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Scene Connect

Co-founded in 2011 by Vijay Bhopal, Scene Connect was one of the first climate start-ups that we supported at ECCI. Find out how we helped develop this social enterprise from a great idea to a low carbon business success story.

What does Scene Connect do?

Scene Connect works across the renewable energy and energy access sectors internationally. It focuses on strengthening communities through consultancy, research and development of ICT products.

Specifically, Scene Connect works in the community energy sector, collaborating with non-specialists to help them develop renewable energy projects. It also researches the sector for governments, banks and think tanks.

The story so far

Scene Connect was initially set up by Co-director Vijay and two other University of Edinburgh alumni to address the gap between energy generation and citizens. They saw renewable energy as the perfect opportunity to improve the lives of communities around the world.

“In developing economies, renewable energy is an opportunity to bypass fossil fuels and head straight towards a clean economy.” Scene Co-director, Vijay Bhopal

ECCI supported Scene Connect from the outset, including offering the business a home in our hub. Their first project in 2011 was a baseline study and database of all UK community energy projects. This was something that had never been done before.

Since then, Scene Connect has gone from strength to strength, opening offices in London and India and winning various accolades. Vijay was named Scottish Renewables Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, and in January 2018 Scene collected two prestigious Rushlight Awards. The latter wins were achieved as part of the collaborative SCORRES project.

How ECCI helped

When Vijay and his co-drectors first came to us, they knew their business idea wasn’t ready for launch. With the support of our unique climate industry knowledge and bespoke mentorship, straddling academia and business, Scene Connect came to fruition. We were also able to offer the team invaluable connections through our networks of contacts and other businesses.

Vijay says: “For us, being part the innovation suite is a real advantage. ECCI has an excellent reputation and as a resident, it gives us a certain kudos. There are also lots of events going on here, allowing us to make the perfect introductions. We actually work with two of the other residents now, which is obviously very helpful, and there is a productive low-carbon ecosystem here.”

Since 2011, Scene Connect has gone from three to six staff and quadrupled its turnover.

“Without ECCI, we quite simply wouldn't be here. They gave us a chance and now we’re thriving, so we're very thankful for that.” Scene Co-director, Vijay Bhopal

Get business support

Want to replicate Vijay’s success? Perhaps we could help you launch your own low carbon business through the Climate-KIC programme at ECCI.