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The Big Pitch is a business idea competition exclusively for undergraduate and postgraduate students at Anglia Ruskin University, from any faculty or campus. Anglia Ruskin aims to find passionate entrepreneurs with exciting, imaginative business ideas and gives them the chance to pitch for prize money and support that they need to take their ideas forward. Anglia Ruskin Enterprise Academy provides business mentoring and support as the competition progresses.
Winner: AC Biode Team - Ignacio Gonzalez-Alcalde, BSc (Hons) International Business Management (Anglia Ruskin University) and Robert Kunzmann, studying a PhD in Engineering at the University of Cambridge - £3,000 Engineers in Business Prize

The AC Biode team won its Engineers in Business award for the creation of the world’s first AC batteries and electric systems for e-mobility and energy storage.

As devices become more mobile and interconnected, demands for higher battery capacity, longer duration, and better safety are dramatically outpacing what is supplied in the market today. Additionally, the regular Lithium-ion batteries in the market use a Direct Current (DC) system; therefore, electricity needs to be converted from Alternating Current (AC). It is for this reason that The AC Biode team has developed a solution to this problem – a battery that integrates a new type of electrode, the Biode, to enable an AC system for power storage to deliver batteries that have more capacity, last longer and are safer. The new Biode has both the characteristics of an Anode and a Cathode and allows our AC battery to be 30% more efficient, significantly smaller and safer than regular DC batteries.

Our world’s first-ever standalone AC battery solution will be licensed to battery manufacturers/parts manufacturers worldwide. The production of the AC battery will utilise existing materials and production lines. Therefore, market penetration will be faster than competitors that use new industry materials or offer all-solid-state batteries.

The mobility battery market is estimated to be 21 billion USD by 2026 with a CAGR of 4.2%. AC Biode’s business model is B2B and the team has been raising awareness by participating in several start-up competitions and conferences in Europe, Asia and the USA. There has been strong interest from 70% of 10+ stakeholders in Europe and Japan, who want to see larger and more powerful prototypes.

The innovators have a strong team and advisors with experience not only in the battery/circuit industry but also in researching particle accelerators in Tsukuba, Japan. The innovators already have one prototype of the AC Biode battery at 20W. Within a year, the team intends to scale up to 200 kWh with Cockcroft-Walton Multiplier optimised for mobility applications.

Positive Feedback

The Big Pitch is our annual business ideas competition exclusively for undergraduate and postgraduate students at ARU, from any faculty or campus. The Engineers in Business Award adds value to the competition as it provides a focus for our engineering students to think about how their engineering skills can contribute to business innovation and influence their prospects after university.”

Marcia Baldry-Bryan, Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Manager, Anglia Ruskin University