Matchmaker and Partner: Innoloft and the digitalHUB Aachen


The story behind the digitalHUB matching platform and

A digital platform on which startups, investors and corporates present themselves, their ideas and challenges and are matched with each other based on them – that is the concept of the B2B Tech Ecosystem Innoloft. Founded in 2015 as a spin-off of RWTH Aachen University, Innoloft is one of the founding members of the digitalHUB Aachen e.V. As such, Innoloft has designed and implemented both the matching platform of the digitalHUB Aachen and the NRW-wide platform, the official launch of which was announced by NRW Minister of Economic Affairs Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart on October 27, 2020. In an interview with Sven Pietsch, CEO of Innoloft and Iris Wilhelmi, Managing Director of the digitalHUB Aachen, we learned how the digitalHUB Aachen’s matching platform served as a model for the NRW-wide platform and how the stories of Innoloft and the digitalHUB Aachen have grown together.

Iris and Sven, how did the digitalHUB and Innoloft come together?

Iris Wilhelmi: Innoloft is one of our founding members and has been part of the digitalHUB Aachen from the very beginning, i.e. since mid-2016, as a start-up from the very beginning. When we moved to digitalCHURCH in 2017, Innoloft moved into our CoWorking with seven employees – today there are about 30 – and then rented two floors of office space in the Kaplanshaus at the beginning of 2019. Both Innoloft and we have grown in the meantime.

Sven Pietsch: Before founding the digitalHUB, we were a member of Startlab, the former incubator for digital start-ups at RWTH Aachen University. When the Startlab merged with the CoWorking of the digitalHUB, we were naturally directly involved.

Sven, how has your development been from the foundation until today? And what role has the digitalHUB played in it?

Sven Pietsch: We founded our start-up in 2015 as a spin-off from RWTH Aachen University with the goal of building a research database for research transfer. When it turned out that nobody wanted to pay for it, we changed our concept to a company database. Around that time the startup trend started and we got our first contract to screen startups. We soon realized that the mediation of business contacts does not work with a static database, but rather requires a digital business network. And so we came up with the idea of building an operating system for digital networks and marketplaces. The digitalHUB with its large network was a strong support for our market access from the beginning. And thanks to the digitalHUB matching platform that we implemented for the HUB, it is also a cool reference for us!

How did the joint project of the matching platform come about?

Iris Wilhelmi: The idea of the joint platform had been around for quite a while. But since we already had our digitalHUB Member Space and Innoloft – originally under the name Energieloft – was initially focused on energy companies, we were still waiting for the proof of concept. We also looked around the market but came to the conclusion that Innoloft’s white label solution and the integration of the matching platform into our existing member space was the best solution for us. And so it came to a joint launch in 2018. Our digitalHUB matching platform, was the first open-industry platform that Innoloft implemented at that time.

What opportunities does the platform offer for which target group?

Sven: In short: Startups find investors, cooperation partners or customers; companies find innovation ideas, suppliers as well as innovation partners or startups and investors find investment cases. In addition to the independent search, the platform also automatically presents potential business partners. We then count as a match every conversation that takes place between different parties via the platform.

How did it happen that the matching platform of the digitalHUB Aachen became a model for the NRW-wide platform

Iris Wilhelmi: Here, both the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs was the driving force and the HUBs that had emerged from the Digital Economy NRW initiative. The other digital hubs also wanted to have transparency about their ecosystems, the digital hubs also wanted to better network their ecosystems with each other, and the Ministry also wanted to prominently present the great potential of the NRW-wide startup ecosystem to the outside world. Due to the great experience we had as digitalHUB Aachen with our matching platform, our platform then served as a blueprint for the NRW-wide platform. Together with the Digital Hub münsterLAND we accompanied the implementation.

How did the first weeks of since the kick-off go and what are the next milestones?

Sven Pietsch: The developments on the platform are very positive. We have had over 400 logins from over 250 unique users since the launch. In parallel we continue to work on the platform. The next important milestone is the event module, which will go online in a few days. It will allow platform users to create events, invite each other to them, hold the events there and streaming tools like YouTube or Zoom can also be integrated.

Iris, Sven had just answered this question, so the last question for you: What role does Innoloft play for the digitalHUB?

Iris Wilhelmi: With the conception and implementation of the digitalHUB matching platform, Innoloft has mapped our ecosystem completely digitally – that’s a great added value for us and is elementarily important. If you know what a great team is behind Innoloft, it’s clear that we would be crazy not to work with Innoloft!

Thank you very much for the nice closing, Iris, and thank you very much for the interview, Iris and Sven!

The interview was conducted by Karin Bönig, PR-Editor at digitalHUB Aachen

Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt is the Startup of the Week 49: Developing potentials


How do you make a company fit for the future? That depends heavily on the employees. Those who master the spirit of innovation, creativity, and critical thinking also have a positive influence on the development of the company. However, these skills need to be trained and educated so that employees become resilient and team-oriented personalities. Our Startup of the Week, the Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt, offers workshops to develop and strengthen peoples’ potential. Co-founder Florian Engel explained to us in an interview what her vision exactly is.

Hello Florian! Great that you are here today. Let’s start directly by pitching us the Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt.

We develop people in your company! Digital and analogue formats with brain and heart stimulate the enthusiasm of your employees and train skills that make the next step possible in the world of tomorrow.

Does the competence training take place in workshops?

Exactly! With the Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt we offer development programmes consisting of workshops and coaching. These, in turn, we divided into attendance formats, online workshops and individual coaching. We also offer a platform within our academy on which self-organised learning takes place. We combine the formats according to the jointly defined learning goal.

With our digital formats, we attach great importance to engaging the participants as in an analogue context. We achieve this in particular through the creative use of modern online tools and through individualised, interactive didactics in virtual space.

As psychologists and coaches, we cover the most relevant competences for tomorrow’s working world. This includes topics such as creativity and innovative spirit, critical thinking, working in a team or problem-solving in complex environments.

We develop personalities who will carry your company’s success!

What sets you apart from other coaches or training providers?

With the credo ‘don’t fix what’s wrong – build what’s strong’, we focus on developing the strengths and talents of your employees. We firmly believe that this approach also provides the greatest added value for the positive development and healthy growth of your company. We use psychological and coaching techniques. Our approach is thus holistically humanistic. In our work, both the individual and the organisation benefit.

We are digital natives! Many further digital education programmes that are currently on the market tend to make you drowsy rather than causing emotional commitment. We can do better! Our online workshops are intelligently prepared. They raise the bar for inspiring and exciting online workshop formats to a new level.

How did you build your business model for this?

Our business model consists of three pillars: The first pillar is leading workshops with the main focus on sustainability, positive psychology and design thinking. In both face-to-face and virtual formats, we make sure that the spark is ignited. So participants return to their workplace motivated and with new inspiration.

The second pillar is the professional coaching of individuals in physical or virtual space. Common objectives here are to solve current problems at the workplace, to create clarity in phases of reorientation or to solve existing conflicts between individuals or groups of individuals. For virtual coaching, we use a range of interactive online tools to make the process as effective and efficient as possible.

The third pillar is the Online Academy of the Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt. With this, we provide learning content in a standardised format to enable scalable and cost-effective training of employees. Depending on the learning objective, we plan these as individual measures or combined as a blended learning concept in combination with live workshops.

Who do you target with programmes?

We would like to work with companies that see their employees as the most important resource for mastering business challenges. Companies who care about the personal growth of their employees. We prepare your employees to manoeuvre resiliently and confidently through the increasingly complex world of work, not only today but also tomorrow!

Our target group is primarily medium-sized and small companies. Due to their scalability, the standardised learning products of the Online Academy are also ideally suited for training larger groups of employees in large companies.

What phase is the Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt currently in? 

We founded the Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt two years ago with the vision of helping to shape the working world of tomorrow. So far we have already supported more than 500 people in their change processes in our workshops and coaching sessions. 

We are a young company looking for clients with whom we can further develop our existing services and products and co-create experimental formats in a needs-oriented way! We offer inspiring and appreciative cooperation at eye level, which promotes healthy and sustainable growth for companies and employees.


Florian, that was already the last question! Many thanks for the exciting interview. We wish you from the Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt continued success, especially for the year 2021.

If you would like to find out more about the training courses offered by the Nachhaltigkeitswerkstatt, please visit their Innoloft profile.

Rehappy is the Startup of the Week 48: Motivation and knowledge software for stroke patients


A stroke poses great challenges for those affected. Patients need a lot of strength and patience to regain their lost abilities. The road to recovery often takes a long time and is very exhausting. Physical as well as emotional support is very important. Our Startup of the Week Rehappy has developed a digital solution to help stroke patients find their way back into life. Pavle Lederer from Rehappy met us for an interview on how this works.

Hello Pavle! Thanks for taking the time for us today. What is Rehappy?

Rehappy activates, informs, and accompanies stroke patients in their aftercare. We e work with an app, an energy band, and a web portal to bring their healthcare into the digital age and pave the way back into a happier life.

How exactly do you approach this issue?

We focus on the patients in the follow-up care to increase their self-efficacy and compliance through individual motivation and knowledge transfer. The goal is also to improve their therapy results in the long term. Because there is only one person who can change the consequences of a stroke: the patient himself!

Scientific studies show that every form of physical activity increases the plasticity of the brain (learning ability) and positive emotions further promote learning success. However, many patients are completely overwhelmed by the stroke and are unable to organize their everyday life in a new way. Therefore Rehappy accompanies the patients back on the way to a happier life. Through individual and targeted information, Rehappy shows the patient how the new life situation can be approached actively. We want to help them stay motivated – every day anew and always with a positive perspective.

Components of Rehappy are a certified app, an energy band, and a web portal. To ensure that each patient receives the support that is relevant to them, the Rehappy software adapts the content to the individual needs of each patient. The increased self-efficacy and compliance, as well as the positive conditioning, can reduce the rate of depressive traits, the loss of relearnt skills, and the rate of reinfarction.

The patient himself experiences short-term support in coping with his “life crisis stroke” and gains a higher quality of life in the long term. Cost units such as health insurance companies and pension insurance reduce the costs of care, both in the short term and especially in the long term.

What functions does Rehappy offer?

Patients wear the energy band in their everyday life. They receive daily feedback on their performance and the importance of their own recovery. In addition to motivating messages, they receive individually tailored content. This includes daily changing tips that explain the background to the therapies and offer support in dealing with administrative tasks. 

Rehappy is characterized by its adaptation to the patients’ needs. Based on the physical and emotional condition as well as the personality traits, the Rehappy software continuously adapts the individual support plan. The barrier-free app design allows easy and intuitive operation for physically limited users and smartphone novices.

At what stage are you with your product?

We were one of the first companies in Germany to apply as DIGA (Digital Health Application). Rehappy is currently operating on the second healthcare market. With the listing as DIGA and certified medical product, it will be possible to participate in the first health market.

The target group is relatively clear: stroke patients. Does the severity of the stroke make a difference in use?

Yes, of course. Rehappy is aimed at all stroke patients who are cognitively able to process the content conveyed and can operate their smartphone with one hand. In addition, success has already been achieved with patients who had suffered a stroke several years earlier.

There are 270,000 strokes every year in Germany alone, of which at least 85,000 patients fall into the rehab target group due to their state of health, age & affinity for technology (with an upward trend). In addition, there are over 1.4 million patients who live with the consequences of a stroke in Germany.

You have already mentioned that you are already present in the market. What is your vision for Rehappy? What have you already achieved?

As a certified medical device, our goal is to be a pioneer of therapy-accompanying digital health services for neurological diseases. 

Our software was selected as one of 119 companies on the shortlist for the Digital Health Award in 2019. We also won the healthy hub in 2019 and signed our first contract with the mhplus health insurance company.


Pavle, unfortunately, we have already reached the end of our interview. Thank you very much for the exciting interview. We wish you continued success at Rehappy! 

If you want to learn more about Rehappy, please visit their Innoloft profile.

AmbeRoad is the Startup of Week 46: Experts for handling company data


“Say, where can I find that document from the meeting last week?” – Everybody knows this sentence. Especially when things have to be done quickly, you get lost in some folders and can’t find what you’re looking for. Now there is a solution: Our Startup of the Week ambeRoad has taken up the problem and developed special software that elegantly solves this problem. So that the employees finally find the data that they are looking for. How exactly does all this work? We spoke to Philipp Reißel, CEO of ambeRoad, about this.

Hello Philip! Thanks for taking the time for us today. What exactly is ambeRoad?

With our Enterprise Business Search Engine we can make hard-to-find company data easily accessible!

You use artificial intelligence for that, right? Which functions does your product offer exactly?

Exactly! Our product is a SaaS software, which can be used by companies to create added value. Our software ambeRise searches all company data for a specific search term. The user enters a search query into an intuitively designed search mask and receives the results from our software. In the background, we have a series of processes which search all internal company data sources with the help of artificial intelligence (Natural Language Processing, NLP). ambeRise places itself in front of the company’s data; i.e. one of the great advantages of ambeRise is that the data structure does not have to be changed.

In addition, existing access rights are respected and our NLP model intelligently extends the search query. ambeRise searches document titles, as well as the document contents of all authenticated documents for the extended search query. Finally, ambeRise intelligently sorts the results obtained according to relevance, whereby this is a continuous learning process. Since we function as an individual solution and thus avoid the costly and complex way of implementing a complete solution, our system is ready for use much faster.

What is the exact use case for such software? Why is your product useful?

Users of our software find documents and data in your company much faster than you would without our search engine. Everyone who has ever worked in a company probably knows it: You are looking for documents that you don’t need every day, you are looking for documents that you have worked on a long time ago, but you don’t know the exact wording for the search query anymore. Most conventional search engines fail to find these documents.

The next step of the search is the tedious clicking through all folders in complex server structures. Sometimes you are lucky and find the document, sometimes you are unlucky and have to fill in a document again or have to ask colleagues and additionally take up their time. The reason for the tedious search? Documents have not been saved according to the corresponding specifications, documents are saved in the wrong folders and servers or you do not know the corresponding keywords.

The added value of our product is clear: A search query in ambeRise and we find the document you are looking for! Thanks to our intelligent extension through the NLP model, ambeRise can also find documents if the user no longer knows exactly what keywords he is looking for. It thinks along with you. Even if colleagues are temporarily absent due to illness, quarantine, holidays, etc., the loss of knowledge can be compensated. Accordingly, the employees save a lot of time. They can use their time more effectively and with added value for the company.

How do companies pay for this?

Our business model is based on a pay-per-employee model. We charge a small monthly fee for each employee who uses our tool. This allows companies to plan their costs. A second product of ours, the amberAtlas, is an intelligent business directory. Companies can contact us for the purpose of sales optimisation, market characteristics or competitor analysis and we search live for all publicly available data on parameters specified by the customer. For us, a yellow pages directory is not just a simple extract from a database built up over years, but a daily updated list with all available information.

For whom is ambeRise suitable?

We address the B2B market. The industry is of secondary importance to us, as we retrain our Natural Language Processing model for each industry, so that corresponding technical terms do not pose a problem when searching. We tend to see the application area of ambeRise primarily in medium to large companies, as these companies have the corresponding data volumes. At the moment we operate in the DACH area, but in the medium term we would like to enter the international market.

Are you already present in the market?

We went through our proof of concept in the context of the KISS42 Challenge of the RAG AG. At RAG AG ambeRise will go into daily operation in the next few weeks. In addition, we were able to win the Digital Info Management Challenge of Siemens Energy at the Ruhrsummit 2020.


Philipp, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We will follow your further way and wish you a successful market entry!

If you want to learn more about ambeRise, you can find out more about them here.

Sourc-e GmbH is the Startup of the Week 44: Optimise print purchasing


Ordering printed products is often a laborious matter. Not only for the end customer, but also for the printers. Now there is a solution that offers many advantages for both sides. Our Startup of the Week sourc-e digitalises processes in the field of print products. Lucas Scherer explains in an interview how exactly sourc-e optimises print purchasing.

Hello Lucas! Thanks for answering our questions today. Let’s start right away with the first question. Who is sourc-e?

sourc-e offers a platform that digitises the purchase of individual print products and enables print costing in seconds, making processes easier and more efficient for both printers and buyers.

Do you use an algorithm for this? 

Exactly! We digitise the print purchasing process using a unique algorithm. The basis for the intelligent calculation is machine data and the associated cost rates of high-performance printing companies.

What advantages does sourc-e offer?

Sourc-e maps the strategic and operational purchasing process from tendering to print production on one platform. Sourc-e brings together buyers and printers on one platform. The price calculation data is based on current machine data, which is automatically compared with the customer’s print requirements. The prices are calculated within seconds. Customers can integrate their own printers into the system and actively influence price benchmarks for tenders. For printers and print buyers, this simplifies and streamlines the processes involved in tendering and handling print jobs. As a technology supplier, sourc-e provides companies not only with the calculation solution but also with various shop systems that we design individually according to the customer’s requirements. No matter what solution the customer wants, the tendering process becomes more efficient and easier.

New revenue potential is created for printers because the procurement process is covered by the sourc-e platform and all technological framework data is stored.  Sourc-e brings together supply and demand, so that all parties involved save time, money and resources.  In doing so, sourc-e not only uses technology, but also provides customers with experts who have extensive know-how in the printing industry. In this way, sourc-e’s customers receive the best possible advice in all matters.

How do you generate revenue from this?

Generally, we charge a licence fee for the use of the print intelligence platform and the individual shop solutions of sourc-e docked to it. In addition, our specialists can also process complete orders directly. For this direct print procurement sourc-e charges a processing fee.

You just mentioned a few potential customers, such as printers. Which market segments are you addressing exactly?

We address both suppliers and buyers of print products in medium-sized companies who want to have their print products produced quickly and efficiently without having to go through long tendering procedures. The topic of internationalisation is on the agenda and is to be further expanded and rolled out on the platform side.

Is your platform already usable?

Yes, with cloud-based software solutions such as the Print Intelligence platform, sourc-e has launched an efficient purchasing and distribution tool that is used efficiently by companies like Vaillant and Dunlop as well as by publishers and printers.

Lucas, that brings us to the end of our interviews. Many thanks for these exciting insights. Of course we wish you continued success for the future.

If you would like to learn more about sourc-e, please have a look at the corresponding Innoloft profile.

FSIGHT is the Startup of the Week 11: Artificial Intelligence in the energy sector


The traditional, long-standing energy industry is not used to fast changes. However, suddenly, a lot of new developments take place: the data sources, the scale of the data, the optimization and stabilization needs, and the regulatory questions. Turning these challenges into opportunities requires new technologies and ideas. Our startup of the week thinks so, too. FSIGHT provides artificial intelligence for the energy industry. It is used to optimize processes and solve problems. in this interview, Business Developer Armin Greinöcker explains how this works exactly.

Hello Armin! Thank you for taking the time today. Let’s start directly with the first question. How would you pitch FSIGHT in just one sentence?

FSIGHT has developed an energy management platform that uses artificial intelligence to predict and optimize energy flows. This enables every end customer to benefit directly from the energy revolution.

How does this platform work?

Our Energy-AI platform analyzes the consumption behavior, energy production of photovoltaic and wind power plants and energy market prices and makes optimal decisions when energy should be consumed, stored or traded. We have developed our own trading model for energy communities with which households and commercial and industrial companies can trade the electricity they generate themselves. This enables savings of 20% for end users and stabilises the local power grids.

Artificial intelligence in the energy sector is not really new anymore. What can you do better than others?

For years we have specialized in artificial intelligence models especially for the energy market and have combined more than 40 machine learning models in our Energy-AI platform. By combining forecasting, optimization and trading of electricity and acting at household, community and grid level, we can generate significant benefits for end users, utilities and grid operators.

Do you offer your platform as a Software-as-a-Service model?

Right. FSIGHT’s energy AI platform consists of three core modules: Forecasting, Trading, Optimization. In general, we offer a SAAS, which is remunerated on the basis of one-time setup fees and other regular payments. Depending on the type of customer and application, the pricing model will of course vary.

Earlier you mentioned a few industries that could benefit from your platform. But who exactly belongs to your target group?

We work directly with established energy companies and network operators to develop new service offerings and to seize the opportunities in a rapidly changing energy market. In particular, we see a strong increase in renewable energy and battery storage and the introduction of energy communities with local peer-to-peer trading. Our software is also used by commercial, industrial and household customers to save costs directly for the end customer and to make optimal use of PV systems and batteries. Our customers are international, for example in Israel, Austria, Germany, Hungary, USA, New Zealand.

Unfortunately, this brings us to the last question: What stage are you in right now?

We work with renowned international companies such as Uniper, Verbund, Andritz Hydro, Wien Energie and Vector. Our products are market-ready and we are currently in a scaling phase. One of our most recent successes is a pilot project with the Swiss Federal Railways SBB, which involves the electrification of locomotives and optimization of battery storage. We are also currently launching the largest renewable energy community in Hungary. We still have a lot of plans for 2020.

Armin, thank you very much for this very interesting interview! We wish you good success in the future!

If you want to know more about FSIGHT, check out their Innoloft profile.

Blue Boson is the Startup of the Week 10: cleaning water and gas on a supramolecular level


Especially in industrial sectors, a lot of water is contaminated. However, most solutions use chemicals to clean water. This week’s startup of the week developed a solution for non-chemical water treatment. Blue Boson’s technology removes existing incrustations, deposits and corrosion. Moreover their environmentally friendly solution prolongs the projected lifetime of the systems. We talked to Robert Zagozdzon, CEO of Blue Boson, to find out more.

Hey Robert, nice to meet you! Let’s dive straight in: How would you describe Blue Boson in one sentence?

Hey Innoloft! It would sound like this: Sustainable tech solutions which deliver a double-digit reduction of your electricity, heating and cooling costs through the treatment of water, steam and any other liquid or gaseous media.

What technology do you use to help with that?

So, in more basic terms we clean water without any chemicals. That is possible with our patented products called SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT®. They are hydraulic flow modules which consist of inlet and outlet sections. Furthermore they have an ionizing and a polarizing chamber. The patented methodology of our devices ensures the treatment of the supramolecular structure of water, as well as other liquid and gaseous media at three levels – physical, chemical and energetic.

The gist of the technology is to achieve intra- and intermolecular changes in energy and forces in two stages. Our device can be equipped with a sediment discharge outlet and air bleeding orifice for capturing various substances, air, gas and liquids of different specific gravity.

What added value do your products generate and what is their unique selling proposition?

The SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT® devices are designed and manufactured to suit the needs of your particular technology and the required source of heating/cooling. It will be tailored to the size and specific requirements of your technology. Pipelines are modified as necessary at the designated places to allow the installation of the devices. The devices are fully automatic and suitable for autonomous around-the-clock operations.

The SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT® have many advantages in e.g. the reduction of fuel consumption and greenhouse gases, as well as extending the life cycle of the whole system.

What business model do you use?

We provide ESCO model solutions, as well as rent and sales of equipment. Our money back cycle is 3 to 12 months – based on a shared savings business model. We provide upgrades and our equipment requires zero maintenance.

Since your solution offers many different advantages, are you also targeting many different markets?

Yes, we address several different markets. One could use our technology in the sectors of for example drinking water treatment, energy and heat production and in chemical plants. In addition to those, we also address the heating, cooling and steam base production, as well as the remediation of lakes and rivers.

We develop solutions for fuel efficiency, water contamination and sanitation, mining, and agriculture. Our technology brings yearly a saving of about 100 billion euro without any investment and additional cost generating just in the EU industry.

Where do you stand with Blue Boson at the moment?

Our environmentally-friendly devices SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT® are the outcome of more than twenty years of development, testing and application at dozens of installations in various types of industries. We are based in central Europe and preparing to scale into global marketplace. Currently we are seeking financial and management cooperation for international expansion and new applications development. We have installations in Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria and clients which want to use our services all over the word. Our commercial installations in central Europe can be visited when provided with auditing documentation.

Robert, thank you very much for this super insightful interview! We are looking forward to see Blue Boson evolve further.

To find out more about Blue Boson, check out their Innoloft profile!

Instagrid is the startup of the week 45: Portable Power for Professionals

Energy Storage, Uncategorized

A portable power supply can be used in many places: At events, on construction sites or when redesigning the garden. As there is no sustainable solution for this yet, e.g. diesel generators are used at construction sites. The disadvantages are certainly clear for everyone. Our startup of the week, instagrid, closes this technological gap with its innovative battery storage systems. In our interview with founder Sebastian Berning we learn more about it.

Hey Sebastian! I’m glad you’re here today. We start directly with a short question. In one sentence: What does instagrid develop?

instagrid develops and markets the most powerful mobile battery storage systems for professional users currently available on the market.

That sounds very interesting. Can you explain to us in more detail which technology you developed?

instagrid has developed batteries that can be recharged without the need for additional converters or converters on the usual mains supply and can also provide this voltage again at high power. You can imagine this as if you don’t need a charger to charge your smartphone, or if you could use your car battery to power a drill directly. Since the characteristics of these new batteries are largely defined by the complex software of the batteries, we call the technology a software-defined battery. The technology is aimed exclusively at converting electricity and can be combined with any battery cell, e.g. lithium-ion batteries or lead-acid batteries.

At the beginning of the interview you described your batteries as “light” and “compact”. Are those in addition to its “mobility” also your USP?

Since our batteries do not require power converters, they can be used to create systems for grid applications that are more compact, lighter, more cost-effective and more powerful than conventional systems. We currently use the technology to develop portable energy storage devices for professional users. Our customers come from the construction industry, horticulture or event technology, for example, and save a lot of time that they previously spent laying power cables and searching for sockets. In addition, you can be sure that you always have a suitable power connection on site, without having to carry a power generator with you. Our battery power supplies are about 50% lighter and 65% smaller than other equipment on the market and are the only systems that provide full mains power to operate large equipment such as high pressure cleaners. Nevertheless, the units are absolutely waterproof, as no ventilation is required for cooling.

And how do you distribute your product?

On the one hand, we develop white label products based on our battery modules for large customers. These products are developed, certified and manufactured in cooperation with our suppliers. The products are then distributed by the white label customers themselves and we provide after-sales services on request. On the other hand, from 2020 we will offer our battery storage systems under our own brand for mobile power supply. These batteries will then be offered exclusively for rental online via a direct-to-customer service model. In this way, we hope to be able to offer very low & fair entry prices, as a usage-based component is charged in addition to a monthly basic fee.

You have already mentioned your customers who come from many different industries. Do you also adress different markets?

We are currently addressing the market for mobile power generators, which comprises several billion euros worldwide. We believe that this market can grow rapidly if a reliable and comfortable electric solution is available – as has been seen with pedelecs / e-bikes in recent years. In addition, we are already addressing other markets with pilot customers, such as compact solar storage units for rental apartments in the city or electrical reserve canisters for electric cars. We are currently testing the latter with Norwegian and Finnish automobile clubs. Since Scandinavia often plays a pioneering role when it comes to sustainability, we have had an office there since last year that coordinates our business development activities. Our products are sold internationally, outside the EU, for example in the USA.

This brings us to the last question: Where do you currently stand with the development of your technology? I’m sure you’ve been working hard at it since your founding.

We are currently industrializing our first series products with several brand partners. The technology is largely mature and is currently being put through its paces by these partners under laboratory conditions and in the field. 2019 was already a very successful year for us. After our seed financing in January, we were able to build up a great team and were awarded a prize money of €100,000 by InnoEnergy in spring as the world’s most innovative energy storage start-up.

Sebastian, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success and hope to hear more from you. Those who are interested in further information about you and your products can have a look at your Innoloft profile.

Recogizer is the Startup of the Week 40: Self-Learning Building Solutions


For some time now, the areas of application of artificial intelligence have been expanding to a wide variety of industries. Of course, the energy and building industry is also addressed, in which KIs control e.g. power grids or energy sectors. It therefore makes sense to use such a versatile technology for energy efficiency purposes as well. Our Startup of the Week sees it the same way. Recogizer therefore developed a self-learning system that reduces the energy consumption of buildings and avoids CO2 emissions. An exciting idea, which we talk about in our interview with Managing Director Carsten Kreutze.

Hello, Carsten! We are happy to learn more about your startup today and will therefore start right away. Who are you at Recogizer?

We are pioneers for self-learning building solutions and save energy in commercial buildings through artificial intelligence.

Please give us some background information about your solutions. An artificial intelligence has to be fed with a lot of data. What do you generate them from?

energyControl is a self-learning control system for air-conditioning systems that uses artificial intelligence to reduce energy consumption. More than 20% of the thermal energy requirement in commercial buildings can be saved with energyControl, and CO2 emissions can be avoided at the same time. Therefore, a digital twin will first be developed that is precisely tailored to the building.
We make use of all measurement data of the property, which are e.g. collected by sensors, controllers, consumption meters and actuators. From the structured data recording, energyControl learns very precisely the system, building and usage behaviour. This enables a predictive control, so that we can save energy in a fully automated way.

The concept of artificial intelligence has long since become familiar to most actors in the energy and building industry, even though it is currently only used sporadically. What makes your solution special and opens it’s way to practical use?

What is special is that all factors specific to the building that have a significant influence on energy consumption are taken into account: Weather data, occupancy data, usage or opening times and complex plant contexts. Intelligent forecasts of these influences provide as much heat, cold and fresh air as an optimal room climate requires, with as little energy input as possible. Our goal is to get as close to the optimum as possible: The building really only consumes the energy it needs, and it is fully automated. The prerequisite is an automation level in the building on which energyControl is based via standard interfaces.

And what does the pricing for energyControl look like?

Our pricing model is simple: there is a one-off price for setup and startup, followed by an annual service price for continuous service. Since energyControl is a low-investment measure, the investment often pays off after less than 12 months. In addition to the self-learning control system, we also offer energy monitoring that ensures transparency about the systems and consumption. This allows the permanent monitoring and comparison of individual buildings as well as larger property portfolios. Monitoring is the basis for predictive control and collects data in real time. In the energyPortal, the customer has an overview of his savings at all times.

Let’s get a little closer to your customers. In which segments and industries do they settle?

We address operators and users of larger commercial buildings, e.g. hotels, retail trade, office buildings, educational institutions. Their aim is to manage their buildings more energy-efficiently and to launch sustainability initiatives. Due to the data-based approach, the payback times of the energy efficiency measure are very short, which is an important decision criterion for building operators. We are currently mainly active in German-speaking countries, with projects also increasing in Europe and worldwide.We have tailored our solution specifically for existing buildings, creating an innovative alternative to costly energy efficiency measures that pays for itself in a short time.

So you are already established on the market and now in the process of expanding your start-up?

Yes, Recogizer has been successful on the market for several years. Thus, energyControl is already successful in retail, hotels and in office and administration buildings. At a well-known department store in Freiburg, for example, we were able to save 92 tons of CO2 and €33,000 in energy costs in the first year of the regulation – and the trend is rising. That is as much CO2 as a forest with 7360 beech trees per year would bind. Together with our customers, we make an innovative contribution to energy system transformation and climate protection with every project.Strategic partnerships enable us to act flexibly on the market. Recogizer works in particular with large energy supply companies such as MVV and Mainova, as well as the building automation company Kieback & Peter.

Carsten, that already brings us to the end of our conversation. Thank you very much for the exciting interview. We hope to hear a lot more from you and wish you continued success! Those who are interested in your products or a cooperation with, can have a look at your Energieloft profile and your Energieloft request for further information.

encoord is the Startup of the Week 38: enabling global energy transitions


Our Startup of the Week has set itself the task of making a contribution to the global transformation of energy systems. However, it is not about measures that can be implemented by end consumers in a public-effective way –  Encoord rather focuses on the (energy) source. The German-American startup develops software solutions for the planning and coordination of multi-network energy systems . A complex topic, which is brought closer to us by Co-Founder and Managing Director Kwabena Addo Pambour.

Hello, Kwabena. Thank you for taking the time for us today! We start directly with the first question: In a nutshell, what is Encoord developing?

Software solutions to model, plan, and operate multi-network energy networks.

You currently sell these solutions under the product name SAInt. Could you tell us more about it?

Sure! SAInt is a software application for modelling, planning and operating independent or multi-network energy networks in a single fully integrated simulation environment and graphical user interface. Energy networks include electricity, natural gas, hydrogen, heat and water systems. These can be coupled at different locations, e.g. power plants and energy conversion plants (e.g. electricity to gas and electricity to heat). SAInt enables the user to investigate how different energy systems can be integrated and coordinated.

I would like to follow up on your last sentence – What added values and conclusions can the user draw from such an investigation?

By using our software solution the customer can save planning and operating costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and improve security of energy supply. Our USP is the capability of our software application to model different types of energy networks and their coupling (PowerToGas, GasToPower, PowerToHeat, PowerToPressure etc.) in a single software environment. By modeling multi-network energy systems with a single software solution, the user can understand complex interdependencies between them, and address challenges that could not be captured by independent modeling tools. Moreover, the user can avoid time consuming data exchanges as well as inaccurate and error-prone iterative simulation processes between different software environments. Today SAInt is the only software that we are aware of, that can model coupled real electricity and natural gas networks in a single simulation environment.

In your Energieloft profile you chose the business model “Licence”. How does this look in detail?

Our business model is divided in 2 revenue streams. The first one comes from selling annual licenses of our software product SAInt, which includes customer support as well as software updates and maintenance for the entire license period. SAInt licenses are divided into a basic module, which includes access to our Graphical User Interface and different simulation models, and additional upgrade modules, which include external access to our Application Programming Interface and other advanced simulation features. Each module can be licensed separately but at least one annual license of the basic module is needed to purchase annual licenses of our upgrade modules. We also offer permanent licenses for 2.5 times the cost of an annual license, but we only provide customer support, maintenance, and updates during the first year. Our second revenue stream comes from selling software training, consulting services, and customized software application development, including extensions of SAInt.

And what does a typical target market for your business model look like?

Our target market is energy modeling software. According to a market research report ( ) the power system software market alone was valued at $3.5 Billion in 2015 and is expected to triple over the next 10 years to more than $10.2 Billion. As a startup with a new software product on the market the cost of acquisition (COA) can be relatively high, due to the effort and time needed to gain the customers trust to invest in our software product. We offer a number of live webinars and a 30-day testing period before the customer eventually decides to purchase a license. In the future we plan to cut our COA by providing free demo licenses and training material online. Our products are offered internationally.

So you’ve already successfully completed the launch of your product?

Yes, our software solution SAInt is commercially available since early 2018. We have paying clients in Europe and the United States. Our total revenue since start of business is more than €200,000, 25% of which was generated from selling software licenses. We have received funding through a Kfw bank loan (€41,000), E.ON agile accelerator (€22,000, equity free) and the “Gruendungszuschuss” from the German Job Centre (€17,400). We have recently founded a sister company in the United States called encoord LLC which is owned with equal shares by the two Co-Founders of encoord GmbH. The U.S. company is managed by our Co-Founder Carlo Brancucci, who resides in Denver, Colorado.We are interested in partnering with investors in the new future to expand our capabilities and grow faster.

Kwabena, we’ve already reached the end of our interview! Thank you very much for your time and the interesting conversation. We hope to continue to hear a lot from you! If you are interested in further information about yourself, please have a look at your Energyloft Profile or your Energyloft Request.