From October 30th to 31st, EIT ICT Labs and Telekom Innovation Laboratories brought together cutting-edge European Innovation, industrial players and successful startups in Berlin. At the joint event with about 220 participants, recent developments in Smart Energy technology and business solutions were discussed besides the underlying regulation. The conference was accompanied by a startup fair, where entrepreneurs from all over Europe had the chance to showcase their products and services to the hundreds of participants including VCs.
It is the goal of the Smart Energy Community to create value by making different players interact with each other through keynotes and discussions about technological developments as well as startup presentations. The agenda of the first day included speeches on Micro Grids & Decentralized Generation, Security, Ancillary Services as well as presentations of startup business cases. A lot of interest was given to a special security topic that was presented by Felix ‘FX’ Lindner. He talked about the volatility of energy systems: ‘Hacking and defending the power grid’. The event programme was complemented by the Smart Energy pitch final of the EIT ICT Labs Idea Challenge, a pan-European contest for early stage startups and innovators with the drive to found a business.
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. 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.