Startups: Apply now for "Free Electrons"

The first round in 2017 was a huge success, the second is going to be even better. Together with seven other international utilities, innogy has launched the new edition of the global startup acceleration program Free Electrons (FE). We want to reach start-ups that are developing solutions in mobility, clean and smart energy and IoT/digitalization. Applications are invited from now until 28 February 2018. Apply online here!

"A perfect match for both start-ups and corporations"

Following the closing date, the 12 best start-ups will be selected by the FE members and will compete for the coveted award of the "Free Electrons World's Best Energy Start-up". The prize for the winner: 200,000 dollars! And it's not only about the money, it's also about the opportunities for collaborative business development. The corporate partners are leading utilities in three different continents, delivering services and solutions to more than 70 million customers around the world: Ausnet Services (Australia), DEWA (Dubai), EDP (Portugal), ESB (Ireland), Origin Energy (Australia), Singapore Power (Singapore), Tokyo Electric Power (Japan) and of course, innogy.

It is a perfect match for both start-ups and corporations: smart start-up ideas meet a transforming corporate that is reinventing itself and has established lean and agile structures that speak start-up and corporate language alike. We can help the inventors scale fast; start-ups can help us with the best possible products. We go outside to innovate from within.

Stefan Padberg, Managing Directors from innogy New Ventures LLC in Silicon Valley

FE perfectly supports our approach at the innogy Innovation Hub to stay ahead of the disruption that we are facing in the energy market. We have seen rapid changes with the rise of renewables, decentralization and groundbreaking technologies. And let's not forget new consumer expectations!

innogy was founded to answer the questions raised by these fundamental changes. In the innogy Innovation Hub we know that we won't find all the necessary answers on our own. That's why since the outset, we've been proactively seeking an exchange with agile start-ups. We believe that it needs the best of both worlds to co-create innovative solutions for the future energy system and beyond.

Free Electrons 2018 – what start-ups can expect

Here's a brief overview of FE: the accelerator program includes three international modules around the globe. The 12 chosen start-ups will work closely with local accelerators, utilities and mentors to jump start their company's growth.

After the application phase, a "Bootcamp" week will be held in Lisbon at the end of March, followed by further modules in Australia, Silicon Valley and Berlin from May to October. We can't wait to find out which start-ups will follow in the footsteps of the winners from 2017. At the end of last year's FE program, the global financial value of the contracts signed between the start-ups and the utilities was about 2 million dollars. Could that be you in 2018? We're keeping our fingers crossed for all the new applicants!