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Alexandre Askmo pitches Exeger

Ecosummit TV: Alexandre Askmo pitches Exeger at ECO14 Berlin. Exeger is the most-advanced developer of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) that have been invented by Professor Michael Grätzel in 1991. The Stockholm-based startup was founded in 2009, raised more than $30M and is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency. In 2014, Exeger inaugurated the world’s largest DSC factory that uses screen printing in the city centre of Stockholm. Dye-sensitzed solar cells are less sensitive to light angle and provide stable efficiency in all light and temperature conditions. As DSCs can be designed in any colour and printed on any shape a lot of applications are possible including consumer electronics, wearable devices and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Exeger works on commercial prototyping this year and plans its commercial launch in 2016 for which they are fundraising another $10-20M.

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Nils Aldag pitches Sunfire

Ecosummit TV: Nils Aldag pitches Sunfire at ECO14 Berlin. The Dresden-based late stage startup makes very efficient solid oxide electrolysers and fuel cells using the same technology platform. Last year Sunfire won Ecosummit Award 2014 Silver and entered Cleantech Group’s 2014 Global Cleantech 100. Sunfire has got 80 employees and is backed by Electranova Capital, Total Energy Ventures, Bilfinger Venture Capital and KfW. Their impressive list of customers includes ThyssenKrupp and Vaillant. Upon request Nils will share more customers that prove Sunfire’s enormous market traction that may lead to €10M revenues in 2015. Nils currently raises their next financing round and welcomes new strategic and financial investors that believe in Sunfire’s growth potential in the global hydrogen market.

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Soren Mouritsen pitches ROMO Wind

Ecosummit TV: There are more than 350.000 wind turbines operating and there is still a lot to be done to optimise performance by harmonising the wind direction and turbine orientation in realtime. At ECO14 Berlin, Soren Mouritsen pitches ROMO Wind and explains how the iSpin technology is able to continuously measure wind direction and speed in front of the rotor, rather than behind, and correct the yaw misalignment of the turbine accordingly. This increases wind farm production by 2 percent creating a target market of 1 billion Euros. The Swiss startup has got 23 employees and is backed by Yellow&Blue, ABB Technology Ventures, b-to-v and the business angel Christian Reitberger. Existing customers include Vattenfall and EDP Renewables. ROMO Wind is currently fundraising again and interested in talking to new investors.

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Smart green VCs you should know

Since 2010, we got to know many smart green VCs in Europe and the US and have written 35 short fund profiles (last update: 29 January 2015). In the VC food chain, there are investors who love to invest, at lower valuations and higher risk, in early stage startups that are just about to take their technology innovation from lab to fab and to the market. A growing number of VCs prefer backing late stage startups that enable shorter holding periods (time-to-exit) because they already have substantial revenues (€5M plus), experienced management teams and low technology and market risk. The result are different investment strategies and portfolios that startups should know before pitching.

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Alexander van Os pitches Yellow&Blue

Ecosummit TV: Smart green energy is the only way to go. The energy market is changing rapidly thanks to technological and business model innovation coming from all directions. This creates a lot of investment opportunities for smart green VCs such as Yellow&Blue. Funded with €40M by the Dutch utility Nuon (Vattenfall Group), the Utrecht-based VC looks for capital efficient startups that make the energy value chain cleaner and more flexible with a focus on smart grid and energy efficiency. Alexander van Os and his partners are famous for their successful exit of Entelios to Enernoc in February 2014. At ECO14 Berlin, Yellow&Blue showcased their portfolio company ROMO Wind that optimises the performance of wind turbines and is currently fundraising again.

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Yüksel Sirmasac pitches Rockethome

Ecosummit TV: Smart energy and smart home, empowered by the Internet of Things (IoT), are hot markets that continue to attract a growing number of startups. One of the established German smart home enablers with a strong focus on usability is Rockethome that was founded in 2010 in Cologne. At ECO14 Berlin, Yüksel Sirmasac gives a company update and pitches Rockethome. The startup provides a software platform for smart home services that connects all kinds of devices and applications. The Rockethome solution is already licensed to 40 telcos and city utilities in 6 countries. Rockethome has got 35 employees, doubles revenues every year and is backed by Born2grow, a seed fund managed by Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn, and KfW. Now Yüksel is interested in talking to new financial and strategic investors that can help grow the business.

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Holger Ulland pitches O-Flexx

Ecosummit TV: Waste heat is a very big but rarely used energy resource. Being back at Ecosummit, Holger Ulland pitches O-Flexx at ECO14 Berlin. The smart green startup develops and manufactures in their Duisburg-based 1 MW factory thermoelectric generators that convert heat to electricity. The thermoelectric generators can be used in the steel, automotive and locomotive industries as well as for heating systems and autonomous sensors. The first customers are SMS Siemag (steel plants) and Bombardier (diesel locomotives). O-Flexx is backed by Emerald Technology Ventures and NRW Bank whom they met at ECO12 Berlin. O-Flexx has got a very strong IP portfolio, first revenues and is currently fundraising to accelerate its growth.

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Silvan Rath pitches ParkTAG

Ecosummit TV: Parking is big: every drive starts and ends in a parking space. Moreover, cars are parked 95% of the day and 30% of urban traffic is caused by drivers looking for parking. Having developed a mobile solution to the parking problem, Silvan Rath pitches ParkTAG at ECO14 Berlin. ParkTAG operates a social parking community that enables car drivers to find available parking places with their smartphones. The ParkTAG app uses the built-in sensors of the device to track user movement and learns automatically when the user is parking a car or vacating a parking space and driving away. The Berlin-based early stage startup was founded in 2014 and is backed by High-Tech Gründerfonds, Germany’s leading seed investor. ParkTAG’s capital efficient business model is to license its smart parking technology to partners that market it to their customers.

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Paul Leibold pitches Adaptive City Mobility and its City Etaxi

Ecosummit TV: Paul Leibold pitches Adaptive City Mobility and its City Etaxi at ECO14 Berlin. The capital efficient strategy for developing a new electric vehicle is a value web of strong partners that contribute technology, people and capital to co-develop a new car and co-create a new market. That’s exactly what Paul did when he brought together Vispiron, Roding, BMZ, Heinzmann and Fraunhofer ESK in 2012 to work on his dream of an electric taxi optimised for smart green cities. The partners jointly invested €10M and received funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The City Etaxi is a lightweight 3 seater that supports battery swapping and reaches 80 km/h. Now Paul looks for investors and ambitious city managers that want to support pilot projects with connected etaxi fleets.

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WeSustain raises €4M Series B from VNT Management, HTGF, KfW and MBG

Ecosummit TV: Every company in every industry has to go green and make and sell sustainable products. At the same time, smart green investors take sustainability reports very seriously when making investment decisions. In September 2014, the EU Commission issued their long-awaited directive for mandatory sustainability reports for companies with more than 500 employees that has to be translated into national law within 2 years. Now Enterprise Sustainability Management (ESM) software providers like WeSustain are en vogue. CEO Manfred Heil expects the market to triple within the next 4 years. Customer references like Daimler, Commerzbank and Allianz as well as reseller Telekom will help the well positioned German startup and its team of 20 employees to grow even faster than the market.

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Eternal Sun raises €2M Series A from Vermec

How can you guarantee the performance of solar panels over a long period of time, let’s say 20 years? By simulating sunshine and testing the solar panels in a controlled lab environment with powerful and energy efficient lamps, e.g. Heliospectra LEDs. Chokri Mousaoui (CEO) and Stefan Roest (CTO) co-founded Eternal Sun in 2011 after they developed their first solar simulator prototype at Delft University of Technology. As their second and third prototype were already paid by pilot customers, the founders managed to reach product market fit very quickly and bootstrap their smart green startup to €1M revenues in 2014 while keeping a clean 50:50 cap table until their Series A. In July 2011, they moved into the incubator YesDelft where they are still located. The role of TU Delft and its ecosystem cannot be overestimated as 9 out of 11 employees were educated at the university. We first saw Chokri pitching in front of the Climate-KIC accelerator jury at Utrechtinc on 5 July 2012. 2 months later, we went together on the first Climate-KIC USA Startup Tour to Silicon Valley, Washington and Boston. Then Stefan came to Ecosummit Düsseldorf 2012 in November to look for investors.

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Alex Farcet pitches Startupbootcamp and its smart transportation and energy accelerator

Ecosummit TV: Alex Farcet pitches Startupbootcamp and its smart transportation and energy accelerator at ECO14 Berlin. While corporate accelerators are mushrooming in the US and Europe, Startupbootcamp is an independent accelerator founded in 2010 that runs 3-month programmes focused on verticals in several cities including Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Berlin. The idea is to give startups the best possible start by providing €20K for 8% equity, intensive workshops with mentors on product and customer development and a final pitch in a room packed with investors. SBCBerlin‘s smart transportation and energy demo day was a big show and featured 11 young startups raising seed rounds from angels. Sunride, Comodule, Rokka Solutions, Houseahedron and Mybus have great teams that are ready for closer inspection. According to Alex, a good accelerator acts like a co-founder and adds a lot of measurable value in a short period of time. The startups we met all confirmed that Startupbootcamp and its mentors delivered on their promises. However, for smart green startups 3 months are rather short to reach product/market fit. It may be worthwhile to double the programme length in future editions.

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