Climate-KIC start-ups create a spark at European Utility Week (EUW)

On the 15th of November two Climate-KIC startups, PlugSurfing and Sympower, pitched their innovations at EUW, the leading event for Europe’s smart utility community.

Attracting over 12,000 international visitors, 450 speakers, and 600 exhibitors, from all levels of the utility value chain European Utility Week (EUW) 2016 was a pivotal event for the European utility industry. EUW is an annual meeting point for the utilities community dedicated to facilitate high-level knowledge sharing. Innovation underlies every element of the event and is key in ensuring that EUW fulfills its aim; to help the smart energy industry drive efficiencies in meeting sustainable development goals.

As a feature of EUW, the Initiate! programme is dedicated to harnessing a culture of innovation to foster a better world and make an impact to achieve a sustainable energy future. Initiate! contributes by serving as a platform to provide bright minds of the future the opportunity to share their ideas and innovations with the more established professionals in the industry, in an effort to help the industry to reinvent itself with the consumer in mind.

The Initiate! Startup award, recognises the best ideas, talent and innovations within the smart energy sector. The finalists for the award were selected from a total of 60 startups worldwide, who were cross-examined in a live Dragons’ Den-style pitch by four judges from across the industry.

Of the five finalists PlugSurfing won the 2016 Initiate! Startup Award and was recognised as the next big breakthrough in smart energy. PlugSurfing, an E-Mobility and Payment Provider founded in 2012, is Europe’s number one app for electric vehicle drivers with the vision of allowing them to find charging points and pay for the charging session wherever they go. Currently, the App and Charging Key give users access to 35,000 charging points in 16 European counties. To find out more, watch an interview with Jacob van Zonneveld, Director and Co-Founder of PlugSurfing here.

Sympower, one of the five finalists, offers a virtual power plant that provides households with a free smart energy system. The system connects thousands of household heating and cooling devices, optimizing their behavior in real-time and shifting their usage to cheaper hours.

Both PlugSurfing and Sympower went through Climate-KIC’s start-up accelerator and have been finalists in Climate-KIC’s Venture Competition.


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