AgeVolt offers a comprehensive EV Charging Digital Ecosystem comprising of smart chargers, energy management system and a digital platform (blockchain + AI/ML). We make charging convenient and accessible whilst achieving optimal energy distribution to reduce the total cost of ownership.

As part of their journey on BlockStart’s Acceleration Programme, as a startup developer of blockchain technology, they were looking to further develop their solution and for new opportunities for collaboration with end-user SMEs that could validate and help them improve their “AgeVolt Loyalty Management Token” blockchain solution.

We spoke with Chief Revenue & Operations Officer Parag Gogate to know more about Agevolt and their participation in BlockStart.

In one paragraph, what is Agevolt?

AgeVolt offers a comprehensive EV Charging Digital Ecosystem comprising of smart chargers, energy management system and a digital platform (blockchain + AI/ML). We make charging convenient and accessible whilst achieving optimal energy distribution to reduce the total cost of ownership.

Can you tell us how the idea for your startup began?

AgeVolt was established in 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The founder and the creator of the charging system, Ján Zuštiak, has been working with the issue of building energy management for some time and particularly to make energy consumption more efficient for organisations, whose main concerns was the rapid growth of electromobility. They were ready to build charging points in their car parks; however, they were struggling to estimate long term occupancy, anticipated electricity consumption and to determine the reserved capacity needed. The solution Jan came up with was a charging system that connects the EV chargers to the main energy management of the building which can optimize charging in real time according to the current capacity.

What is Agevolt passionate about achieving?

Our vision is to accelerate vehicle transition by making charging convenient, accessible whilst achieving optimal energy distribution. Our passion and mission is to create a comprehensive electric vehicle charging digital ecosystem for open collaboration and contribute towards positive climate action.

Who are the team members and what backgrounds do you have?

Ján Zuštiak, ​Founder​, CEO/CTO: 10 years experience in Product Development; Founder & ex-Technical Director smart-home automation startup

Parag Gogate, ​Chief Revenue & Operations Officer: 22 years international experience in Strategy, Innovation & Service Operations across Retail, Hospitality & Facilities sectors

Ondrej Sarnecký, ​Head of Digital Platform: 6 years’ experience in blockchain application development, tokenized data & business models; CTO of non-profit org Blockchain Slovakia

Dana Rušinová, ​Project Manager​: 14 years experience in project management, public finance and executive roles

Can you tell us about the prototype you have developed with the support of BlockStart Acceleration Programme?

The prototype we have developed is a new blockchain solution for creating a “White Label Loyalty Tokens” for the owners of EV Charging Points (EVCP). This will allow EVCP owners in AgeVolt charging ecosystem to create and generate a branded loyalty token and assign it to a specific customer or employee ID as a key to specific conditions when charging the EV.

This key features of this prototype, on a basic level, are fulfilling the needs of two customer-user segments in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors:
customers-users who want to use this solution as a part of their company processes or business, such as company fleet – possibility to assign tokens to a specific customer or employee.

Second customer-user type is customer-user with intention to generate tokens as a loyalty point based on marketing campaigns – as incentivization or reward for their customers. This customer-user is able to generate unique QR codes for their customers (Print API) or manually only by specifying the number of tokens in AgeVolt platform.

What were you most excited about in taking part of BlockStart Acceleration Programme?

The most exciting part of being the part of this acceleration programme was a unique opportunity to validate our ideas of the blockchain based white label loyalty token, develop the prototype, and bring it to the market. We immensely valued feedback from our mentors which helped further shape our ideas for prototype development.

Which were the major challenges you have faced during the development and market/fit validation of your prototype?

One of the biggest challenges was the development of functionalities with regards to the user experience and blockchain awareness and tech-maturity of SME adopters. Good example is our previous functionality for setting up 2 possible price settings for our tokens – In the original version, we wanted to implement 2 types of tokens – tokens for free charging and tokens for discounted charging. SME adopter feedback resulted in creating only one type of token with implemented coefficient that is defining the price rate between kWh of energy and average expenses.

What unique aspects does your company and the prototype you have developed have to offer to the market sectors/type of companies you wish to enter/sell and to the blockchain ecosystem in Europe, as a whole?

AgeVolt offers a blockchain based digital ecosystem that brings together EV drivers and charger owners, connecting EV charging to the existing loyalty management & marketing​ systems. We would like to give to the businesses the possibility of minting and management of their own branded/white label loyalty token (enabled by blockchain technology).

We have focussed on the retail and hospitality sector in Slovakia for the Blockstart programme. After finishing the Blockstart programme we would like to offer this solution to our existing and new customers across the Central & Eastern Europe.

Is collaboration with SME adopters important for piloting your solution?

The collaboration with SME adopters been crucial in context of defining functionalities of the loyalty token and designing the user experience of the platform. This came out of potential SME adopter interviews which helped us to better understand their needs and how solution can meet these needs.

The conversations also revealed unmet needs that surprised us and ultimately influenced prototype design.

Piloting our prototype with SME adopters will be the next important validation point to see this working and that will help us to further improve and enhance the product.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

We aim to the market leader in providing comprehensive Electric Vehicle charging solutions in the Central Eastern Europe region. We will also look to bring our digital platform to the wider European market.


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