Portfolio Day: The Future in Focus

On December 19th 2019, around 80 hand-picked members of our global network, representing 11 different countries, congregated at the Amplifier in Berlin for our end-of-year Portfolio Day. Representing our portfolio family were 14 trailblazing European and Israeli start-ups who took the opportunity for exposure, feedback and interaction – and ultimately the chance to accelerate their market traction through engagement with stakeholders and potential business partners.

We’re proud to say the event was a great success – an afternoon and evening of fruitful discussions, thought-provoking insights and valuable networking.

At innogy Innovation Hub, we believe in the power of coming together to create something bigger and better; that the greatest value is often achieved when innovative, agile start-ups join forces with incumbents who can provide market access, resources and local expertise. Portfolio Day was a breeding ground for collaboration, featuring seven start-up pitches, a panel discussion and 700 minutes of exclusive face-to-face meetings, encouraged through our active match-making.

Our vision was eloquently portrayed across three deep-dive discussions, focusing on the following areas:

Future of Energy: The transformation towards a holistic and digitised energy system

Our Venture Capital Investment Partner Thomas Labryga joined Fresh Energy´s Christian Bogatu and eSmart Systems’ Henrik Bache on stage to discuss the journey toward a sustainable, decentralised, digitised future of energy. They delved into challenges and opportunities including the intermittency of renewables, consumers becoming prosumers, the electrification of almost everything, evolving customer expectations and capital efficiency.

Picture: Thomas Labryga

A clear point of agreement was the need to transform to a holistic and digital future energy system, with smart generation and storage, smart distribution, and smart supply and services. So how do we achieve this transformation efficiently? The answer is a multi-pronged approach to digitisation, involving the Internet of Things (IoT), distributed ledgers, new cybersecurity tools and automation via machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Future of Cities: How to create a better quality of life through smart and connected cities

By 2030, 60 percent of the global population is expected to live in large cities, and that could jump to two-thirds by 2050. The consequences are far-reaching: freshwater scarcity, mountains of refuse, permanent traffic gridlock and increased air pollution are just some of the challenges. How can municipalities master these challenges with their tight budgets? One key solution: smart cities.

Picture: Felix Krause

Joined on stage by Teralytics’ Georg Polzer and SkenarioLabs’ Topi Tiihonen, our Investment Partner Felix Krause discussed how we can connect to the broader energy ecosystem, reduce resource consumption and ultimately create a better quality of life through smarter and connected cities. Mobility is an integral part of this. Several important areas of innovation under discussion were autonomous vehicles, smart parking, vehicle sharing and real-time public transit information as well as optimisation.

Future of Technologies: Disruptive technologies transforming the energy ecosystem

Finally, our CTO Boaz Kantor shared how disruptive technologies are transforming the energy ecosystem. He was joined by Dror Fixler from FirstPoint and Peter Flynn from Libryo.

Picture: Boaz Kantor

The decentralisation of energy sources on the one hand and the electrification of everything on the other is giving way to a chaotic network of fluctuating and unpredictable power supply and demand. Multiply one by the other and you get an exponential growth of information. Perhaps an explosion of information. This explosion is not a problem, rather a new reality – one where mind-boggling amounts of data will be handled by machines, specifically algorithms. As such, the future energy system will be some sort of a decentralised, AI-powered digital machine, interfacing with the physical twin through sensors and edge devices.

Our open-network approach to addressing key issues not only gave the start-ups food for thought and action, but also allowed for dynamic conversations that we are sure will continue to pave the way for new and meaningful partnerships.

Here is some feedback from some of the participating start-ups:

FirstPoint CEO and Co-founder Dr. Dror Fixler: “Portfolio Day opened important doors for us. I had the chance to meet with key members of the Innovation Hub’s global network and discuss our cybersecurity solution with potential partners from overseas who share our vision of a decentralised, digitised and IoT-based future. In private, face-to-face meetings, I was able to connect with relevant people – both from the customer side and the investor side.”

SkenarioLabs CEO and Co-Founder Topi Tiihonen: “This Portfolio Day was another great experience we had with the innogy Innovation Hub. For us it’s all about catching up with other start-ups from the portfolio, meeting old and new friends from innogy and creating new contacts among the invited stakeholders.”

 

Teralytics Co-Founder and Chairman Georg Polzer: “We were deeply impressed with innogy Innovation Hub’s strategic foresight and vision of the future of energy. I am particularly pleased that they want to build this future with start-ups that deliver the latest technologies and keep their finger on the pulse of the times. For the Teralytics team, it was of huge benefit to be connected to innogy’s global network and to engage with potential business partners as well as other start-ups who all provide awe-inspiring experiences.”

Continue scrolling for more photos from our December Portfolio Day…