Clean Energy Starups Being Given a Helping Hand by Amsterdam Incubator

In the field of sustainable energy, start-ups that are brimming with bright ideas are increasingly gaining importance. And this would be boosted by a scheme which places selected small companies bursting with killer energy ideas in an 180-day long accelerator program which is devised and would be conducted by Amsterdam’s “global start-up machine” Rockstart.

“What we do with Rockstart is we try to connect people… connect entrepreneurs to people who can support them,” Rune Theill, co-founder of Rockstart, told CNBC’s Sustainable Energy.

Experience of more than 75 “smart energy mentors, investors and energy partners” formed the backbone and provided ideas and encouraged the formation and devising of Rockstart’s smart energy program. In addition to an “in-kind” investment into benefits such as office space and hands on support from mentors, each one of the ten startups that are selected is offered a cash investment of 20,000 euros ($20,662).

“Our smart energy program is a program that accelerates start-ups from all across the world to become investable and scaleable, working on energy solutions, making use of IT, mobile data, connectivity, etc,” Freerk Bisschop, who leads the smart energy program, said.

Access to alumni program that offers support and advice on a range of topics, including fundraising, marketing and legal services would be given to the startups once the start-ups have finished the program.

“Shortly after the program, they often find their first investor, that puts money in their organisation and allows them to grow,” Bisschop said.

“We stay involved, especially in helping them to get a good deal with their investor, and finding the right connections to build their business further after the program,” he added.

With ideas that include PennyWise, a ticketing system which enables transport users to hop on and off public transport without needing to “check in or check out” of their trip and rideshare and parking solutions for the urban areas , one alumni from the program is MagicView which is looking to transform urban mobility.

The company says that the experience of having been part of the accelerator program has proved to be very helpful for its business.

“We came here with the idea of organizing cleaner, better reachable cities, and that’s still there, but the way we do it is totally different… more practical, more down to earth, more business like,” Philip van Houtte, CEO of MagicView, said.

Ensuring that the start-ups that are selected are equipped with the skills and contacts to flourish and thrive is one of the key ideas behind the Rockstart scheme.

“Ninety percent of all start-ups fail and we can increase the chance of them succeeding by connecting them to people who’ve done it before… and connecting them with people who have a large network to potential clients (and) investors,” Rune Theill said.

(Adapted from CNBC)

Categories: Economy & Finance, Entrepreneurship

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