home tickets

Andreas Spiess pitches Solarkiosk at ECO15 Berlin

Ecosummit TV: Andreas Spiess pitches Solarkiosk at ECO15 Berlin. The Berlin-based smart green startup operates Solarkiosks designed by Graft in emerging markets and targets people living in offgrid communities at the Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP). By the end of 2015, 200 Solarkiosks will be online in 7 countries in Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria). Founded in 2011, Solarkiosk has got over 60 employees, raised more than €10M and will be fundraising in 2016 looking for the best impact investors and VCs that believe in the tremendous business opportunities in emerging markets. Solarkiosk’s ultimate goal are 300.000 Solarkiosks in Africa, Asia and South America. Solarkiosk is one of the most exciting startups in Europe and a superb impact investment opportunity.

Read more

Sonnenbatterie, Sunfire, Thermondo, Agrilution, Ubitricity and Bettervest win the Ecosummit Award at ECO15 Berlin

Ecosummit Berlin 2015 was our best event so far – in terms of product quality, customer feedback and revenues. 250 super happy participants came to the Radialsystem on 19-20 May 2015 and were blown away by our unique mix of smart green people, superb conference location, fresh air on the Spree terrace, long networking breaks, tasty food, delicious wine, onsite parties with funky DJs and live act as well as a packed agenda that we ran through on time – for the first time since 2010. The secret of time keeping is collective discipline fostered by a speaker clock that is also visible to the moderator and skipping questions from the audience. During our award ceremony on 19 May 2015, we announced the 6 smart green startups winning the Ecosummit Award 2015.

Read more

Frédéric Mazzella pitches BlaBlaCar

Ecosummit TV: Co-Founder and CEO Frédéric Mazzella pitches BlaBlaCar at ECO14 London and explains in every detail how they disrupt mobility and build a fast-growing global startup. If you want to grow fast, you have to postpone profit and invest everything in managing growth with a flexible strategy how to enter new markets. Sharing corporate values with existing and new employees is a key success factor. Founded in France in 2004, BlaBlaCar reached 1 million members in 2011 and 10 million members in September 2014. In July 2014, Index Ventures and Accel Partners co-lead the Series C and injected $100M. In April 2015, BlaBlaCar acquired Carpooling.com, their strongest competitor in Germany. Frédéric believes that long distance ride sharing is very different from city-focused Uber as the average trip matched by BlaBlaCar is 300 km. However, this competitive situation may change in the future and that’s why BlaBlaCar keeps on accelerating. This is a must-see video for every smart green startup and their investors.

Read more

Taavi Madiberk pitches Skeleton Technologies at ECO14 London

Ecosummit TV: At ECO14 London, Taavi Madiberk gives an update on Skeleton Technologies from Estonia and teases investors to join their Series B which is still open as of today. Since Taavi’s first pitch at ECO12 Berlin, Skeleton made a lot of progress and raised €11.6M in equity and grants. The main investor so far is UP Invest from Estonia. Skeleton makes ultracapacitors that are special purpose batteries with very high power density and 1 million cycles but lower energy density compared to lithium-ion batteries. A typical application is the start-stop function of a car. Now Skeleton has got over 30 employees and plans to open the first large-scale factory in Bautzen, Germany, with the help of Germany Trade & Invest. We think that Skeleton is one of the most promising smart green startups in Europe and are happy that Taavi will pitch again at ECO15 Berlin.

Read more

Johan Reynaert presents the European Investment Fund and shares their LP lessons learned

Ecosummit TV: Johan Reynaert presents the European Investment Fund (EIF) and shares their LP lessons learned at ECO14 London. EIF is the biggest fund investor in Europe and a major LP in 16 sustainability VC funds such as Munich Venture Partners, Environmental Technologies Fund, Demeter, Capricorn, VNT Management, Aster Capital, Emertec, WHEB and Icos Capital. According to Johan, sustainability as an asset subclass within venture capital is maturing. GPs and LPs have learned from the past and nowadays focus on capital efficiency, value creation and cooperation with corporates in their startup portfolio. A new trend – that we just discussed with Johan’s colleague Patric Gresko at the Cleantech Forum in Florence – is the interaction of impact investors and smart green VCs. The deep integration of impact investing into the investment strategy and portfolio management enables VCs and startups to tap into a lot of new capital from family offices and other impact investors.

Read more

Henrik Olsen chats with Jan Michael Hess about being a smart green VC

Ecosummit TV: “We like to get to know the people behind the business,” explains Henrik Olsen, Partner at Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF), when it comes to building a strong relationship before the investment. Sometimes, relationship building can take a couple of years. In fact, it took 4.5 years in the case of E-Leather from the first meeting until the investment. This may well be a slow investment record but what counts in the end is the fund performance as a result of backing the right startups. E-Leather reprocesses waste leather while making it lighter and stronger to save weight and fuel, e.g. in planes.

Read more

Thermondo raises €6M Series B from Rocket Internet, Holtzbrinck Ventures, E.ON, IBB and Grey Corp

“We only raise as much capital as we need to reach the next company growth and valuation milestone,” says Thermondo‘s CEO Philipp Pausder. In fact, that’s a pretty smart fundraising strategy that ensures the founders do not sell off their company too quickly before substantial value has been created with the help of the current financing round. Today, the Berlin-based late stage startup announced their €6M Series B that they collected from Rocket Internet, Holtzbrinck Ventures, E.ON, IBB and Grey Corp. Thermondo sells heating systems online and dispatches internal teams from 12 cities to every corner in Germany to install the units at the customers’ premises. Learning from Solarcity, Thermondo decided a while ago to vertically integrate the installation process in order to manage it digitally and minimise process costs.

Read more

Christoph Ostermann pitches Sonnenbatterie at ECO14 London

Ecosummit TV: Christoph Ostermann pitches Sonnenbatterie at ECO14 London. Since then a lot has happened to the famous solar storage startup from Bavaria. Just 2 days ago, Sonnenbatterie was chosen in New York as New Energy Pioneer 2015 by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In December 2014, Sonnenbatterie raised €7.5M Series B from Munich Venture Partners, SET Ventures and Ecapital, bringing up the total capital raised to €10.5M. With 2014 revenues of €15M, Sonnenbatterie turns out to be very capital efficient. Moreover, a new management team was hired including COO Oliver Koch (Paramount Solar, acquired by Solarcity), CTO Hermann Schweizer and US Country Manager Boris von Bormann, a very smart and well connected German living on the West Coast for 25 years. In fact, Sonnenbatterie USA will officially launch at Intersolar San Francisco on 14-16 July 2015 and currently works on adapting their battery system to the local market and finding strong production and distribution partners. Christoph plans the Series C in 2016 and wants to bring in American co-investors while keeping the HQ in Germany for the foreseeable future.

Read more

Smart green accelerator panel featuring Startupbootcamp, Climate-KIC, Rockstart and Swedish Energy Agency

Ecosummit TV: Accelerating smart green startups should be the key motivation for everybody working with startups on a day-to-day basis, not only accelerators, but also angels, VCs, corporates and service providers. At ECO14 Berlin, we discuss the art of faster startup development with Alex Farcet (Startupbootcamp), Franka Birke (Climate-KIC), Yme Bosma (Rockstart) and Bigge Lidgren (ex-Swedish Energy Agency, now Cleantech Invest). A typical accelerator programme lasts 90 to 180 days with intensive mentoring on product development, customer development, fundraising and team building. Private accelerators like Startupbootcamp and Rockstart follow the business model of investing €20K for 8% of equity at a rather low valuation. Then they work hard to create value, increase the startup’s valuation and attract follow-on investments. Public accelerators like Climate-KIC and Swedish Energy Agency usually do not take equity and rather provide grants and soft loans. A key challenge for all accelerators is to attract coachable founders that are, at the same time, very talented and skilled at building successful startups. Only then do the accelerators get returns on their investments.

Read more

Pedro Miranda talks about the smart green city strategy of Siemens

Ecosummit TV: At ECO14 London, our second conference at the LEED Platinum-certified Crystal, our host Pedro Miranda presents the smart green city strategy of Siemens and its key drivers. Electrification, automation and digital transformation have got a huge impact on the business of the German corporate and its customers. In fact, the digital and physical world are merging to continuously create better and more resource efficient solutions taking advantage of the latest smart technologies. Many companies are working hard to be part of the Internet of Things. According to Pedro, digital growth is exponential and the amount of data generated by humans and machines doubles every 2 years. In smart green cities, smart buildings are connected to the smart grid while the energy and data flow bi-directionally from the producer to the consumer and back to the producer. At the Crystal, Pedro and his team know everything that’s going on thanks to the omniscient building management system they put in place.

Read more

Ines Bergmann pitches corporate venture capital provided by E.ON

Ecosummit TV: We just met Ines Bergmann at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco where she is spending 6 months scouting new innovation that can be brought to Europe. At ECO14 Berlin, Ines pitches the benefits of corporate venture capital provided by E.ON. The German utility is one of the most active corporate co-investors in smart energy startups. E.ON’s added value is rolling out the products of their portfolio companies to their 35 million customers, increasing startup revenues one market after the other. This turns out to be a very useful market entry strategy especially for US startups planning to enter Europe. E.ON’s portfolio includes Orcan Energy (ECO14 Award Bronze), Thermondo, Autogrid, Firstfuel, Sungevity, Opower and Bloom Energy. While many utilities are also working on becoming technology companies, it remains to be seen when E.ON’s CVC activities will result in the first acquisitions.

Read more

Jan Marckhoff pitches BEN Energy

Ecosummit TV: Jan Marckhoff pitches BEN Energy at ECO14 Berlin. The smart green startup enables customer intelligence and engagement for utilities and competes with Opower and Tendril. Being the market leader in Switzerland, BEN Energy recently entered the German market and already won a large customer and a powerful distribution partner. The founders successfully bootstrapped their spin-off from ETH Zurich to €1M annual revenues and are currently raising their first financing round. Jan will pitch again at ECO15 Berlin to change the way people experience energy.

Read more

Felix Grolman pitches Grundgrün

Ecosummit TV: Felix Grolman pitches Grundgrün at ECO14 Berlin. The Berlin-based startup is building a next generation smart green utility focusing 100% on renewable energy. Grundgrün’s core business is the direct marketing of renewable energy assets that they sell on short-term, long-term and balancing markets as well as directly to households and companies. The key to their success is an integrated IT infrastructure that enables sourcing, trading and distribution of energy as well as innovative energy services such as virtual power plants and production forecasting. Founded in 2011, Grundgrün is a fast-growing late stage startup with a team of 65 employees and backed by the family office Aeris Capital. Grundgrün is currently fundraising to further accelerate growth in Germany and new international markets.

Read more

David Brown pitches Canatu

Ecosummit TV: Kids actually think that everything should be touchable. So the challenge is how to be interactive on any surface. David Brown pitches Canatu at ECO14 Berlin. Canatu develops transparent conductive films used in touchscreens and flexible displays, serving high growth multi-billion dollar markets. Canatu’s goal is to replace Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) that is used in today’s touchscreens. Canatu invented the NanoBud, a (semi-)conductive, flexible nanomaterial that can be deposited on any substrate in a roll-to-roll direct dry printing process. Canatu was spun-off from the NanoMaterials Group at Helsinki University of Technology and has got 29 employees. The Finnish startup currently looks for €15M to scale the technology and business.

Read more

Jay Marathe of Cartagena Capital takes startups from fundraising to successful exits

Ecosummit TV: Startups and VCs alike share the need for more and better exits. While we believe that Pan-European co-investing is an important success factor for achieving good exits, we acknowledge that exits are challenging and often are facilitated by corporate finance advisors representing the sell or buy side. In this context, Jay Marathe of Cartagena Capital talks about taking startups from fundraising to successful exits at ECO14 Berlin. The timing of the exit is key. Startups should constantly listen to the market for strong exit signals: competitors get acquired, customers place huge orders or buyers have lots of cash and start calling. At the same time, it makes sense to continue fundraising and creating value until you reach key valuation milestones and have a nice selection of LOIs from multiple buyers on the table. A recent exit is the $100M acquisition of AlertMe by British Gas, their biggest customer and one of their VCs. This transaction also enabled the second exit of SET Ventures.

Read more