It’s a Thursday night in Mojo’s, you’re enjoying a snakebite after a long day of lectures and your slightly intoxicated friend nominates themselves for this week’s round of karaoke. You whip out your phone to capture this comedy gold on your Instagram story, but a 5% battery remaining warning message pops up on your phone screen. If only there was a way to overcome this!
A popular bar at the University of Reading has installed mobile phone charging stations to help students avoid low battery panic.
RUSU president Molli Cleaver announced this new addition to Mojo’s Bar- located in the Students’ Union- in her weekly Facebook progress update earlier this week.
Image credit: Molli Cleaver
Molli said: “The provider got in contact with me about installing the charging stations on campus. I thought it would be a great idea to enhance the student experience.
“I worked in bars for two years so found people quite often came searching for a charger so I hope this helps to solve the problem.”
And to find out more about the innovations themselves, The Spark’s Print Editor Taz got in touch with the CEO of the charging bank provider, Mr Tilmouth, who happens to have recently graduated from university himself.
24-year-old Hugo Tilmouth- who studied Renewable Energy Engineering at Exeter University- innovated his phone charging initiative ChargedUp following a light bulb moment during a cricket match.
The CEO said: “I was sitting at Lord’s Cricket Ground waiting for a call to come in about a job offer and my phone battery was running low – the ultimate panic situation. I had to leave the match to go and buy a charger.”
“In that moment it occurred to me how great if would be if you could rent a portable charger from somewhere when your battery is running low.”
And it was from this moment onwards that Hugo’s moment of panic transformed into a million-pound tech idea.
Since its launch, ChargedUp has thrived into a network of 15,000 power banks doted across communal spaces in London.
By scanning a unique code, customers can unlock a battery from one of the power banks, charge their phone, and return it to any station on the ChargedUp network at the end of the day.
And with a hire charge of just £1 per hour or a maximum of £3 for the day, it is no surprise that the initiative has bolted to the top of the market.
Its founder said: “Running out of charge is actually a universal problem, no matter your age, gender or social background.
“The locations of ChargedUp stations ranges from Pubs, Universities, WeWork buildings, to M&S stores, ensuring they are easily accessible for all demographics.”
Talented Hugo also credits the help of two investors in the scheme’s early stages of success. He said: “With the support of our capital partners Jerry Stokes and Daedalus we built a strong team with complementary skill sets to help us scale rapidly and launch the business.”
Hugo Tilmouth from Berkshire is the founder of tech company ChargedUp. (Image Credit: ChargedUp)
The first of the 1,500 ChargedUp power stations was installed at Big Chill music bar on Brick Lane, London- a venue close to the team’s headquarters.
Describing the experience of the first installation, Hugo said: “It only took around 30 minutes for someone to use the charging station. With no education or reference points, as we are the first people to do this in the U.K. – that was a very exciting moment.”
And as well as offering a helping hand to commuters, the tech project also holds a global objective close to its heart. Not only has the team partnered with a green energy provider for the recycling of its batteries, but by encouraging Londoners to share power banks, it is helping to keep the demand of lithium low.
The businessman said: “It’s the responsibility of all businesses to ensure they have the least environmental impact possible. We thought it was not an optional element of forming a new company.”
Ahead-of-the-game Hugo also gives readers a glimpse of what is next on his agenda.
He said: “We are expanding across the U.K. rapidly and moving into more and more cities. We are now at 1500 venues and expect to reach 2500 by the end of the year.”
For more information on ChargedUp log on to chargedup.green.