Widespread successes for Climate-KIC start-ups in Germany

Climate-KIC Germany rounds up on a number of recent prizes, investments and product launches for promising start-ups

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The Climate-KIC Accelerator is designed to help the most promising start-ups in the field of climate innovation become a success. Applicants, selected in terms of their potential climate impact and commercial viability, are taken onto the accelerator.

The programme aims to make the start-ups resilient companies and attractive to business partners and investors.

GreenTec Awards: Start-ups clean up

At Europe’s largest environmental and business prize, the annual GreenTec Awards, business leaders, celebrities and politicians from across Germany gathered to honour environmental and green technologies.

Three Climate-KIC Germany and one Climate-KIC Netherlands start-ups reached the finals of the competition. Water pre-treatment start-up Akvolution won the Start-up category and was finalist in the category Waste & Water. Pectcof, founded to unlock the biomass potential of coffee pulp, was finalist in the Recycling and the Start-up category.

Tado, offering cloud based control of central heating systems, was also finalist in the Start-up category. bettervest, the world’s first crowd funding platform for energy efficiency projects, was finalist in the Communication category.

Award winning PlugSurfing launches unique app for e-mobility charging

PlugSurfingPlugSurfing has just become the first independent service provider to allow e-vehicle drivers to both locate plugs and pay for charging sessions, and even share charging points directly through their smartphones.

The service offers access for users to a growing network of charge points, including Europe’s biggest providers, such as RWE and Belectric. The PlugSurfing Charging Key, a RFID enabled key ring, also provides access to charge points such as energy utility EnBW’s which are not yet remotely accessible.

The app is first launching in Germany with access to over 1,000 plugs, all other major European countries are expected to be included by the end of 2014.

The team, who’s vision is to “remove all barriers that currently exist to carbon-free mobility” has been recognised widely for their innovation. News PlugsurfingThey won the 1776 DC Start up competition ‘Challenge Cup’ in Washington DC and received a $ 100,000 investment.

PlugSurging also won the German round of the Deutsche Telekom Innovation Contest, having the chance to become overall winners soon.

ECF: making progress since Silicon Valley tour

In 2013, Berlin-based ECF Farmsystem pitched their aquaponic farming system at the Global Ideas Award at the CleanTech Open global forum in San Jose, Silicon Valley, where a Climate-KIC start-up tour was targeted at. In the end they took home three awards.

As part of the accelerator programme, the ECF team was provided with investor pitch trainings. NEWS ecfIn spring 2014, ECF were able to report plans to construct their first industrial scale farm.

This was made possible by the investments ECF was able to secure. The largest share comes from Berlin based venture capital group IBB Bet. Climate-KIC had supported ECF team in their contact with the investor.

Franka Birke, Entrepreneurship Lead Climate-KIC Germany: “ECF was able to use the momentum from the CleanTech Open in order to address potential investors effectively”.

Milk the Sun: attractive to investors

Milk the Sun, an international market place for photovoltaic plants and projects, also proved to be an investable start-up as they attracted considerable support from another two investors (Gründerfonds Münsterland and Howaldt Energies) at the beginning of this year. Milk the Sun has been supported by Climate-KIC Germany since 2012.

Ebee: Award for decentralised energy

Another e-vehicle service provider, Ebee, won at ProMotion Nordhessen’s business plan competition for start-ups earlier this year, taking home the prize for Decentralised Energy that comes with 10,000 Euro prize money.

Ebee develops and sells charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Their charging points can charge any electric vehicle independent of the charge socket, plug type and communication used.

Climate-KIC acceleration as a success factor

Climate-KIC start-ups are successful, both in terms on public recognition and investor and business attractiveness. Franka Birke states: “The prizes and investments ‘our’ start-ups won in the last months are not only vital to the companies’ future development but are also important for Climate-KIC Germany, as they show our capacity as an accelerator that makes start-ups successful and investable”.