There are many smart green VCs in Europe and the US that back startups in energy, mobility, buildings, cities, materials, food and circular economy to create impact as well as financial and strategic returns for their fund investors (LPs). In the VC food chain, early stage investors prefer to invest, at lower valuations and higher risk, in the Seed, Series A and Series B rounds of young startups working on product market fit and traction (users, customers, revenues). On the other hand, late stage VCs like shorter holding periods and time-to-exit and, consequently, advanced startups with more than €5M revenues, experienced management teams and fast growth. The existence of KPIs, ideally going up over time, makes the life of every investor easier. At the same time, the majority of corporates have adopted open innovation and corporate venturing strategies in order to invest in and do business with startups, too. The result are different and, in some cases competing, investment strategies and portfolios that startups should know before pitching. Let’s co-invest and build smart green unicorns made in Europe.Read more
Call for smart green startups: Pitch at ECO17 Berlin and apply for ECO17 Award and Ecosummit Europe 100
Since 2010, we have established Ecosummit as Europe’s leading smart green innovation and impact conference for startups, corporates and investors active in energy, mobility, buildings, cities, materials and food. In 2017, we organise 4 conferences in Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and London presenting over 150 startups. Our flagship event Ecosummit Berlin 2017 takes place on 9-10 May 2017 at the Radialsystem, unites over 300 participants and is supported by an innovative group of sponsors. Now we call the best smart green startups in Europe to get promoted by pitching at ECO17 Berlin, applying for ECO17 Award and getting featured in our new startup list Ecosummit Europe 100. Past Ecosummit Award winners include Sonnen (Series D), Heliatek (Series D), Tado (€20M from Inven) and Kiwigrid (Series C).Read more
Kiwigrid raises a double-digit million Euro Series C from Aqton, Stefan Quandt’s family office that also invested in Heliatek’s Series D, Innogy and LG Electronics to build a global energy IoT platform. The Dresden-based smart green startup won the ECO16 Gold Award in the late stage category and has got over 105 employees. High-Tech Gründerfonds, Germany’s largest seed investor with 80% public money, and Innogy Venture Capital, the old corporate VC fund of Innogy that is in its divestment period, sold their shares completely and celebrate a financial exit with positive returns.Read more
Capital-intensive smart green startups in Europe aiming at building their own hardware factories have a hard time fundraising. Financially motivated VCs require capital efficiency and prefer hardware startups that outsource manufacturing and the necessary CAPEX. Financing new PV factories in Europe is even more difficult due to China’s hegemony. It turns out it can only be done if you develop the next generation of PV technology, continuously improve efficiency and work diligently on building a co-investor syndicate of family offices, corporates and governments. Keep in mind that it was the Chinese government that backed a myriad of Chinese manufacturers to hijack the global PV industry. After a very long fundraising journey, 10-year old Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) pioneer Heliatek finally found the capital to build its second 3G solar factory in Dresden, Germany’s epicentre of photonics and organic semiconductors.Read more
Congratulations to Novaled and its founders and investors which include eCapital, Germany’s most active cleantech VC. This is a fantastic exit that brings hope and money to the cleantech startup industry in Europe. Samsung Cheil Industries (aka Samsung Chemical) and Samsung Electronics buy 50% and 40% respectively of the Dresden-based late stage startup for a total of €260M of which €30M are bound to reaching further growth targets. Corporate VC Samsung Ventures maintains their 10% stake in the transaction. Founded in 2001, Novaled is a world leader in OLED (Organic LED) materials. Following a fabless strategy from the beginning, Samsung is Novaled’s biggest customer and it comes as no suprise that they turn out to be the acquirer. Novaled’s revenues grew from €10M in 2010 to €26M in 2012. Thus, Novaled’s valuation at exit is 10 times the 2012 revenues or, in other words, the price sales ratio is 10.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Last year, we ran our startup award for the first time. 52 nominees from 9 countries participated in the Facebook and jury voting. This Ecosummit TV video documents the award ceremony of 2012 and features BlaBlaCar, Carpooling.com and MyCO2 (Facebook winners) as well as Smart Hydro Power, Heliatek and Carpooling.com (jury winners). This year, the Ecosummit Award 2013 promotes 43 nominees from 11 countries that will be judged by the 33 members of our expert jury. If you want to join the smart green startup race, hurry up, because the application deadline ends tonight at 24:00, Berlin time.Read more
Smart Hydro Power successfully closed their Series A financing round raising €2.7M from the German Cleantech VC eCapital which values the startup at €8.4M premoney. The seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds converted their loan in this round. As Smart Hydro Power also won the Ecosummit Jury Award 2012 convincing our 53 judges, this milestone is a welcome opportunity to interview the CEO Karl Kolmsee and his investors about the deal and the prospects of this unique young company. Moreover, this deal proves that we continue to bring the best smart green startups onto our Ecosummit stage. To celebrate, we are happy to publish Karl’s fantastic ECO12 pitch on Ecosummit TV just in time for this story.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek, presents his Organic PV startup at ECO12. OPV is the third generation of solar technology and Heliatek is the global leader. The Dresden-based startup recently announced another efficiency world record of 10.7%. The efficiency roadmap goes up to 15-20%. But the real advantage of Heliatek is low cost per kwh as well as very green manufacturing processes without toxic materials. Now Heliatek looks for €60M for their Fab 2. Thibaud on Ecosummit TV is just the perfect sales pitch for their new financing round.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Prof. Karl Leo is Germany’s poster child when it comes to co-founding new smart green startups out of university. In his case, it’s the University of Dresden where he leads the Institute for Applied Photophysics. He simultaneously works with Fraunhofer IPMS to create even more value. Karl Leo is famous for co-founding Novaled which is heading for NASDAQ as well as Heliatek. His new startup that currently looks for smart green VCs invents OLED Microdisplays which are super energy efficient as you put them directly in front of the eye. Karl Leo is a role model for Europe’s university professors and we are happy that he joined Ecosummit 2012.Read more
Smart Hydro Power (Gold, €7.500), Heliatek (Silver, €5.000) and Carpooling.com (Bronze, €2.500) win the Ecosummit Award 2012 Jury Voting. The German startup Smart Hydro Power convinced the expert jury which consisted of 53 judges representing smart green VCs, corporates, utilities, startups, press and service providers. Smart Hydro Power produces small power plants for rivers that generate renewable hydro energy for offgrid communities in developing countries. Organic PV startup Heliatek wins the Silver medal for taking solar energy where it has never been before. Carpooling.com is awarded the Bronze medal for their success with bringing ride sharing to the mass market. The winners of the Ecosummit Award 2012 Facebook Voting are Blablacar (Gold), Carpooling.com (Silver) and MyCO2 (Bronze). The Ecosummit Award 2012 is sponsored by Ecosummit and Climate-KIC with special media support of Wirtschaftswoche. Thanks a lot to all our nominees, judges, sponsors, partners and winners. We are proud of you!Read more
As a warmup for ECO12, I would like to present 3 smart green startups from Germany that are in a unique position to be successful on the global Cleantech market. They have unique technology, achieved major milestones and look for strategic investors, partners and clients to enter new markets and grow faster. Let’s take a closer look at SolarFuel (Power to Gas), Heliatek (Organic Photovoltaics) and Flinc (Realtime Ride Sharing). All 3 startups are nominated for the ECO12 Award and join Ecosummit 2012 on 22-23 March in Berlin.Read more
Congratulations to Prof. Dr. Karl Leo, Dr. Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth and Dr. Martin Pfeiffer for winning the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2011 (DZP11) today. The DZP11 is awarded by the German President and includes €250K prize money. I am very proud of this trio and their work. Karl Leo is university professor at TU Dresden and co-founder of both Novaled and Heliatek, Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth is co-founder and CSO (Chief Scientific Officer) of Novaled and Martin Pfeiffer is co-founder and CTO of Heliatek. It’s all about organic electronics, organic LED and organic PV made in Dresden, Europe’s leading cluster for green photonics.Read more
Our new Ecosummit TV episode reviews our first Ecosummit Lounge we celebrated on 21 September 2011 at the HomeBase Lounge in Berlin. Featuring: Kai Lorenz (BT Germany), Pieter Bots (Geo-En), Jörg Fabri (allocate), Eric Mahleb (LGMi) and Jan Michael Hess (Ecosummit). Next to a few short pitches of sponsors and startups, we talked about ECO12 and the new ECO12 Award. As you can see, we had a wonderful time and want to say thanks to all participants for coming. The next Ecosummit Lounge takes place on 6 December 2011 in Berlin.Read more
The more I learn about this company, the more I like it. Heliatek is a world leader of Organic PV (Organic Photovoltaics) and they are getting ready to prove it. Since we visited Heliatek 6 months ago in Dresden for Ecosummit TV, a couple of things have happened. Heliatek has a new CEO and a beautiful new corporate identity. They’re in the middle of building the first factory in the world for OPV panels with a roll-to-roll vacuum production process. “For our next-gen organic solar cells we had to invent a totally new production system,” says Heliatek’s CTO Martin Pfeiffer. Heliatek’s factory of the future goes live in 2012. Kleiner, VantagePoint, Khosla, RockPort and DFJ take note: Heliatek plans a new funding round next year and wants the best US VCs in. A multi-billion dollar market is waiting to be conquered and 3G Solar made in Germany volunteers to do the job.Read more
Going smart green now should be our motivation on all levels. For the smart green transformation I propose a strategy based on 7 pillars. This strategy has to be elaborated into a full-featured global master plan. I invite everybody to contribute to the elaboration of the global master plan and to join its execution.
1. Our global goal should be the fast transformation to the Smart Green Economy.
2. Cities are the epicentre of economic activity and must go smart green now.
3. Companies should adopt smart green strategies offering sustainable products and services.
4. Fast cost reduction of smart green technologies is the key leverage for the mass market.
5. We have to change our lifestyle and become smart green consumers.
6. We have to shift political and financial power to the United Nations.
7. Huge investments of human and financial capital are necessary.
Let’s start now, improve continuously, measure our progress every year and use open innovation and transparent communication so that we can learn from each other. Let’s share our ideas and know-how online on a global scale.
Naturkatastrophen, die Atomkraftwerke zerstören, sind der Super-GAU. AKWs im Erdbebengebiet sind keine gute Idee. Nach der globalen Schockstarre müssen wir jetzt umdenken und die richtigen Ziele definieren und erreichen. Dringender denn je müssen wir an der Lösung der lebensbedrohlichen Klima- und Ressourcenprobleme arbeiten. Die globale Smart Green Economy ist das richtige Ziel. Neben der Politik stehen vor allem Unternehmer und Investoren in der Verantwortung.Read more
Our new Ecosummit TV episode brings you more unknown secrets and untold stories about Europe’s leading OPV provider. Dresden is the place to be, explains Dr. Martin Pfeiffer, Founder and CTO of Heliatek: “I think I am not exaggerating when I say that Dresden is probably the best place in the world for organic electronics due to a high-quality cluster of research and production partners working with us.” We like this company and we believe Heliatek has a bright economic and ecological future. We need it, too!Read more
Organic PV (Photovoltaics) is very promising 3G Solar techno. We also call it Green Photonics. Heliatek is a German pre-revenue Cleantech startup with 50 employees currently setting up their first factory. Moving from lab to fab, Founder & CTO Dr. Martin Pfeiffer and CEO Dr. Andreas Rueckemann give hope. They believe their new ecofriendly solar cells made in Dresden will provide more energy for less money with very little ecological footprint. This nextgen green technology made ubiquitous with factories of the future can help us overcome nuclear disaster as it unfolds in Fukushima in Japan. We must reinvent our economy and repower it by 100% renewable energy and products. Let’s go smart green now and do the right thing!Read more
Yesterday I was invited to participate in the High-Tech Partnering Conference 2011 (HTPC11) organised by High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF). In fact, @HTGF_ is Germany’s leading seed investor claiming a market share of 50%. Check this out: they make every second seed deal in Germany. HTGF has several exciting smart green startups in their portfolio, some of which will be featured at Ecosummit 2011 (ECO11). I believe that HTGF’s fund strategy focused on seed investments across the key high-tech industries is its secret of success and a role model for other countries that want to foster entrepreneurship. Disclaimer: HTGF is ECO11 Sponsor.Read more