IIT Madras

Team Thermelgy was an “experienced” team, in the sense that the professor (Faculty Lead) had already been through the I-NCUBATE program twice earlier with other start-ups. Besides three enthusiastic Entrepreneur Lead, Thermelgy already had an anchor investor, who was a successful entrepreneur in Thermelgy’s line of business, namely, energy efficiency. Thermelgy’s innovation involved effecting significant savings in industrial processes by measuring heat flows and losses at strategic locations in a process plant or factory, and by analysing the data with proprietary algorithms.

Whilst making their first product, the team realized that the vast range of process industries in India across multiple sectors suffered from significant thermal inefficiencies which could be prevented by implementing their innovation. The team decided that instead of focussing on just one product, it might be more logical to gain a better understanding

of diverse customer requirements and then build a more scalable business. Thermelgy, thus, came to the I-NCUBATE program with a clear hypothesis on what they should do.Due to their strong domain knowledge, the team was able to segment the market for industrial heating and cooling. However, the team faced disappointments as several of their original ideas and hypotheses were invalidated during the customer discovery process. After meeting over a hundred potential customers and other stakeholders, the team pivoted from their original innovation of ‘IoT-enabled thermal and electrical energy system management’ to ‘IoT-enabled HVAC process and equipment management’.

Post the I-NCUBATE program, Thermelgy develop a proprietary IoT software platform to manage the air quality of large buildings. With the continued guidance of the academic faculty, the anchor investor, and by building a solid management team of experienced professionals, Thermelgy is well on the path to scaling up its business.