Julian Jacob

Reflections on the 2017 Rockstart Smart Energy Demo Day

After 150 days the journey of the 2017 Rockstart Smart Energy program culminated in Demo Day. Rockstart Accelerator programs hold a Demo Day to give startups the opportunity to showcase the development they have undergone, and to pitch to an audience of stakeholders in the respective ecosystem. On Wednesday, September 13, the nine startups of the 2017 Rockstart Smart Energy batch showed the community what they have been working on for the past months and the solutions with which they want to disrupt the energy market. They absolutely rocked it! That’s why we want to look back to an exciting and inspiring event.

The event took place in the beautiful venue of Westerliefde in the Westerpark where the doors opened at 13:00. The first contacts and real networking started right away when the first guests arrived. The program kicked off with an opening presentation by Smart Energy program director Freerk Bisschop about his view on smart energy pointing out that wind and solar are promising technologies because they are abundant, economic and sustainable. The challenge the smart energy ecosystem faces is to make these sources reliable, innovative, and socially responsible. Following Freerk’s compelling call to action, it was time for the startups to take the stage.

  • Solar Captus (Australia)
  • Efficiator (Netherlands); enable B2C companies to decarbonize their customer base
  • Hero Balancer (Netherlands); machine learning for collective heating systems.
  • Sensfix (Germany); IoT-enabled location-based repair & maintenance of smart city assets.
  • SolarCreed (Nigeria); utility services for off-grid solar chicken farming.

After some refreshments during the break, the room was filled with energy again. The program started off again with a short honor. Sensfix, a current Rockstart Smart Energy Program startup, announced that it was selected as a semi-finalist for the Accenture Innovation Award with the innovation theme “Perfect City”—what a great success!

It was a perfect tone to start the second batch of the startups:

  • SunData (Netherlands); performance optimization of rooftop solar through cloud-based monitoring.
  • Bamomas (Finland); industrial batteries as a service.
  • SolarPipo (Uganda); bringing solar to African SMEs using mobile data.
  • OneWatt (Philippines); cloud-based optimization of industrial motors.

As energetic as the program on the stage started it ended with a boom. Sympower—a startup which was part of last year’s Rockstart Smart Energy Program batch—announced that it received an investment of €1 million. The stage erupted with confetti followed by a champagne toast to honor this accomplishment.

This example should motivate the current startups to look forward and push their ideas. And it makes us curious about possible collaborations which might have been initiated at that Demo Day 2017 too… We will keep you posted!

Julian Jacob is the new Program Associate for the Rockstart Smart Energy program. 

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