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Emily Bernstein

What to know about the New Energy Challenge 2021

The New Energy Challenge is all about supporting disruptive innovations that can accelerate the energy transition, which is why we are thrilled to be partnering once again with Shell, Get in the Ring and YES!Delft to co-organize the 2021 edition of the challenge. The competition is open to startups and scaleups in Europe and Israel who are developing advanced technologies that are vital to the energy transition. 

One of the ways in which we support startups is by connecting them to companies that can help bring their ideas to market. At the same time, we know that companies need new and innovative solutions now more than ever to participate in the transition to a greener future, and that’s where we add value with our expertise. Through the New Energy Challenge, we are connecting Shell with the next generation of startups in order to fuel innovation and foster strategic, mutually beneficial collaborations that work.

Why join?

The New Energy Challenge allows startups to meet with the industry leaders and experts who are driving change in the energy sector. In addition to gaining industry insights, this challenge provides an international platform for startups and scaleups to share their businesses. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about market trends, network, and to meet with other startups and scaleups to share experiences and learn together.

If you’re curious to hear from startups and scaleups firsthand, here’s what last year’s participants had to say about their experiences:

“First and foremost, participating (and winning) in the 2020 NEC was a great opportunity to gain further credibility. In addition, participation helped us finetune both our offering as well as the way it’s presented to customers. The folks at Shell have been very patient and extremely willing to help. They gave us the feeling that they truly cared about transitioning to a carbon free economy.” Talmon Marco, Interim CEO at H2PRO & New Energy Challenge 2020 winning scaleup

“The material production was made very easy for competitors and it also made us think about some parts of our development work in more detail than without NEC.”Harri Johannesdahl, CEO at Coolbrook & New Energy Challenge 2020 finalist

Then and now: what last year’s participants have achieved

The New Energy Challenge does not stop after Finals Day! The winning startup gains admission to the Shell GameChanger programme, and the winning scaleup gets the opportunity to further develop and potentially execute a pilot with Shell Ventures and Shell’s Renewables & Energy Solutions business.

Last year’s winning scaleup, H2PRO, is continuing to build on their solution:

“We are continuing to build our systems. Since the finals we have increased our system’s Hydrogen production scale by 10x and expect another 10x by year end.”Talmon Marco, Interim CEO at H2PRO

Other finalists have also made valuable progress thanks to the feedback from Shell and the NEC finals:

After the feedback, we received from Shell and the NEC finals, we realised we had to redesign the form factor to comply with certain standards. We’ve been mostly working on the new design, as well as improving our sensor’s performance for more industrial applications.”Maryam Nasirpour, Application Development Engineer at Inplorion & New Energy Challenge 2020 finalist

How to get the most out of the challenge

The New Energy Challenge is a commitment, but it also provides incredible opportunities for startups and scaleups. If you’re wondering how to get the most out of the challenge, then what better way than to hear directly from those who have already gone through the program?

Here’s what last year’s finalists have to say:

“First and foremost, use the time with Shell to learn and gain personal contacts. Whether you win or you don’t, these contacts may be invaluable. In addition, NEC will pair you with various advisors. There is a lot that you can learn from them. Take your time with the advisors seriously.” Talmon Marco, H2PRO

“Participate in the NEC 2021 event if you think you have created some innovation – no matter small or big – and enjoy presenting it to the program.” Harri Johannesdahl, Coolbrook

What’s new in this year’s challenge?

The program varies slightly each year because we recognize that different startups and scaleups need different support. While some elements may stay the same, we aim to tailor the program to each group of innovators so that you get the right support.

This year, Rockstart is designing the scaleup track (aka the venture track), and we want to ensure that every scaleup leaves the program feeling as though they have already won. That means seeing that your scaleup gets enough time with Shell experts to discuss the details of a potential pilot, but also providing valuable feedback and experiences throughout the program that you can take with you beyond this challenge.

Applications are open until June 1st, so be sure to Apply Now. We look forward to seeing you there!


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