ECO15 Berlin Agenda
ECO15 Berlin happens on 19-20 May and the agenda features over 70 speakers including 50 startups.
ECO15 Berlin Participants
Check out who you can meet at ECO15 Berlin and join us.
Apply for ECO15 Award until 26 April
The Ecosummit Award brings fame and fortune to the best smart green startups in Europe.
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more