It has been four years since we began our journey to build the #FutureOfEnergy alongside the world’s most innovative start-ups and forward-thinking partners. During this time we have continually promoted collaboration, convergence and co-creation to build a more sustainable, connected and digitally-enabled future.
Throughout the year, we’ve not only continued to grow the number of companies in our portfolio but, through the networking opportunities we provide and our active participation in the world’s leading innovation ecosystems, we’ve created many exciting opportunities for our portfolio companies to grow and enter new markets.
We wanted to share with you some of the milestones and highlights from 2018:
Co-creating the #FutureOfEnergy with Game-Changing Start-Ups
Our team has continued to search for the companies that will build the future of energy and in 2018 we sourced over 1,300 new start-ups and heard over 250 pitches from companies across the globe. Some highlights below…
→ Gaining an initial funding of a mid-seven-figure amount supported by Innogy Ventures, 2018 was a key year for German startup gridX. The team of entrepreneurs will use the investment to further develop its technology stack – with the aim of smartly connecting more households with the energy market. By analysing the consumption of energy consumers in the household and visualising the energy data, gridX is set to ensure efficient energy use at home, too.
→ 2018 also saw the largest financing of any energy disaggregation technology provider to date – which went to the innovative team at Bidgley. Continuing a partnership which began two years ago, the innogy Innovation Hub helps bring Bidgely's leading analytics platform to its customer base. Its disruptive tech delivers unprecedented levels of service to clients.
→ We also provided support to Bigchain DB this year as part of our focus on investing in machine economy. Using blockchain technology provided by BigchainDB, it’s possible to build a database of products and their entire history so that provenance, authenticity and ownership can be verified… taking another step towards innogy innovation Hub’s goal of forming a modern, decentralised and digital world.
But… this is only part of the story.
We’ve also continued to provide our expertise, build and leverage our networks and played an active role in cultivating start-up and innovation ecosystems across the globe to provide our start-ups with the very best opportunities to succeed. To this end, we participated in 10+ accelerator programmes, providing opportunities for our portfolio companies to benefit from expert advice and access potential new investors. These included:
→ The Free Electrons global accelerator programme, now in its second year. It was established by innogy Innovation Hub to find and develop the world’s best energy start-ups, in partnership with nine other leading international utility companies. This year’s programme attracted more than 500 applicants from 65 countries.
This was how we met the entrepreneurs at Sterblue. As we at the Hub believe that the future of our energy grids is digital, we think it’s possible to build a self-checking and self-maintaining energy grid infrastructure that takes away some of today’s inefficiencies. And this is where the brilliant team at Sterblue comes in, who are developing the right technology to achieve this goal. Our $2 million investment in the team this year will support them on their journey of innovation and growth.
→ The recently-launched ScaleUpHub accelerator programme, set up in partnership with Telefónica Open Future’s Wayra UK and the Catapult Network, bringing together start-ups and scale-up companies looking to enter or grow their business in the UK and beyond. The first cohort of talented innogy Innovation Hub companies includes:
- Placense – its data analytics solution provides real-time information on metrics such as customer visits and visit durations.
- Shine – its software enables customers to actively take part in the undeniable journey towards de-central energy production and consumption. People powering people.
- Libryo – its online compliance tool enables users at any organization to understand the regulations that are relevant to them, as well as applicable legal obligations they face in any situation.
- Share&Charge - it provides a decentralised protocol for electric vehicle charging, transactions, and data sharing, enabling companies to offer a seamless, smart, and secure charging experience.
- Calipsa - it offers a cloud-based platform based on deep learning technology that offers a 50% reduction in false alarms for monitoring stations. It works with existing cameras and requires no capital expenditure for the monitoring station.
- BeeRides - has set up an efficient and user-friendly car-sharing platform, and earns most of its revenue by charging a commission on the rental transactions on its platform.
The programme drives innovation in the fields of future energy, urban solutions, customer experience, and connected technologies.
Celebrating Our Network and Bridging the Gaps at UnConference
And of course, we can’t forget our biggest event of the year, the UnConference! Held in October, we brought together around 400 guests from our global innovation network to the impressive Café Moskau in Berlin, one of Europe’s leading tech innovation centres.
Over the course of the day, we provided a platform for business leaders, experts, and start-ups to engage in insightful dialogue around the future of energy, including conversations around important industry topics such as AI, blockchain, IOT, smart cities, and cybersecurity. We heard from leading experts in their field such as Nicolai Wadstrom, Founder and CEO of BootStrapLabs and Coen Van Oostrom, Founder and CEO at EDGE Technologies and OVG Real Estate, as well as our innogy Innovation Hub leaders.
So, it’s fair to say 2018 was an exciting year for the innogy Innovation Hub.
We look forward to continuing to build on this momentum and clear the path forward for a new, digital, and sustainable energy system built on collaboration, co-creation and convergence. Thank you again to our team, start-ups, partners, and colleagues for a great year and here’s to an exciting 2019!