Most Promising Energy Startups in Europe 2021
FOREWORD This brochure is the outcome of a semester-long search for the best energy start-ups in Europe. In Autumn 2020, over 60 students from more than 10 countries under the supervision of professionals from the EnergySpin accelerator, and the University of Vaasa, searched throughout Europe to find the most promising energy sector start-up companies. The students evaluated in total over 200 start-ups and during an intensive, final evaluation weekend, concluded on the 30 most promising ones. The brochure includes a short introduction to these TOP30 finalists. These are the start-ups that might change our future. The companies are sorted in alphabetical order. You can find here start-ups from all around Europe developing solutions involving new designs for renewable energy generation, energy storage and management, applications of IoT and many others. The Start-Up Valuation & Market Analysis course won the award for the most innovative course of 2019 at the University of Vaasa. During this round of the course, the students have done extensive research and put an incredible amount of work in the valuation and shortlisting process. The course and evaluation process have tied the students, VES, UVA and EnergySpin again very well together. On behalf of the Jury for TOP30 2020 and all involved parties
Oskar Sniegowski Start-Up Valuation & Market Analysis Course Coordinator University of Vaasa
THE JURY AND MENTORS THE JURY This year’s jury of the TOP30 energy startups consisted of over 60 international bachelors and masters students of the University of Vaasa and partnering universities from Germany, France, Italy, Spain and others. Their background varies from international business, strategic business management, accountancy, marketing, communication and economy. The connecting factor is their interest in practical understanding of startups and risk financing. This cross-functional and international project was facilitated by three main organizations: VES, EnergySpin and the University of Vaasa.
VAASA ENTREPRENEURSHIP SOCIETY VES has actively taken part in TOP30 Most Promising Energy Startups in Europe -project. We acted as a facilitator for the final workshop and supported the discussions, which lead the students though the evaluation process. In this project VES added their knowledge about startups and the startup world. On behalf of VES, the course was overseen by Teemu Pura
MERINOVA & ENERGYSPIN ACCELERATOR EnergySpin has been actively facilitating the learning process of students by showcasing business practices, introducing bases of risk financing and helping students to apply them directly on existing energy startups. The coordinators of this project, on behalf of EnergySpin, were Matina Mitsobonou, communications specialist and Marko J Koski, head of operations and partners, from EnergySpin Business Program.
UNIVERSITY OF VAASA The project is linked with the course Start-Up Valuation and Market Analysis at the University of Vaasa, where students are learning to assess the potential of startups from the viewpoin of investors. Course coordinator is professor Jorma Larimo with the support from Oskar Śniegowski from the School of Marketing and Communication.
THE SELECTION CRITERIA STRENGTH OF THE ENTREPRENEUR AND THE TEAM
SIZE OF THE OPPORTUNITY
STRENGTH OF THE PRODUCT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
NEED FOR ADDITIONAL ROUNDS OF FUNDING
SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Adaptive Balancing Power
Adaptive Balancing Power is a Germany based company founded in 2014. Adaptive Balancing Power develops, manufactures and distributes an innovative flywheel energy storage system. The kinetic energy storage system can be used for high power applications like frequency control for grid, fast charging of heavy EV and recuperation of braking energy in the rail sector. The Adaptive flywheel energy storage technology enables an economically feasible energy transition, increases energy efficiency and reduces carbon emissions. The company successfully demonstrated the technology in the field of fast frequency response within the scope of a Horizon2020 project in Ireland and England. Adaptive Balancing Power is searching for pilot projects in other fields and has been selected and currently participating in the EnergySpin Business Growth Program 2020.
Addionics was established in 2018 in the United Kingdom and provides improved rechargeable batteries by redesigning their architecture. The company is creating the next generation of batteries with smart 3D electrodes architecture that will transform the way we store and deliver energy while having a positive effect on the environment. Addionics won the 1st place in the Movin’On Michelin competition in the Preserving Resources category, was selected as one of the 7 most promising startups by Shell, has received the best early-stage startup award 2020 by NREL, and is the recipient of Climate KIC EU Grant for green and sustainable impact. Addionics has also a joined partnership with Allison Transmission to develop a high performance new standard battery for the industry.
Battswap is a Czech startup founded in 2015 in Litvinov. The company has created a unique electrical vehicle for transporting solutions. The small electrical vehicles due to their size are able to reach into the cities, historical centers, drive through narrow streets and even go inside buildings while the city remains emission and traffic noise free. While other electrical cars need time to charge, with Battswap’s solution of battery changing-stations the electrical vehicles are ready to go in just one minute. The vehicles can be costumed according to the customers’ needs. The founder and CEO Radek Janku expects by 2025 about 1 million vehicles to be using the Battswap technology.
Beyonder AS is a Norwegian based company founded in 2016 in Sandnes. The company aims to offer economical, sustainable, and safe energy storage solutions. Beyonder uses sawdust and renewable energy in battery manufacturing achieving lower environmental impact than traditional battery manufacturing. Their next generation batteries are also non-flammable and thus, safer to use than conventional Li-ion batteries. Beyonder collaborates with German conglomerate Siemens to further develop the battery product and its production processes. In December 2020 Beyonder raised NOK 125 million from investors in support of its ambitious growth plans.
Bioo is a Spain based company founded in 2015 in Barcelona. The company is using bioreactor’s technology to generate electricity from nature. Bioo developed the first 100% sustainable sensor for agriculture powered by the land. The unique solution enables cost saving by eliminating the need of use of solar panels, their installation and maintenance, while it’s making useless the need of chemical batteries and their replacements. Bioo’s solution can be implemented in households, replacing all switches with plants but also in cities, where smart plants will be turning on city lights in a unique symbiosis with humans. The startup has received several awards including the “Head list of the TOP50 most innovative company of Europe” by European Parliament in 2018 while the founder has been included to the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2017.
Cacharge was founded in 2015 in Kista, Sweden. The company has developed an Electric Vehicle charging solution that can charge six times more vehicles overnight than conventional chargers. Cacharge has already made a new establishment in Norway as well as partnered with Odyssey Impact Investments to sell charging solutions in Europe - where electric cars are about to boom. Cacharge’s mission is to make sustainability profitable by making Electric Vehicle boom possible for everybody.
Celcibus AB, is a Sweden based company founded in 2019 in Mölndal. Company´s patented catalyst was developed to provide fuel cells with sustainable, high performance, noble-metal free power solutions for transport, household and industrial applications. Their expertise in materials research and technology for sustainable energy solutions gives a strong foundation for the development of new, innovative products now and in the future. The patented fuel cell catalyst technology is their first product to reach the market. The company has received seed funding from InnoEnergy.
Dhp technology is a Swiss startup founded in 2015 in Zizers. The company develops, produces and installs the HORIZON folding solar roof. Thanks to its unique lightweight construction and folding mechanism, the folding solar roof allows useable industrial areas to be utilized dually for solar power generation. Since its founding dhp technology has gained the Swiss Solar Prize 2019, the Architecture Award Building Integrated Solar Technology 2020, has a Bureau Veritas Switzerland Certification, ISO 9001, ISO 14001and is Supported by Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Swiss Climate Foundation and European Commission.
Einride AB is a Swedish autonomous trucking start-up company founded in 2016. They specialize in electric self-driven trucks which are remotely controlled by drivers and are designed for most freight applications. Their autonomous technology brings safety, sustainability and efficiency in the transporting industry by which they want to show that new and innovating solutions can be implemented. Einride has worked with many large companies such as DB Schenker, Lidl, Oatly, and Coca-Cola. In 2019 this young and innovative start-up received the gold award in European Startup Prize for Mobility and was featured in numerous articles in media as “Game Changer 2020”.
Electron was founded in 2015 and it is based in United Kingdom. It has developed a harnessing blockchain technology to design more efficient, resilient, and flexible systems for the energy sector. The company aims to achieve a future with a highly dynamic and flexible grid, where millions of distributed assets can easily interact and contribute to a more efficient, clean, and resilient energy system. Since its establishment, Electron has engaged in eight network optimization projects in four countries, involving partnerships with 20 major energy industry players including National Grid ESO, EDF Energy, Shell, and London Hydro. Based on these successful projects, the Electron Connect platform has been selected to support marketplaces for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, National Grid ESO in UK and London Hydro in Canada.
FeTu is a West Yorkshire, United Kingdom based company established in 2016 by Jonathan Fenton. FeTu is the owner and developer of FeTu ‘Roticulating’ System, a novel and versatile positive displacement turbine. The device is a light-weight, cost-effective unit with two moving parts and is capable of low-loss energy conversion between volumetric and rotational energy sources. This leads to the creation of a lightweight and power dense unit; targeting drastic carbon reduction and increases efficiency of turbines, engines, pumps & compressors. FeTu is owning full FTO and IP rights for this invention. FeTu team has won the ‘BusinessGreen Technology Awards 2018’ and was also awarded as ‘best innovation’ at the Advanced Engineering Show 2019. In 2020 FeTu won the ‘Business Awards 2020’ from Institute of Physics (IOP).
Handerek Technologies is a Polish company established in 2018. The company aims to become the global standard in plastic to fuel technology and to provide a great environmental impact by maximizing the plastic waste recycling. Their patented technology chemically recycles waste plastic into feedstock and produces clean recycled plastics or low-carbon alternative fuels. Since its establishment the company has won many innovation and invention awards, with its most influential achievements the award by the President of Poland as a top 5 Polish Startup in 2019 and the recognition as a top 30 cleantech company in Europe by Climate KIC.
Heimdall Power AS
Heimdall Power AS is a Norwegian startup founded in 2015 offering solutions for energy grid digitalization. Their solutions aim to increase grid capacity and streamline grid management and maintenance. They offer intelligent sensors which are able to measure multiple variables such as power, snow load, and wire temperature and are installable on existing grids within 5-10 min per sensor. After installation, company’s software analyses the data collected by these sensors. The software can then, e.g., predict the location of possible line faults beforehand. The company has distribution offices in Steinkjer, Stavanger, Oslo and Germany.
Heliac Aps was founded in Hørsholm, Denmark in 2014. The company provides solar heat at lower costs than fossil sources and aims to make it more attractive as a sustainable energy source. Their solar panels use lenses, which are flatter and therefore less expensive than competitive technologies, to concentrate sunlight and generate heat. This technology can be used to decarbonize industrial heat, but also for heating or cooling private households or districts. Heliac has already received recognition in the market, as they successfully installed a pilot field for E.ON in Denmark with the support of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIIT).
Myenergi started in 2016 in Binbrook, United Kingdom Currently the company has two headquarters, one in United Kingdom and one in Germany. Myenergi has developed an innovative energy management solution for renewable technologies. The company designs and manufactures innovative products to maximize consumption from solar and wind power. Their products includes: Water Heater Controller, Remote Wireless Sensor, EVSE Car Charging Point, Smart Switch and Thermal Storage Management, while myenergi mobile app gives customers full access to their eco-home products.The app allows customers to set timers, use boost functions and monitor the usage of all myenergi products. Among many recognitions, myenergi team won in September 2019 the Solar & Storage Product Innovation award for Zappi, myenergi’s innovative car charger, and received it at Solar & Storage Live.
Rated Power is a Spanish start up, founded in 2017 in Madrid by a team of engineers and developers with a broad experience in the energy sector. Rated Power offers pvDesign, a cloud-based software which enables the design of all the different phases of a PV power plant in just few seconds. Through a streamlined process, Rated Power’s solution can improve the profitability of its clients’assets, pvDesign has a track record of 1000+ GW optimized in 90+ countries, making it possible to lower the costs of implementing solar PV plants worldwide. By using digital technologies and heuristic calculations, pvDesign transforms traditional engineering through the optimization and automatization of processes.
Rebase Energy is a Sweden based company that was founded in 2018. Rebase Energy provides an AI weather analyze software for renewable energy production. While more and more companies are dependent on the weather, the Rebase Platform, which consists of three modules, allows to understand the impact of the weather to their business and provides decision support. This makes possible to pull out human operators from the decision-making process, placing them on top of it, to oversight and criticize data-driven decisions. Rebase Energy won the ABB Industrial AI Accelerator 2019 and collaborated with ABB in a project at Busch-Jaeger in Lüdenscheid in Germany. The company is currently doing a pilot together with Innogy in Germany and has been selected and participates at the EnergySpin Business Growth Program 2020.
Roofit.solar is an Estonia based company founded in 2016. The company is building 2 to 1 integrated roof panels that have integrated monocrystalline silicon elements inside them. The 2 to 1 integration makes the roofing material possible to act as a solar panel while it looks like a traditional steel roof. The company is planning to fully automate the production line and develop a solar roof planning software that is needed for global growth. Roofit.solar is conducting business mainly in Estonia, but also in Sweden, Germany, Austria, and Norway, where their partner Søran AS is located.
Saule is a Polish startup that was founded in 2014. Saule’s solar technology provides a solution to solar energy harvesting in large cities where wide horizontal areas are not available. Perovskite solar is an emerging thin-film technology of photovoltaics, being developed for only a few years it has already outrun conventional PV technologies in many applications. The unique solar cells are very light, semi-transparent and very flexible, making them ideal for using in buildings, cars or smart furniture. The technology allows energy production even if the sun light is very limited. In September 2020 the company received an investment of 10 million Euro from Columbus Energy, a leading provider of services in the energy market of Poland and in December 2020 the company was awarded for safety excellence by Polish National Labour Inspectorate.
SEaB Energy is a United Kingdom based company that was established in 2018. The company operates in the United Kingdom, Portugal, and USA and has two products: the Muckbuster® and the Flexibuster™. The Muckbuster® solution can turn slurry and similar farmwaste into energy, in the form of electricity and heat, whilst generating high value fertilizer as a by-product. The multi award-winning Flexibuster™ has been designed and engineered to turn a wide range of organic waste into energy. It is the ideal solution for any business producing 300kg to 2500kg organic waste in daily basis. All components of the Muckbuster® and Flexibuster™ are fully assembled, ready to be shipped and quickly installed at the customer’s site. The company also provides lab service that accurately estimates the amount of green energy the Muckbuster® and Flexibuster™ can produce. SEaB Energy has recently taken in external equity funding from Enagas,
SmartNodes is a Belgium based company founded in 2014. SmartNodes provides smart solutions for outdoor lighting. Their technology includes security and safety solutions by the implement of dynamic intelligent street lighting, mobility solutions by traffic monitoring and control, traffic light information feed, parking management and environmental solutions by reduction of light pollution, CO2 pollution, energy saving, air quality monitoring and much more. Their goal is to move from smart lighting to smart cities. Since end of July 2019 SmartNodes is part of Lacroix Group.
Solar Creed is a Dutch startup founded in 2016, Amsterdam. The company designs, develops and sells off grid solar products to farming communities in Africa. Products include Chicken Friendly Solar Lights, solar powered water pumps and much more. Their goal is to empower at least 30 Million small off-grid farmers in Africa to use solar energy to grow, preserve, package and distribute food in a sustainable way. Solar Creed has been included in the top 26 list of green energy start-ups in Netherlands for 2020.
Solar Water Solutions OY
Solar Water Solutions was founded in 2015 in Espoo, Finland. Solar Water Solutions technology is capable of turning seawater into drinking water while using only renewable energy. The company has grown from an innovation to a Finnish family enterprise, whose mission is to create access to affordable and sustainable drinking water. The desalination system is running on solar power without any batteries or diesel, enabled by patented ANVS® technology. The unique technology creates constant pressure for reverse osmosis. The company offers two product lines, seawater series and brackish water series. Solar Water Solutions patented ANVS® (adaptive nozzle valve system) technology received Save the North Sea Award in early 2019 and a special mention in TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020.
Solartes AB was founded in early 2020, when their product was developed in Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden by Kasper Moth-Polsen’s research team. Solartes is developing a plastic solution that can capture energy from the sun, store it and release it as heat after the sunset. The plastics can be integrated to windows, blinds or shutters and can be compared to other high thermal mass building materials such as concrete and stone. Solarters, despite its young age, has gained international attention and was recently listed in IVA1919 List of Research Projects as the project with “high potential to impact society”.
SunRoof is as Polish-Swedish startup founded in 2013. SunRoof ’s custom-engineered solar roofs have superior energy output and design. With SunRoof ’s solution each house can become energy sufficient and also manage the energy consumption of the household since SunRoof ’s Smart Home Ready infrastructure controls both energy production and consumption. In August 2020 SunRoof acquired the Swedish company Redlogger that develops software to support renewable energy producers. The plan is to launch a tech platform that sells surplus energy generated by SunRoof solar panels, starting with the Polish markets. In October 2020 the company raised approx. two million Euros for the development of “roof of the future” and to the expansion plans.
Sylfen is a France based company founded in 2015 in Grenoble. Sylfen solution allows to identify the energy needs of a building according to the uses and then offers the best way to cover those needs by using the local environment and potential sources of energy. Sylfen’s technology with its reversible electrolyzer enables the storage of excess energy in the form of hydrogen for the production of energy when needed by the use of this same stored hydrogen. The technology that was developed in France, has demonstrated the best electrolysis performance in the world. In April 2020 the company was awarded with the Greentech Verte label.
Tibber is a Sweden based company founded in 2016. It is an electricity supplier aiming to change the electricity market by providing 100% renewable energy to its users while minimizing their consumption and costs. The Tibber AI solution, predicts the levels of consumption in the house and switches power around. Energy consumption becomes transparent via a user-friendly smartphone app which enables customers to control it and thus control costs. Tibber’s goal is to make electricity sustainable and affordable to all households by utilizing digital technology and making energy consumption smarter for everybody. Tibber is already operating in Sweden, Norway and Germany and aims to empower sustainable life to 10 million households in Europe by 2025. In 2020 Tibber won the Red Dot Award.
Valaa Technologies is a Finnish startup founded in 2018, turning buildings with legacy automation into connected and grid-interactive. Their patent pending IoT solution nicknamed the Chromecast of Building Automation uses a software robot to interact with the automation controller like a human engineer would when maintaining or optimizing it. The solution costs annually less than two percent of the cost of modernizing the automation. The company has already completed the EnergySpin Business Growth program. Their clients and partners range from property operators and owners to real estate SaaS, facility management and energy companies.
Viezo is a Lithuanian based company and was founded in 2018. Currently the company is operating in Lithuania and Germany. Viezo solution makes it possible to convert vibrations into electricity which would be used to power wireless IoT sensors. Wireless IoT sensors are currently powered using batteries that have a limited lifetime of ±3 years. The Viezo solution can extent their lifetime at least twice without any maintenance required, reducing this way the costs whilst using non-toxic and environmentallyfriendly materials. Viezo revenue, at the moment, is coming from sales of simple hardware and has 7 customers who are testing their solution, and R&D contracts. Viezo has been selected and is currently participating at the EnergySpin Business Growth Program 2020.
Vortex Bladeless is a Spain based company founded in 2013. The company has headquarters in Madrid and Avila. The company provides an alternative and innovative way to harness energy from wind. Vortex Bladeless is a wind turbine that does not need blades having as an outcome a significant reduction of carbon foot print versus regular wind energy while it is harmless to the wildlife. The Vortex Bladeless wind generator harnesses wind energy from a phenomenon of vorticity called Vortex Shedding. Basically, bladeless technology consists of a cylinder fixed vertically with an elastic rod. The cylinder oscillates on a wind range, which then generates electricity through an alternator system. Vortex wind generators are more similar in features and cost-effectiveness over time to solar panels than to regular wind turbines. In 2017, the company received the Innovation SME Award from the Spanish government.
UNIVERSITY OF VAASA
Everyone has the potential to be an entrepreneur. VES is there to serve, support and enable people to chase their dreams. VES was founded in early 2015 to boost the entrepreneurial scene in Vaasa region. Our purpose is to serve the entrepreneurial minded with powerful insights, skills & connections that inspire, motivate and help them create new businesses. With other entrepreneurship societies in Finland, we are a part of the movement towards a more innovative, entrepreneurfriendly and economically healthy Finland.
The University of Vaasa is a business-oriented, multidisciplinary, international university, focusing on areas of management and change, energy and sustainable development and finance and economic decision-making. With 50 years of experience the university systematically promotes societal influence by producing up-to-date, high-level research and education.
MERINOVA & ENERGYSPIN Merinova was founded in 1989 and over the years the company’s ownership and the board have had a very industrial and business-led approach. This is seen in Merinova services that meet the needs of the companies within the region. Merinova is an important and neutral background actor, whose mission is to make the energy cluster in the Vaasa region even more successful. EnergySpin started as an innovative platform to share ideas and trends and developed into a multi-corporate accelerator program, supporting startups to grow, connecting them to corporates and helping them to challenge the status quo of the industry. We want to help startups and enterprises reach their goals, and together build a world, where clean and affordable energy is provided for everyone.
VES Teemu Pura email@example.com Merinova & EnergySpin Marko Koski firstname.lastname@example.org University of Vaasa JormaLarimo email@example.com
More than 60 students of more than 10 nationalities in a semester-long research of more than 200 startups from all around Europe along with...
Published on Feb 16, 2021
More than 60 students of more than 10 nationalities in a semester-long research of more than 200 startups from all around Europe along with...