Joulia is the Startup of the Week 3: Shower with heat recovery


Energy Efficiency and Environment

A sustainable shower? Maybe not the first thing you’d expect from a Startup of the Week. But the Swiss startup Joulia has implemented just that and has won multiple awards for its solution. We wanted to learn more about what the sustainable shower experience is all about. To do so, we caught up with CEO Reto Schmid in an interview.

Hello Reto! Nice of you to take time for us today. How would you pitch Joulia in one sentence?

Instead of flushing the valuable heat of the shower water down the drain, Joulia’s shower channels recover this energy and easily ensure sustainable showering enjoyment with full comfort.

How did you implement that?

In Joulia-Inline and Joulia-Twinline, the fresh cold water is fed into the heat exchanger, which is located directly in the shower channel, and over which the warm shower water flows.

This simple detour of the cold water line allows the energy of the outflowing shower water to be recovered where it accumulates. Neither complex components nor a control system is necessary for this highly efficient type of heat recovery.

We heat the cold water from 10°C to up to 25°C and reaches the shower mixer already preheated. Consequently, less hot water needs to be added there, which saves a lot of energy, CO2, and money. Due to the highly efficient design, Joulia-Inline can recover over 40% and Joulia-Twinline over 60% of the otherwise lost heat.

What other advantages does your approach offer?

Our design complies with the strict drinking water guidelines of KIWA, SVGW, WRAS & DVGW. In addition, the installation is simple and permanently reliable. 

The shower channels do not need electricity and with their double separation between fresh and wastewater, they have a high degree of safety.

We have received over 15 national and international awards for the idea, high efficiency, and easy handling. A nice recognition for our work.

What is your business model for this?

We offer our products to both sanitary companies, wholesalers, and resellers. Our heat exchangers are also distributed as OEM products by business partners, such as in Corian shower trays. Depending on the distribution channel, quantity, and target market, different pricing strategies exist. Currently, we are working together with specialists on the development of cleaning products and accessories.

Where are your shower channels used? Who is your target group?

At present, half of our business is in Switzerland and the other half is international. In Switzerland, we sell our products directly to plumbers, to sanitary wholesalers such as SABAG, Richner, the Bringhen Group, and HUG-Baustoffe, as well as to project-specific general contractors. Our products are used in the private, public, and semi-public sectors. In addition to bathroom conversions, the focus is on new buildings. 

Interesting are also places where many people meet few shower places, be it fitness centers, sports facilities, gyms, gymnasiums, and hotels. Increasingly, school facilities and employee showers of companies are also equipped with the Joulia shower channels.

Exports are becoming increasingly important. The strongest growth is currently in the Netherlands, where a local distributor sells our products. 

The following countries are also under development: Belgium, Japan, Faroe Islands, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Swaziland, and South Africa.

What phase are you currently in?

We are currently growing both nationally and internationally. In recent years, we have been able to equip more than 3,500 bathrooms with the WRG, and the trend is rising sharply. Thanks to a new strategic partnership, we are now continuing our internationalization and investing in further product development.

New markets sometimes require some time, as drinking water regulations are nationally regulated. So far we have the following certifications: SVGW (CH), KIWA (NL), WRAS (UK) , DVWG (DE). In process are Belgaqua (BEL) and Solarimpulse.

In the field of building labels, you can credit our products to Minergie as well as MUKEN. Looking ahead, other labels will be added, such as Passivhaus.

We look forward to all customers helping us with the goal of saving energy every day.

 

Reto, thank you very much for this exciting interview! We wish you continued success in the future.

If you want to know more about Joulia, you can read their profile in our network.

Smart-me is the Startup of the Week 51: Energy of the future


Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment

The decentralization of energy systems is a consequence of the rapid changes in the energy industry. We expect these changes to increase in the coming years in particular. Decentralization and digitalization pose new challenges for control at all grid levels, which is why new solutions are needed. Our Startup of the Week smart-me has developed precisely such solutions. We discussed what these solutions look like with Martina Hickethier from smart-me.

Hello Martina! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. How would you describe smart-me in one sentence?

In short: energy in the digital age

An exciting and important topic. What exactly is the role of smart-me?

We develop both the energy measuring devices and the software needed for a comprehensive energy management system. 

But you are not the only ones to offer these services. What makes you stand out from your competitors?

Energy is used more efficiently with smart-me at both the household and distribution grid level. Because we develop both the energy meters and the cloud software to control energy in real-time. Why real-time? Thanks to renewable energies, energy systems will change rapidly in the coming years; they will become more digital and decentralized. And thus pose new challenges for control at all grid levels. Besides, the smart-me platform offers connectivity to numerous third-party systems. We are therefore a neutral provider and do not compete with smart home or smart energy manufacturers.

How did you turn it into a successful business model?

smart-me sells energy meters and energy management software. The latter is available by subscription or as a lifetime license.

Do you also operate internationally?

We concentrate on the DACH region. The European market is served by our subsidiary, smartRED GmbH in Germany. 

Electromobility plays a special role in the further development of the company. The sector coupling of real estate and mobility brings unique opportunities for optimizing self-consumption. That is why we are launching our own Pico charging station in 2021.

What special successes do you like looking back on?

Since its founding in 2014, over 100 partners have brought more than 55,000 measurement points into the cloud. The company consists of a 20-member team and has its headquater in Rotkreuz (ZG), Switzerland.

 

Martina, that brings us to the end of our interview. Thank you very much for the exciting conversation! We wish you continued success, especially for the launch of your own charging station next year!

If you want to learn more about smart-me, you can find out more on their profile in our network.

Green-Y is the Startup of the Week 47: Affordable, Clean & Efficient Energy Storage System


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Storage, Energy Supply

The issue of green energy poses two major challenges: The storage of energy from green energy and the question of heat/cold generation. In the ideal world, this is achieved with a single device. For some, this may sound like a high cost and energy expenditure. Our Startup of the Week Green-Y uses the well-known compressed air storage technology and solves the above-mentioned problems, in an efficient and sustainable way. Dominik Schnarwiler, co-founder of Green-Y, tells us more about the technology in today’s interview.

Hello Dominik! Great, that you are here today. To get you started, why don’t you tell us what Green-Y does? 

Green-Y combines electricity storage and heating/cooling in one device. This is reducing costs and emissions from buildings.

An important mission. How exactly do you make this possible?

We base Green-Y on patented air reservoir technology. There are two main processes: The charging and discharging of the accumulator. When charging, we compress air, which requires electricity and generates heat. The compressed air is then temporarily stored in compressed air tanks.

When we unload, the air from the compressed air tanks expands again at a later stage, which recovers electricity and generates cold at the same time. Thus, it is combining electricity, heat, and cold in one device.

In principle, one knows this technology for a long time, which allows us to reduce risks, complexity, and costs by using standard components. Yet, the technology has now been decisively developed further and the energy density is increased by a factor of 3, doubling the efficiency of heating and cooling. As a result, Green-Y can be used to heat and cool efficiently in a decentralized manner, i.e. directly in the building, which in turn makes its use as an electricity storage device cheaper.

Green-Y can be used in buildings and industries where there is a need for electricity storage, heating and/or cooling. Typically, Green-Y optimizes the use of electricity from the grid and the internal consumption of e.g. photovoltaic electricity, heats rooms and hot water, and cools rooms and servers.

What is the unique selling point of Green-Y?

Green-Y is environmentally friendly and profitable. The customers benefit as follows:

  • The profit is increased by reducing energy costs, which results in low amortization periods.
  • We can reduce emissions by replacing fossil fuels and integrating renewable energies.
  • Green-Y is environmentally friendly and recyclable, as only air and water are used as working materials.

Compared to competing products, the battery and heat pump, Green-Y is more than 5 times cheaper and does not generate any environmentally harmful waste. The latter is mainly produced by the limited resources of lithium and cobalt in the battery and by the environmentally harmful refrigerants in the heat pump. Thus the combined approach brings the unique selling propositions that clearly set us apart from the competition.

How do you integrate your product into a lucrative business model?

Our business model is initially based on a one-off sales margin, supported by a recurring share of maintenance and repair. In the future, we plan to introduce other business models, such as a contracting model with the end customer, which will cut the high acquisition costs for the customer and result in attractive recurring revenues for us.

Initially, we are approaching the end customer directly with the first installations B2C. In doing so, we take the first step into the market and aim for a product/market fit. After that, the aim is to address the so-called multipliers as quickly as possible. In doing so, the device or a B2B license is sold to e.g. energy suppliers or heat pump manufacturers. This allows us to scale quickly and efficiently.

You have already briefly touched on your target group. Could you elaborate on this topic further?

Of course. The technology is scalable from small applications in the single-family home sector to medium-sized applications in trade and industry and large applications centrally at an energy supplier.

In the beginning, we are clearly focusing on medium-sized applications in the commercial and industrial sectors. The first two customer projects were secured in a Swiss office building. An ideal application was identified there for market entry.

The niche market for office buildings in Switzerland already represents an annual market volume of over CHF 200 million. After the first projects have been realized nationally, we are quickly aiming for the DACH sector before we also want to operate throughout Europe and intercontinental.

This all sounds like very exciting developments. Where do you stand now?

The patented technology is validated on a prototype in a laboratory environment. We were also able to secure our first two customer projects. The next big step is the realization of the pilot project at a customer’s site. Installation in the Swiss office building will start in 2021. After that, we plan to install the first commercial devices in early 2022. For this purpose, we are currently looking for 2-3 further customer projects.

At the same time, we were able to conclude a successful seed investment round in summer 2020. This secures our financing up to and including the pilot project. We plan a Series A financing round for the end of 2021 to enable the commercialization of the product.

We are currently looking for new team members and investors for the next investor round. Also, we want new strategic partners for market entry, and customer projects for early 2022. Are you interested? Contact us and join the journey into a green energy future!

 

Dominik, thank you very much for the exciting conversation! We wish Green-Y every success for the pilot projects and the search for investors. 

If you would like to learn more about Green-Y, you will find more interesting information on Green-Y’s profile in our innovation network.

Ormera is the Startup of the Week 45: Automated energy billing with blockchain


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Market & Trading, Energy Supply, IT & ICT

The energy transition is still in full swing. With the trend towards tenant electricity and smart buildings, there is a large amount of administrative work to be done. This includes, for example, the entire billing process. Our Startup of the Week Ormera has developed an innovative platform for this. It connects the electricity meter to the account and thus automates the entire billing process with the help of blockchain. Ormera is the optimal meter-to-cash solution for independent administration and electricity billing for the association for own consumption. We met with Ormera’s CEO, Fabian Baerlocher, for an interview to learn more about this exciting approach.

Hello Fabian! Thanks for taking time for us today. For a better start: How do you describe Ormera in one sentence?

Ormera is the leading platform for the billing of IoT devices in smart buildings until 2026.

The whole thing works for you with the help of Blockchain, right? Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

Right. The Ormera platform automates the entire billing process – from reading the IoT device to the account statement – via block chain. In an intuitive online portal, the users keep track of the produced and purchased electricity, heat and water consumption as well as the charged tariffs. With this solution, Ormera helps self-producers, energy companies and property management companies to overcome the administrative hurdles of energy and IoT billing, thus contributing to the energy turnaround. 

In general, the platform is capable of monetizing data from any IoT device. In other words, wherever measured values need to be converted into tariffs subject to certain conditions, Ormera offers a simple solution. This enables Ormera to create the technological basis not only for renewable energies, but in the long term also for highly efficient Smart Cities and all interoperable systems. It is ideally suited for billing newer forms of energy and applications in the future. You can also integrate charging stations for e-vehicles or innovative battery storage systems into a site network, as well as you can integrate smart building or a ZEV (association for own consumption) into the platform.

I see. Where do you see your USP?

Ormera’s solution links intelligent electricity, heat or water meters – so-called smart meters – as components of the Internet of Things with the blockchain and further directly with the bank account. Everything that is measured is deducted from the bank account with minimal administrative effort. By using the blockchain, we can massively increase cybersecurity, end customers have full transparency and the billing process is radically digitalised. This enables significant savings, both in terms of workload and costs.

How do you design the associated business model?

Ormera charges its customers an annual license fee per metering point with a one-time installation fee and/or an annual partner fee. Customers who want to use Ormera can choose between several modules with different requirements. At the same time we receive project fees from technology partners, for co-production of the platform.

At the beginning of the interview you have already named a few potential customers, such as energy companies or property management companies. Which market segments exactly do you address within this target group?

After a successful pilot phase, we launched the platform with various partners in May 2019. Ormera addresses B2B customers such as energy suppliers, real estate managers and planners. We are also working with technology partner ABB to simplify the direct connection between the measurement data and the blockchain. For the development of this comprehensive platform we need the right partners. While Ormera is already widely known in the energy services market, the focus is now on the real estate market. Acquisition talks are being continued and contracts with further partners are being concluded. The start-up thus builds a stable customer base and ensures that the real needs on the market are directly incorporated into the development of the platform.

With market penetration in Switzerland in 2021, Ormera plans to expand its activities to the DACH region, UK and Scandinavia in 2022.

It looks as if you have already established yourselves quite well. What do current developments in your company look like?

20 B2B customers of the 30 largest energy companies, real estate and engineering offices in Switzerland for electricity billing already use the platfrom. We are currently developing an MVP for heat/water billing. Further use cases, such as the billing of e-charging stations or digital contract processing via the platform are in planning. The platform can already read different types of meters. Together with technology partners such as ABB, we are further developing the interfaces.

In addition to product development, the development of the company is a major task. Originating from a project of PostFinance and Energie Wasser Bern, we had an external IT development. In the last few weeks we have redesigned the IT and hired excellent architects and developers to internalize the IT. This includes the establishment of a nearshore team in Portugal. 

We are also very active on a strategic level. We have expanded the energy case, which was originally focused on Switzerland, and are now focusing on expanding our verticals to include the general billing of IoT devices and the European environment. For this we need additional capital. Therefore we are seeking new investors for the next financing round of CHF 2 million in Q1 2021.

 

Fabian, thank you very much for this exciting interview! We wish you continued success and look forward to following Ormera’s developments,

Those who find Ormera interesting can visit their Innoloft profile for more information on the company, product and funding request.

node.energy is the Startup of the Week 38: Optimal planning & management of decentralized energy concepts


Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment

The hardware for the energy system transformation is available. There is a wide range of technical solutions. Only constantly changing laws, rules and regulations complicate the market penetration of decentralized energy concepts. To ensure that renewable energy solutions pay off even without public funding, our startup of the week has developed software and services for decentralised energy concepts. They not only simplify the planning and management of decentralized energy systems, but also offer a new business model for energy suppliers and service providers. Matthias Karger, CEO of node.energy GmbH, tells us in an interview how the software can turn them into digital full-service providers for decentralized energy solutions and how they can benefit from this.

Hello Matthias. Thank you for giving us some insights into your startup node.energy today. Can you briefly summarize in one sentence what your mission is about?

Sure. We offer a software solution with which energy suppliers (EVUs) can use the increasing own energy generation of commercial customers for their own business opportunities.

Sounds interesting. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

We have developed a special software and service solution, which enables EVUs to quickly and cost-effectively position themselves as digital full-service providers for their commercial customers. With the help of the Software-as-a-Service solution opti.node, EVUs can recommend the ideal mix of their own generation and grid connection to their commercial customers in just a few minutes based on a few, mostly known customer data. Through this proactive approach, the EVU positions itself as the first point of contact for the planning and implementation of the suggested solutions and services. Through the subsequent digital management of the energy concepts, as well as through the supply of the rest of the electricity and surplus marketing, permanent and profitable customer relationships can be established. opti.node can take into account a large number of generators and consumers, as well as storage and e-mobility infrastructure. All regulatory interactions, such as allocations and taxes, are included in the optimization of energy costs. In this way, energy supply companies can guarantee their customers the lowest possible energy costs.

So you generate value for energy supply companies and energy service providers by offering them a software solution based on decentralised self-power concepts what generates new revenues. What are the revenues do you generate for them?

With our SaaS, even complex decentralized power concepts can be planned and managed in minutes. Thus, EVUs can use the growing self-sufficiency of their industry and tissue customers as their own business opportunity. New sales potential arises from the planning, construction and implementation of own power concepts. In addition, a continuous management fee can be established via opti.node through operational management and the automatic fulfilment of reporting and operator obligations. For example, atypical grid usage, or EEG quantity limitations and notifications, as well as all e-mobility operator obligations are taken into account. The concept is rounded off by the supply of residual electricity and the surplus marketing by the energy supply company. This ideal mix of self-sufficiency and residual electricity supply results in a hybrid product with high customer loyalty.

Your software and service solution offers not only reduced complexity and bureaucracy for customers, but also provides EVUs a revenue model that is tailored to new market requirements. 

How do you generate revenue yourself?

We offer our product as a Software-as-a-Service model for which an annual usage fee is due. In continuous management, this is only due when new revenues are actually generated with customers.

And to whom your solution is adressed in general?

We address the entire value chain of decentralized power generation and automate it as far as possible.

In 2016 your company was founded and you spent some time developing your opti.node software. Since when is your solution available on the market?

Our software has been on the market since the beginning of 2019 and is constantly being further developed on the basis of new customer requirements. Our customers therefore benefit from a constantly growing range of functions.

Many thanks, Matthias, for the exciting insights. Then we keep our fingers crossed for the future and wish you every success. We hope to hear a lot more from you and are looking forward to your further developments. If you would like to learn more about node.energy, please take a look at your Innoloft profile or contact us directly.

Breeze Technologies is the Startup of the Week 35: Sensors for air quality


Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment, IT & ICT

In recent months we have seen the positive effects of the lockdown on our environment. The smog has disappeared and the air was clear again in many places. However, many cities only measure their air quality selectively, leaving large gaps in the data. This is set to change now. We spoke with Robert Heinecke about his startup Breeze Technologies for this mission.

Hello, Robert. Thanks for answering our questions today. Let’s get right to it: what does Breeze Technologies do?

Breeze Technologies provides comprehensive air quality and climate data, generates recommendations for action and thus helps cities and companies to create a more liveable environment.

That sounds very exciting! Could you explain to us exactly how this works?

Gladly! We develop small and cost-effective air quality sensors that detect all common air pollutants in real time. They collect the data thus obtained in a central cloud. In addition, we also integrate other data sources, such as satellite data, in order to obtain the most accurate picture possible of the air quality in our cities. An artificial intelligence system developed by us evaluates this data in real time. It  provides optimal recommendations for action to improve local air quality. These are fed from a catalog of over 3,500 individual measures and range from photocatalytic asphalt in road construction to traffic control based on air quality data, such as that being tested in the city of Cologne as gatekeeper traffic lights.

By using artificial intelligence, your system gives new recommendations depending on the situation, right?

Right. Our system also measures the impact of the measures implemented, which enables us to make even better recommendations in the future. We also provide a similar service for building managers, whom we help to measure and optimise air quality in office environments. You can use our system both indoors and outdoors.

How did you build your business model?

We rent our sensors to companies and cities and charge an annual rental and maintenance fee. In addition to the measures recommended by us for improving air quality, service providers and manufacturers are acquired as partners who pay a commission fee for sales generated through us.

Do you keep your target group quite general?

Yes, we mainly address HSE and facility managers in larger companies and the municipal administration. The industry in which the company is active is not important for the time being.

Two years ago you won the Hamburg Founder’s Prize and you have already started exciting projects. Can you give us a little insight into that?

Sure. We have already achieved many successes with renowned pilot customers such as Deutsche Telekom and Smart City projects in Hamburg and Berlin. We also make some of the data we collect available to the public via a citizens’ platform. Our company has also been named one of the most promising European start-ups in numerous national and international competitions. These include, for example, the Hamburg Founder’s Prize, which you have just mentioned, the EU Top 50, an award from the German President and inclusion in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for social entrepreneurs.

Robert, thank you very much for this exciting interview! We wish you continued success.
If you would like to learn more about Breeze Technologies, please visit their Innoloft profile to find out more about their products and requests.

Nuventura is the Startup of the Week 30: the next generation of gas insulated switchgear


Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment

The term CO2 is probably most present one in discussions and reports on greenhouse gases. Less frequently, compounds such as methane or nitrous oxide fall. However, only those who are more intensively involved with the subject have come across the family of fluorinated greenhouse gases. Unlike the classic greenhouse gases, the so-called F-gases are not released as unwanted by-products (e.g. during the combustion of fossil raw materials). However, the industry produces them specifically e.g. for a gas insulated switchgear. According to the Umwelt Bundesamt, their effect on the ozone layer is up to 100 to 24.000 times higher than that of carbon dioxide. Our Startup of the Week nuventura rightly sees a need for action there. Therefore tey are developing a technology that works without SF6. CEO Fabian Lemke explains more about the background in the interview.

Hello, Fabian! Thank you so much for taking the time for us! Would you give us a short pitch for the beginning?

Nuventura empowers a safer and more efficient energy grid free from SF6 – the most potent greenhouse gas in existence.

An energy network contains a large number of components. Where does your solution start?

Nuventura has invented a new revolutionary switchgear – essential component of any electricity grid – that is free from greenhouse gases and outperforms the existing industry standard.
Existing gas insulated switchgear (GIS) are based on SF6 – the most potent greenhouse gas humanity knows. It is 23,500 times worse than CO2 in terms of its global warming effect. It is a synthetic gas for which neither a natural sink exists, nor an effective disposal method is at hand. This makes its accumulation in the atmosphere virtually irreversible. On top of this, the gas is extremely long-lived: SF6’s atmospheric lifetime is 3,200 years, which is well beyond CO2‘s 100-200- year lifetime.

The available data shows that every year approx. 8000t of SF6 are emitted into the atmosphere (equivalent of 188,000,000t of CO2). 80% of all the SF6 produced is used inside gas insulated switchgear. Nuventura developed a GIS that instead of SF6 simply uses the air we all breathe, in such a way eliminating the usage of this highly potent greenhouse gas.

That sounds very promising. Are there additional advantages of your switchgear?

The technology does not only have the potential to trigger a greenhouse gas emission reduction equivalent to 100 million cars, but it also significantly improves the performance of the switchgear. It enables, for the first time, integrated type tested sensor system. The technology paves the way for industry 4.0 applications, such as condition monitoring, predictive maintenance or dynamic adjustments of maximum acceptable loads. Its innovative design reduces total cost of ownership due to the enabled benefits and extended lifetime. Furthermore it allows for competitive production and operation by simplifying the manufacturing process and removing the need for gas handling and expensive manufacturing processes common in SF6-based designs.

What is the distribution of your development like?

We license our technology to manufacturers, functioning as an R&D centre for them. We also collaborate with the end users of our technology (DSOs and industry) to ensure that we design the nuventura switchgear according to their needs.

You have just mentioned the industrial sector as a potential market. How big is the total market you are moving in?

In total, our technology addresses a market of € 11.1 Bn that will continue to grow with a 10 % CAGR to become a € 23.1 Bn market by 2024. Our target clients are the global community of switchgear manufacturers.

That’s really great potential. What have you already done to open up this market?

Last year we closed our seed investment round including E.ON, VC Fonds Technologie Berlin managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH, Apex Energy Teterow and existing investors. After the investment, several grants, loans and national and international innovation prizes won, nuventura now has a substantial 7-digit EUR amount at hand to realize its upcoming goals and milestones. Our focus now is to continue certifying our sustainable, patented technology for gas insulated switchgear for commercial application in the medium voltage range and to enter the market for switchgear technologies as a technology licensing company.

Fabian, thank you very much for this exciting interview! We hope to hear a lot from you in the future and support your approach to greenhouse gas reduction.

You want to learn more about nuventura? Nuventura’s Innoloft profile gives you more information about possible cooperation opportunities.

dena and SET launch the SET Network with Innoloft: Innovations, networks and partnerships for energy system transition


Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Market & Trading, Energy Supply

The topic of energy system transformation is more urgent than ever. Due to our digitized way of life, we now consume about ten times as much electricity as our fellow human beings did about fifty years ago. Time is pressing. But how can we succeed in generating and using energy exclusively clean, affordable and safe?

In Germany, about one third of the electricity comes from renewable energies, i.e. wind power, solar energy or biomass. Emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases are being successively reduced and the last three nuclear power plants in Germany are to be shut down by 2022. This is a correct approach, but no panacea.

Innovative energy industry: Start-ups bring new dynamism to the energy transition

To support political approaches and decisions, the energy industry needs a fresh spirit, spontaneity and flexibility. All the better that there are more and more young founders who come up with innovative ideas and solutions. But it is precisely these young founders who need support from investors and experienced companies in order to develop and establish their innovations. Often, this is exactly the point where they fail and good and innovative ideas cannot be pursued further because money and expertise are lacking.

Start Up Energy Transition launches SET Network – with support from Innoloft

This is the focus of the German Energy Agency (dena) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi): The Start Up Energy Transition (SET) Global Innovation Platform is intended to offer energy transition start-ups various forms of support, i.e. through the annual SET Award and SET Tech Festival.

Similarly, the Start Up Transition (SET) is established with an international focus as a global forum and with the conviction that a sustainable future is directly linked to innovative business models and political will. The operating organisation here is dena as well – in cooperation with the World Energy Council.

In order not only to continue this promising approach but also to deepen it, on July 1st, the SET Network with an international approach was launched together with Innoloft. This is a network that is aimed equally at start-ups, established companies and interested investors. Start-ups can network with interested companies, investors can compare attractive investment opportunities and established corporates can promote cooperations with young start-ups. In the end, joint innovative product ideas can be developed and brought to market.

Numerous features offer quick and uncomplicated ways to accelerate the networking of the individual players and thus drive forward innovations for the energy transition: With the help of applications, startups can, for example, communicate directly which resources they need for product development or whether investors are being sought. Meanwhile, companies and corporates use the search for startups in the energy sector to pursue their own use cases, and investors are offered an overview of the latest innovations to find promising projects.

Click here for free registration and further information about the SET Network.

Startups of the Month – April 2020


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Storage, IT & ICT

Our four Startups of the Week in April at a glance

In April, the startups Wecreation, IoT connctd, Qarnot and Ice on Battery gave us exciting insights into their solutions and innovations with their Startup of the Week interviews. We have compiled statements about their business models, markets, target groups and solution approaches for you here shortly. You can read the details in the individual interviews. If you want to contact them directly , feel free to use the messenger function in our database. There you can also present yourself with your own profile and get in contact with the startups.

WeCreation – Focus on the human part of digitalization (CW15)

“We empower organizations to actively shape the future through cultural change and future competencies and to use change as an opportunity.” Christian Binninger, Co-Founder Wecreation GmbH

Digitisation is not only being pushed forward technically. Rather, people are directly involved. This is why the start-up company WeCreation focuses on “the human part of digitisation”. Through agile projects, in various workshop formats or through leadership and team coaching, they accompany organisations in their transformation processes from within. This involves developing creativity, learning processes, teamwork and the acquisition of future skills. With their WeAcademy, people can deepen what the’ve been learning in the form of “blended learning”. In the wake of the Corona crisis, WeCreation has launched three new online formats. All organisations can benefit from their service offerings. Since its founding, WeCreation has focused on the energy industry and has worked closely with municipal utilities and utility companies. Its customers include the Haldensleben municipal utilities, the Menden municipal utilities and the Dessau municipal utilities. You can read more details about them and their services in the interview or find out more in their customer requests.

To the Startup of the Week interview CW15

IoT connctd – IoT platform for scalable data-based services (CW16)

“We designed and implemented the open and scalable Service Creation IoT platform to simplify the development of data-based services.” Axel Schüßler, Co-Founder and CEO of IoT connctd

IoT connctd has created a service platform for the use and application of IoT data. This helps customers to develop data-based scalable services. IoT connctd supports the technical implementation, such as data generation and evaluation, as well as agile further processing through simulations, tests, pilots and finally scaling. Their cloud-based IoT service platform maps the individual steps. The Startup addresses its offer to device manufacturers in the form of software. They can use the IoT platform as IoT backend. For service developers there is the GRAPH API, which works like a Google search engine for the Internet of Things. Here, IoT connctd takes care of the decoupling of user data and IoT data. They encrypt all interactions and allow only authenticated access. Hosting is provided in Germany and the EU. IoT connctd has a broad range of services on offer. They are also establishing a data marketplace to organise the targeted exchange of data. Their service offers around the IoT platform can be accessed worldwide. In contrast, they are currently focusing their projects on the European market. Further information, contact details as well as requests for partnership can be found in their requests in our database.

To the Startup of the Week interview CW16

Qarnot Energy – Patented Green IT approach uses waste heat from IT calculations (CW17)

“We use waste heat from IT calculations to heat buildings and water sustainably.” Paul Benoit, Co-Founder and CEO

With the increased use of modern IT technologies in the course of digitalisation, energy consumption is also rising. The provision of computing capacity in data centers is thus accompanied by increased energy requirements. At the same time, data centres generate a high amount of waste heat. Qarnot Energy has developed a solution approach. They make sensible use of the waste heat generated by data centres. This works by making it available to the energy system again through their patented technology. For this purpose, they have developed a computer heater and a digital water boiler. With these, they supply heating-customers with heat and computing-customers with computing power. Connections to the fibre optic network ensure an effective distribution in buildings with IT resources and heat. Their sales activities are focused on the B2B sector. Most customers are located in France. However, Qarnot Energy intends to extend its range of products to the European market, with a particular focus on the UK, the DACH region and Northern Europe. By recovering waste heat as a resource, Qarnot Energy can both reduce energy consumption and contribute to a significantly reduced carbon footprint of computers. Its worldwide patented technology enables an innovative, sustainable and economical Green IT approach that creates a node between IT and buildings. To contact Qarnot Energy directly, you can use our database and its requests.

To the Startup of the Week interview CW17

ICE-ON Battery – storing energy in cold (CW18)

 “We are working on an innovative cold energy storage system. The technology is patented and allows to store excess energy and reduce greenhouse gases.” Dariusz Ziemski, CEO

ICE-ON Battery uses ice as an energy source to store energy in the form of cold. Cold in turn is needed for industrial cooling processes or for air conditioning systems. With ICE-ON Battery, both conventionally produced and renewable energy can be stored in the form of ice. Heat is released when cold is converted into electricity. A combination of these two creates the conditions for an optimized use of energy in an energy multi-system. In combination with photovoltaics or wind, the efficiency of renewable energy can be increased and at the same time the energy efficiency of cooling and heating systems can be improved. This brings economic advantages and simultaneously reduces greenhouse gas emissions. ICE-ON offers its cold storage systems to system providers and companies in the renewable energy sector. They also work with industry associations, research institutes and governmental organisations. The first pilot projects are currently being launched in Germany. ICE-ON Batteries offers its customers a comprehensive range of services, including planning and concept studies, installation, maintenance and training. There will also be software solutions for remote control. Have a look at the database to learn more about their cooperation request.

To the Startup of the Week interview CW18

ICE-ON Battery is the Startup of the Week 18: Converting energy into ice


Energy & Environment, Energy Efficiency and Environment, Energy Storage

What if one could use the phase transition from water to ice? For example for energy storage? Our Startup of the Week has developed a product that enables energy storage and energy release with these phase transitions. The idea of ICE-ON Battery is not only innovative, but also good for the environment. In the interview CEO Dariusz Ziemski gave us more information.

Hello, Dariusz! Nice of you to answer our questions today. Why don’t you tell us briefly what the project ICE-ON is all about?

At ICE-ON Battery we are working on an innovative cold energy storage system. The technology has a patent and allows to store excess energy and reduce greenhouse gases.

What technology is behind it?

The ICE-ON cold energy storage system uses the phase transition from water to ice to generate energy. Basically, ice is the energy source in the ICE-ON battery. The energy is released in the form of cold, which is used in air conditioning systems or in industrial cooling processes. The ICE-ON Battery also offers a unique possibility to store electrical energy from conventional and renewable energy sources. During preriods of energy surplus we store this as ice.

The conversion of electrical energy into cold generated large amounts of heat. Depending on the solution, this heat is either lost or actually used. In combination with a remote control program, we enable optimal management and use of the stored energy. This functionality of ICE-ON offers unlimited application possibilities. On the one hand in cooperation with air conditioning and refrigeration systems and on the other hand as part of an energy multi-system.

What other advantages does your cold energy storage system offer?

The use of our cold accumulators allows you to optimise the management of energy consumption (cooling and heating systems). Thanks to the synergy effects with photovoltaic and wind turbines, ICE-ON increases the efficiency of renewable energy sources. Thus, the use of ICE-ON contributes to “peak shaving” and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

What exactly do your customers pay for?

We offer our customers and partners a comprehensive package of services, from feasibility studies and design assistance to monitoring the execution of installation and maintenance. As the manufacturer of the ICE-ON cold storage tanks, we also offer the delivery of the products and the training of the craftsmen. In addition, there is the possibility of obtaining the software solution for the remote control program. This can generate further income on our side.

Since you are manufacturing a cold energy storage system, energy companies are certainly among your customers, right?

That’s right. In general, we are open to a wide range of opportunities for cooperation with companies from the renewable energy sector and with their system providers. But we are also interested in cooperating with industry associations, governmental organizations and research institutes. We operate both nationally and internationally.

Is your product, the ICE-ON cold accumulator, already usable? And what else do you want to achieve this year?

The first pilot projects confirmed the advantages of ICE-ON batteries. We have already initiated a research project at the Fraunhofer Institute. Here tests are being carried out with regard to the technical data. In addition, we analyze the effects of ICE-ON batteries on the German energy industry. Production will then start at the end of this year. We currently prepare and implement the first pilot projects on the German market.

Dariusz, thank you very much for the interesting interview! We wish ICE-ON Batteries only the best during this time and are curious how you will develop further. If anyone wants to know more about the project, they can check out your Innoloft profile and your requests.