Smarter, Greener, Leaner – Startups Accelerate the Energiewende at Ecosummit Düsseldorf 2012
9 days to go until ECO12 Düsseldorf. The perfect moment to do some serious pattern recognition and talk about the cleantech startups to be featured on stage – and Ecosummit TV. Our second conference this year enjoys again a very high startup density: 26 startups present new solutions for accelerating the Energiewende (energy transformation). The Internet of things and cleantech grow together. More and more green startups develop smart hardware products that have an IP address. The startups pitching at Ecosummit control cars, helicopters, charging stations, PV systems, wind generators, batteries, street lights, homes and even entire cities over the Internet. Smarter, greener, leaner – that’s the way we want them.
Cleantech startups can no longer afford to operate without inhouse IT competence. They have to master software engineering, sensors, mobile platforms and user interfaces to measure, control and optimise the things they build, be they small smart meters or large megawatt wind turbines. They should also use product design software to develop better products and test them with digital prototyping. All startups that join Ecosummit and want to try state-of-the-art product design software are invited to pick up a free Autodesk software box and learn more about the Autodesk Cleantech Partner Programme.
The Internet As Operating System For The Smart Green Economy
On the agenda of ECO12 Düsseldorf you find many representatives of the smart green startup species. Living PlanIT builds an open operating system for smart green cities that can connect any building, device or application. Imagine you are the new mayor of your hometown. On your smartphone you can see how well your city operates by day and by night. The system notifies you and your team by the time it detects new opportunities for improvement. It may even tell you why and when it is a good idea to invest in better solutions for energy efficiency, community energy storage or closed loop recycling.
Tvilight puts sensors, wireless connectivity and smart algorithms into street lamps that dim automatically to save energy if there aren’t any street walking customers nearby who need their lighting service. NTS delegates high-altitude kite surfing to robots that produce energy when dragged around by strong winds in infinite loops. First we built the Internet, then we made it mobile. Now we have an operating system for the Smart Green Economy.
Grid Parity Redefines Renewable Energy Business Models
When it comes to renewable energy prices, the market is taking over. Grid parity – the cost equals the price of renewable energy – redefines the business models of many players. Green energy is sold as a service with embedded financing to make it a no-investment, hassle-free pleasure for consumers and enterprises. Solarcity in the US shows how smart entrepreneurs and their VCs are building a smart green utility of the future that is powered by 100% distributed clean energy.
European startups at Ecosummit inspired by Solarcity’s success include Greenergetic and FutureWatt. In the beginning, they may not be able to integrate the energy service and infrastructure financing under one brand but eventually they will be, once they gained sufficient market confidence. Grid parity and lower feed-in tariffs also foster the private use of locally produced energy. It so happens that Sonnenbatterie has got the adequate solution for residential energy storage, a big market that is bound to take off.
Mobility 2.0 – Sustainable And Social It Shall Be
We do not only need the Energiewende but also the Verkehrswende (transport transformation). The fusion of public and private transport is imminent. Shared cars and rides become public goods that you can order by the minute or kilometer. Innovative Mobility develops a small electric car, e-volo develops a small electric helicopter, Carzapp wants to share them and Ubitricity wants to charge them all. Fabienne Herlaut of Ecomobilité Ventures tickles the startup CEOs on the Mobility 2.0 panel to share their plans for reaching profitability. In the end, startups are temporary organisations searching for a profitable, scalable business model – as Steve Blank would say.
Without further ado, we cordially invite you to study the agenda more in detail, screen the participants for your favourite future business partners, buy your ticket and hop into your preferred means of transport to join us on 14-15 November at the magic Langen Foundation in Neuss (close to Düsseldorf). Let’s work together to accelerate smart green innovation.
Tags: Autodesk, Carzapp, Cleantech Startup, e-volo, Ecomobilité Ventures, Ecosummit Düsseldorf 2012, Energiewende, Energy Transformation, Fabienne Herlaut, FutureWatt, Greenergetic, Innovative Mobility, Lean Cleantech Startup, Living PlanIT, NTS, Smart Green City Operating System, Smart Green Lean, Sonnenbatterie, Steve Blank, Ubitricity