Climate-KIC Incubator Network Strengthens Early Stage Startups In Europe

Ecosummit TV: The closing panel of day 1 of Ecosummit 2012 in Berlin focused on supporting smart green entrepreneurs in the early stage of the startup process. The panel was presented by Climate-KIC, the European incubator network initiated by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Sebastian Matthes, technology section editor of our media partner Wirtschaftswoche, moderated a very informative conversation with Agnes von Matuschka (Center for Entrepreneurship at TU Berlin, University), Dr. Alexander von Frankenberg (High-Tech Gründerfonds, VC), Dr. Ingo Potthof (UnternehmerTUM Fund, VC) and Dr. Maximilian Horster (Climate Neutral InvestmentsSouth Pole Carbon, Startup). A couple of interesting issues came up during the panel discussion.

ECO12 Climate KIC Panel Agnes von Matuschka

Only 4% of the founders (24 out of 600) in the portfolio of High-Tech Gründerfonds are female entrepreneurs, a number which is way too low. We all need to work harder on supporting female founders. We need more entrepreneurial professors doing basic research and cofounding startups. We need entrepreneurship education not only for students but also for professors. Easy-to-access networks of entrepreneurs, universities, research centres, incubators, investors and corporates are the foundation for startup success. Startup networks work best if they include serial entrepreneurs with successful exits who act as angels, incubators, mentors and founders. For example, such networks exist in Berlin’s Internet startup community but they are not so transparent in cleantech although a couple of early solar IPOs produced smart green high-net-worth individuals in Germany, too.

Smart Green VC Alexander von Frankenberg HTGF

The early stage is the hardest when the startup still has little to show and limited resources. Governments can help. The German government funded about 90% of the two funds of High-Tech Gründerfonds, 10% of the money comes from corporates. Now the European Commission supports founders through its Climate-KIC programme with grants and entrepreneurship education, another key success factor for startups. The Ecosummit team is grateful to be part of Europe’s smart green ecosystem. We enjoy hosting you and want to thank you for watching Ecosummit TV and spreading the message.

ECO12 Climate KIC Sebastian Matthes

ECO12 Climate KIC Panel Maximilian Horster

ECO12 Climate KIC Panel Ingo Potthof

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