Out of 479 teams across Europe that have applied for the Idea Challenge, 62 addressed the topic Smart Energy Systems. The 10 best Energy teams coming from France, Germany, Italy and the UK were invited to the Smart Energy Community in Berlin, a joint event organised by EIT ICT Labs and Telekom Innovation Laboratories with the goal of bringing together industrial players, scientists, public authorities and startups, in the field of Smart Energy technologies. The finalists had to pitch their ideas in front of an expert jury consisting of representatives from Siemens AG, Siemens Venture Capital GmbH, Startupbootcamp, the High-Tech Gründerfonds, Vattenfall and EIT ICT Labs.
The three winning teams are:
First place, 40,000 €: NNGC from UK
The London based team of academics develops devices that allow the efficient transfer of energy from a wind turbine or renewable generator on to the grid.
Second place, 25,000 €: ICE Gateway from Germany
The early-stage startup focuses on intelligent outdoor infrastructure integrating LED lights, sensors, devices, apps & cloud services.
Third place, 15,000 €: Easy Smart Grid from Germany
The team of academics proposes an easy and robust mechanism to activate every flexibility in mini-grids at low costs. Doing so, it can raise the share of renewable energy and lower energy prices.
"We had a great mix of ideas with a high quality," said Klaus Beetz, Business Director at EIT ICT Labs." The three winning companies have great potential and very bright futures ahead of them. We are proud to provide them not only necessary resources to boost their businesses but also the opportunity to gain international visibility" Beetz added.
“We only just won and were already introduced to Venture Capitalists. We’re very happy and hope that we can get more contacts like this in the future through the network,” said first prizewinner Dr. Eduardo Alonso.
9 more winners to come
By The end of 2014, the Idea Challenge will have produced 24 winners out of the 790 startups who originally entered. The remaining nine winners will be selected at pitch finals on November 13th in Trento and Stockholm, and on November 20th in London.