Established in 2012 by Terry and brother Neil, Proterra Energy designs and installs micro hydro systems for small businesses.
To begin with, smaller micro hydro systems did not have the advantage of larger schemes; because there was no cost effective way that their owners could monitor performance accurately, the result was the potential for lost revenue.
“If there isn’t a process or product existing, you need to come up with it,” said Terry of Proterra.
“We came up with a telemetry system idea internally that we thought could work so contacted HIe for support. Through their Innovate Your Business programme, we managed to create a faster and more thorough development process.”
Proterra’s involvement with HIE's innovation programme has created new possibilities for product development. We can now better meet specific client needs.
Critically, HIE’s support gave the business time to focus on the project. “When you’re a small business, one of the biggest challenges is to stop thinking about what you’re doing at the moment and think about something new, especially when it’s not immediately creating revenue.”
To create the telemetry system, the company had to work with new materials and products that were unfamiliar; HIE’s support meant that Proterra created the time and expertise necessary to work on product development, while IYB provided the finance of new materials.
For the company, it proved a crucial opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business, and think about innovation. HIE’s involvement considerably reduced the risk of exploring a new approach. “Innovation for us is all about solving problems,” Terry says. “We innovate in order to deliver solutions.”
There are now three schemes running with the telemetry system; feedback has been very encouraging, and a number of clients have indicated that they would like to keep them.
By embracing innovation in the form of generating a new product, and developing the design and build process, Proterra has created a new revenue stream and diversified its field of operations.
Proterra is now working with HIE’s team of innovation specialists on research and development (R&D) support and has secured funding to further develop the hydro scheme system. It’s clear that while innovation creates a positive cycle of creative thinking and specific focus, the IYB mindset is also constantly opening doors to new directions for exploration. As Terry puts it: “While you’re on that journey of innovation, there’s every possibility that HIE can help you start a different journey.”
Since its launch in 2004, Belladrum has grown from a small annual event to a household name that welcomes 18,500 festival goers per year, and has launched an independent record label, Belladrum Records.
Dunnet Bay Distillers is the story of a couple who long dreamed of starting their own business and combined their passions with a desire to get back to their roots to open their own distillery.
Combining rustic horse trekking through the Highlands with a balance of luxury, Wilder Ways offers a holiday experience like no other.
Meatsnacks Group is the story of four entrepreneurs who shared a vision of creating great tasting healthy snacks, and a passion for home-grown quality produce.
Offering a range of services to young people across the Highlands, Calman Trust has established itself as a support line for many young people who are looking to live independently.
Equal Adventure combines a love for the great outdoors with the importance of inclusion.
Paving change for those living with hidden disabilities, Friendly Access is an accessibility social enterprise based in the Highlands and Islands that is dedicated to creating a fairer society for all.
Crùbag is no ordinary textiles company, it fuses a knowledge of science with luxury fashion.
Aurora Sustainability are a circular economy and sustainability consultancy firm based in Forres
A Black Isle entrepreneur has been able to transform her customers’ online experience through the support of HIE’s Innovate Your Business Service.
TrixPix’s is proof that wherever you are in the Highlands, applying innovative thinking and principles to business systems and outward marketing can help your business achieve standards of excellence.
Since its involvement with the HIE Innovation Programme, Glasstorm has devised new ways of working, and created strategies for achieving its future goals.
"To be able to share my ideas for business growth with HIE was fantastic from the outset as they understood my needs and how to further my future goals."
Coast & Glen managed to develop a more efficient backend process and speed up operations to better meet customer demand through our innovation support.
Russwood Ltd is a Scottish supplier of high-quality, sustainable timber products. As wood specialists, they pride themselves on offering their customers an extensive range and unrivalled technical advice
Yolo Ltd are an Inverness-based, new start business that aims to bring to market an innovative cosmetic product for Men.
We helped Linnhe Creative with advice on reshaping their business focus and strategy, and advised how they could develop from a software consultancy into a SaaS recruitment software provider.
HIE assisted the company with their grant application and with the procurement of professional management qualifications and CMI qualifications.
or give us a call
0300 013 5041