and transport goods and services
    • Change the way people move within cities and across the globe

7. What is the investment into this programme?

We are unable to reveal the investment for the programme, and do not make any investments in our startups as part of the programme.

8. Does Shell retain the Intellectual Property (IP) that is developed during Shell IdeaRefinery?

No, Shell does not retain any of the IP that is developed during Shell IdeaRefinery. The IP developed by a participating company is retained by the company or any other party as specified in the company's relevant agreements or applicable law. Please do not reveal any trade secrets as part of the programme.

9. Why did Shell decide to launch this programme? Why Singapore?

Shell Singapore supports Singapore’s ambition to reduce its carbon footprint and build a sustainable city. In line with this goal, we aim to be a “living lab” of innovations in collaboration with the government and its people, to test bed and potentially commercialise digital and clean energy solutions relevant to Singapore, driving more innovations while providing thought leadership on the future of energy. Shell IdeaRefinery is an innovation programme to support this goal.

Furthermore, Singapore has long been regarded as Asia’s innovation hub and a testbed for start-ups. This makes Singapore a natural fit as a strategic choice for Shell to launch this programme.

10. What does success mean to Shell, in terms of evaluating IdeaRefinery’s impact?

The IdeaRefinery aims to increase the mix of energy-impact startups in Singapore. The best measure of our success is an increase in the number and quality of Singapore-based startups tackling the energy challenge.

We measure the success of each cohort by our startups – their ability to secure key partnerships, opportunities, and funding. In the Pivot programme, an additional metric will be the programme’s ability to help startups gain insight into the energy challenge, and explore alternative applications for their technology.

11. Will Shell invest in my startup?

During the programme development phase, we established a clear mission based on our intentions for IdeaRefinery. We believe we can add value to the energy-impact startups, and we hope to make a difference to the startup ecosystem.

While Shell IdeaRefinery and its partners do not retain any equity or benefit commercially from the startups, Shell businesses may take interest occasionally. This is, however, not our primary objective.

12. What other types of innovation programmes have previously been launched by Shell? How similar or different are these programmes compared to Shell IdeaRefinery?

Throughout the years, Shell has consistently launched global initiatives around innovation, targeting various audiences – e.g. Make the Future Festivals, Shell GameChanger, Shell TechWorks, Shell LiveWIRE, Shell Ideas360 and so on.

While these are different programmes with varying goals and mechanics, their key vision is uniform – and that is to identify the next generation of innovators who can drive positive impact in society with sustainable energy solutions.

13. Does Shell retain equity in the companies participating in Shell IdeaRefinery?

No, Shell does not retain any equity in the companies participating in Shell IdeaRefinery.

14. Does Shell retain the Intellectual Property (IP) that is developed during Shell IdeaRefinery?

No, Shell does not retain any of the IP that is developed during Shell IdeaRefinery. The IP developed by a participating company is retained by the company or any other party as specified in the company's relevant agreements or applicable law.