Do you have a running business in energy and make your first revenue? Is your startup using internet technology and game-changing business models to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy supply? To make buildings, cities, mobility or grids smarter? Or is your startup collecting data from smart meters or IoT devices, using machine learning, AI and cryptocurrencies to create energy services? Then we want to work with you, to make you succeed faster!
Join our Smart Energy Accelerator program where we help you build, validate and scale your business, find the best product/market fit to grow internationally and get you 100% ready for funding. We help you better understand product design, market fit, and business models by enabling you to directly work with relevant suppliers, users, customers, professionals and other stakeholders in the energy sector.
The Smart Energy program is led by Freerk Bisschop – a seasoned venture developer in sustainable energy and cleantech with over 30 years of working experience in science, consulting, government and management who founded, grew and sold a green energy company. An extensive network of over 70 smart energy mentors, investors, and energy partners are incorporated in the program. The participating startups will spend 180+ days in a high-value startup accelerator program consisting of two main elements:
Rockstart joined forces with YES!Delft and InnoEnergy to provide the best startups access to the strongest ecosystem in Europe for energy & cleantech. By combining the complementary propositions of the three organizations we also provide the strongest acceleration offer. Selected startups get the opportunity to gain support from one or more programs:
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We Share Solar has become the number 1 crowdfunding platform for collective solar-energy initiatives in the Netherlands. The platform connects (a) site owners, solar installers and project developers to successfully raise money to build and manage commercial-scale solar power plants with (b) consumers and businesses that want to invest in solar on another roof.
They support the realization of projects by taking care of financing, contracting, administration and management. Up until March, they have realized 50 projects with more than 40,000 solar panels crowdfunded by more than 4,000 people through their platform.
GreenHome is the marketplace for energy upgrades for homes. Trough their independent platform customers save time to buy solar panels, insulation and much more without hassle. In addition, they get inspired by other projects, find professionals of their neighbors trust and buy stuff with group discount together.
The company closed an investment of EUR 600K after the Smart Energy program and has steadily grown its business. Also, the team has grown over time with now 19 employees. The Co-Founder Paul Geurts van Kessel was recently mentioned as one of the “50 talents under 35” in the Financiële Dagblad.
Sympower is a demand response aggregator that enables smarter energy use for a carbon-free future. They aim to provide a sustainable solution to fluctuations in energy supply and demand, by aggregating energy consuming systems and appliances onto their cloud-based platform. During moments of stress on the grid, Sympower can temporarily switch on or off the devices locally, without impairing the functionality of the appliances.
In September 2017, Sympower raised one million euros from angel investors and investment fund Enfuro Ventures. At the beginning of 2018 Simon Bushell, Co-Founder of Sympower, has been named as both one of the “Forbes 30 under 30” in Europe and as one of the “50 talents under 35” in the Netherlands by the Financieele Dagblad.
SolarCreed is a smart solar energy company with specific focus on Agriculture. SolarCreed helps farmers to improve their energy practices and productivity by offering efficient, optimized and carbon-free energy for food production. It offers solar energy and storage on pay-as-you-go for powering farms in off-grid communities in Nigeria.
SolarCreed was accelerated at Rockstart Smart Energy Accelerator 2017 in Amsterdam and have successfully raised 170k EUR in seed funding. SolarCreed has reached over 70 farms in South Western Nigeria and plans to scale further to reach more farmers in Nigeria and beyond.
We’ve created a strong curriculum that will help you design validation experiments, produce results and grow your business in a structured and accelerated manner. In 180 days, you will learn about the following subjects:
If your team is dedicated to turn your startup into a high-growth company, Rockstart Accelerator is a radical opportunity to push your startup forward. We’ve run multiple accelerator programs since 2012, assembled an extensive mentor and partner network and developed a curriculum that provides validation opportunities and hands-on access to experts in the energy field. In addition to that, we are located in the city centre of Amsterdam, the European Capital of Innovation 2016!
Yes. Your investor(s) would probably like you to join an accelerator because they know what kind of support you can get by participating. Seed investors often spend a lot of time to coach the companies they invest in to increase their survival rate but cannot organize a mentor network or provide the expertise an accelerator can. Rockstart’s Smart Energy Accelerator will help you to bring your startup to the next level by teaching your team how to think through your business proposition, open doors that have been closed, help you with funding, marketing & PR and make sure you lay the foundation for growth plus lots more. We tailor the program to meet the needs of the 10 selected startups.
Please contact Freerk Bisschop to see if we can help you at the specific stage you are now.
For our 2018 Smart Energy program we are looking for startups with a team that already runs a business and has traction. Ideally, the team is not only consisting of the co-founders, but has already the first hired persons. That’s why a team is necessary to apply for the Smart Energy program. During the selection period we focus on team dynamics and it’s a critical component of the selection process. You and your teammates should have complementary skills and positive team dynamics to be able to make it work.
Startups accepted to the Rockstart Smart Energy Accelerator receive a convertible note of minimum €20,000 cash, plus €70,000 of in-kind investment in form of the program services, consisting of office space and other facilities, expert workshops, international events and intensive hands-on (mentor) support. Additional bridge funding is available up to €75,000.
For our 2018 Smart Energy program we are looking for startups at the intersection between IT and energy. Our focus areas are: Microgrid Autonomy (local grids connecting production, consumption and storage of energy), Intelligence & Security (collecting and sharing data to allow predictive services, to improve efficiency and security), and Game Changers (startups that accelerate the deployment of energy efficiency & renewables to achieve a faster energy transition towards CO2 negative and fully sustainable).
We believe in the power of a great team. It’s important that you have a strong team in place with a track record, motivation and potential. We’re also looking for innovation. It doesn’t mean that you have to come up with a totally original idea, but your execution of that idea has to be unique. You have already a running business has already the first customers and traction. We’re looking to change the world with the startups we work with.
In order for us to help you get the most out of the program, we’re primarily looking for startups that have developed at least a MVP (minimal viable product), have customers or users and some traction. If your idea is still on the back of a napkin at the moment, we suggest you go to the next Startup Weekend or Startup Next and test it out.
Rockstart’s Smart Energy Accelerator is based in the heart of the startup hub Amsterdam. Known for its entrepreneurial climate, open lifestyle, and central location, it is the place for any startup to grow internationally. The program is in a way organized that you need to be in Amsterdam for the Deep Dive weeks once a month and can operate the other time from your location.
No. We are open for startups from all over the world. If you are from outside of the EU, we will support you in applying for the Dutch startup visa. Rockstart is one of the few accredited facilitators who can propose startups receive this visa.
If you have more questions, please send us an e-mail.