E-car sharing is just the beginning: How a municipal utility is opening up a new business segment with Innoloft

Energy & Environment, Mobility


Energy transition, digitalization and new mobility concepts – trends are changing the environment in which municipal utilities and energy suppliers operate. Driven by these changes, many are pursuing the expansion of environmentally friendly forms of energy and the development towards a digital company in order to position themselves on the market in the long term. One such company is Stadtwerke Neuss in North Rhine-Westphalia, the energy provider for the city’s 150,000 citizens.
With which new offers and business models should we start? Which technologies and partners are needed for implementation? And how can we ensure that a sustainable and profitable business model is created in the long run? These are questions that Stadtwerke Neuss has asked itself and to which Innoloft has the answers. How we found these answers – more about that in the following.

From the idea to the business model

As an innovation driver, we at Innoloft support you with brainstorming, business model development and the corresponding implementation. In a first step, innovative ideas for new business models and their functionality were explained and sources of income and cost structures evaluated in a joint workshop with the municipal utility. The aim is to jointly develop a business model tailored to the customer’s requirements and needs. The focus of Stadtwerke Neuss was primarily on creating a new, comprehensive mobility offer for its own employees and customers as well as citizens and visitors to the city of Neuss.
The selected solution is a mobility platform that provides long-term access to flexible mobility in Neuss in the form of electric sharing offers. Revenues are generated directly through the sharing operation on the one hand and through cooperation with local companies on the other.

Suitable implementation partners from the Innoloft Innovation Network

After defining the business model, the components required for implementation are determined and compared with the customer’s existing resources. For the components to be procured additionally, the market is screened for potential partners. For this purpose, we primarily use our digital innovation network, which represents over 4000 products from innovative startups and established companies as solution providers.
The Aachen-based startup Digital Mobility Solutions (MOQO) – as part of our network – was commissioned in the Neuss project with the technical implementation of the sharing offers. MOQO offers a Shared Mobility Platform as a white label solution, through which the most diverse vehicles can be integrated and made available to users. The platform digitalizes all processes from booking and billing to driver license validation.

Profitability does not fall by the wayside

In parallel, a detailed profitability calculation is carried out on the basis of indicative offers. For this purpose, all foreseeable costs are summed up before a viable business model or a comprehensive financial plan is developed. After the profitability calculation has been agreed, the partners in question are selected. In addition to the financial aspects, interface functions and integrability are also taken into account.
On top of the concept work, we also accompany the project implementation. As project managers, we ensure that not only all parties involved work together smoothly, but also that all components fit together seamlessly.

A result with a future

As a result of our joint work, Stadtwerke Neuss was able to open its first two mobile stations. The people of Neuss now have four electric Renault Zoes at their disposal, which can be borrowed via a booking platform. In the long term, the mobile stations will be expanded to include other forms of mobility and vehicle types. Then it will be possible for customers to explore the streets of Neuss on electric scooters and the offer will be completed with pedelecs. An increase in the number of stations is also planned. In addition, a local building construction association is already looking forward to cooperating with the municipal utility. In the next few weeks, it will also be able to offer its tenants two electric Renault Zoes for use in one of its residential areas.

Opening up innovative business fields with the Innoloft Innovation Network

The example of Stadtwerke Neuss shows that trends successfully create new business areas for energy suppliers and that it is often possible to fall back on existing solution providers when implementing corresponding offers and business models. For this reason, the Innoloft Innovation Network offers companies the opportunity to search for innovative products and services and to contact the relevant provider directly via the platform.
Furthermore, we support in different ways the fast and cost-effective development of new business models as well as the development of holistic innovation processes. If you are interested in our offers and services, please contact us directly and arrange an appointment today.

Energieloft becomes Innoloft: Here´s why! The Story behind us.

Energy & Environment, IT & ICT, Mobility, Smart City & Buildings


Dear network member, dear network partner,

1st October 2019: Energieloft becomes Innoloft. A day and a milestone that we have been working towards for a long time. You wonder what moved us to this step? We’d like to share this with you and take you through our startup journey. Let’s first take a look back at the very beginning, the starting point of our journey.


How it began


Why is progress on the energy transition, one of the greatest challenges of our time, moving so slowly? This was the question we asked ourselves four years ago at the end of 2015. We, the founding team, were in the final stages of our studies and were looking for answers to the big question in our immediate environment. As it turned out, outcomes from many research projects remained locked away in old file cabinets, never reaching implementation in the business world. How could we change this? Our solution: A digital platform that digitizes the transfer of research – “ener.wi – transparente Energiewende” – was born.

We quickly noticed that research and established companies are quite well connected and that interest in our platform was limited. However, we repeatedly received requests from contacts in established companies: “We’re looking for startups with innovative technologies and business models. Do you also have these in your network?”

Since we are a startup ourselves, we were also confronted with the fact that nobody knew us and that finding pilot customers and partners was a big effort. It became very clear to us that young and nameless startups developing highly innovative business models and technologies, are not sufficiently networked. From this problem came Energieloft at the beginning of 2016.


From database to network


Initially “only” a startup database, we soon came to the conclusion that a database alone does not solve the networking problem sufficiently and that digitisation offers far more options. Thus the development of new, intelligent formats, such as our Startup Speed-Datings or Challenges, led us away from a pure database to a network.

At the same time, more and more companies realized that they needed the innovative power of young, avant-garde companies. Whereas newly founded startups are looking for partnerships with established companies to gain access to customers and resources. For both sides, this means tangible win-win advantages. Both newcomers and established companies benefit from cooperation. Since then, more and more startups and established companies from the energy sector in Germany joined our network and came together via our platform, our formats and our projects in the field of business model development. A success of which we are quite proud of.


Industry convergence and internationalisation meets Energieloft


In recent years, established companies in the energy sector have been pivoting more and more to new sectors and looking for new business fields as part of their innovation activities. As a result, we kept being asked more and more often whether we as Energieloft also addressed new topics such as mobility, smart city or industry 4.0. Slightly irritated, we always replied: “Yes, of course! We are an innovation network.” This gave us the impression that even the name “Energieloft” might not be the best choice for the established energy sector.

At the same time, not only did we want to accelerate innovations abroad with our network, but the startups in our network also signalled the interest in networking abroad. When we began to stumble across the name “Energyloft” with our first partners and customers abroad, we thought to ourselves: “Hmm, that’s actually not our name, it’s not how you write it”.

Not only the experiences described above, but also the realization that global and cross-sectional innovations are necessary to solve the social and economic challenges of our time. This led us a while ago to the conclusion that Energieloft must become Innoloft.

And here we are: Innoloft.


Not just a new look: Energieloft becomes Innoloft


We’ve been working for several months on our change of name and corporate identity. But not only that. Our platform should also come with a new look and new features to make networking even faster and easier.

Our new intelligent matching system is waiting for you! It will connect you with suitable business contacts in a matter of seconds based on your requests. In addition, Innoloft now offers you a personalized network feed that will keep you up-to-date on relevant network activities, but also many new search and filter functions to make it even easier for you to find innovations and partners.

We’re very excited to show you our new features, and we have many more in our pipeline!

We kindly invite you to take a look at our new platform! We look forward to your feedback, reach us any time at contact@innoloft.com.

Your (now) Innoloft Team