Is your startup company using internet technology and game changing business models to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy supply? Empowering your local buildings, neighborhoods, or industrial sites to become energy independent through microgrid autonomy? Or collecting data from smart meters and IoT devices to create energy services and improve efficiency & security?
Join our Smart Energy Accelerator program where we help you build, validate and scale your business and find the best international product/market fit. We help you better understand product design, market fit and business models by enabling you to directly work with relevant suppliers, users, professionals and other stakeholders in energy.
The Smart Energy program is led by Freerk Bisschop, a seasoned venture developer in sustainable energy and clean tech, and will incorporate an extensive network of over 75 smart energy mentors, investors and energy partners. The 10 participating startups will spend 150-days in an intensive startup accelerator program located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Start of Selection Process
Stage 1: Business Model & Value Proposition
Smart Energy Summit
Stage 2: Product Development and Partner Engagement
Smart Energy Demo Day
Stage 3: Scalability and Growth
We Share Solar has become the number 1 crowdfunding platform for solar energy projects 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 have raised 500K EUR in funding. Up until October, they have had 2,500 people who crowdfunded almost 20,000 solar panels through their platform. We Share Solar was recently awarded a red dot design award for their app and received the UN Lighthouse Momentum for Change Award in the financial innovations category which has been handed out by the Secretary General at the Marrakech COP22.
Sympower is a platform that connects smart energy with smart homes. It enables smart energy systems to respond to the needs of both their owners and the electricity system as a whole. Its technology offers households a platform to become active participants in reducing the world’s dependency on fossil fuels. The platform integrates with smart heating and cooling appliances through a lightweight technology.
As well as customers going live in Finland, Sympower is currently realizing a pilot project in the Netherlands with Engie, TenneT and Stedin. Their international team has grown to 6 full time employees across NL, EST, FIN, ISR.
Bleeve is a social internet platform that connects people on the topic of saving and producing energy at home. Bleeve helps home owners to stop paying money for (fossil) energy they don’t need. Users get tips on how to use less energy, and they’re able to connect with others to undertake joint initiatives such as the purchasing of solar panels.
The company closed an investment of EUR 600K after the Smart Energy program and has steadily grown its business, reaching 65 partnering municipalities which was reported before the summer holidays of 2016. They have recently won the Stuiveling award for the use of open data in their HuisScan.
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 150 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 center 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 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.
You need to have a team of least two people to join the program. It is difficult enough to build and grow a business, so you should have a partner to be able to make it a success. 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. However, we realize it is sometimes difficult to find the right partner. If you are very convinced that your startup should be part of the program, we recommend you apply. We might be able to connect you to the right partner. A team should be in place before we invite you for selection days.
Startups accepted to Rockstart’s Smart Energy Accelerator receive € 20,000 plus an in-kind investment consisting of office space and other facilities, expert workshops, international events, exclusive deals and intensive hands-on (mentor) support, all in exchange for 8% equity.
For our 2017 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. Since our program is extremely intense and requires full team dedication, 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. 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 (minimum 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 and test it out. However, as long as you have a business vision by the end of our application process, we’d love to hear it
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.
No. We are open to 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 to receive this visa.
If you have more questions, please send us an e-mail.