Europe’s First Smart Energy Accelerator Aims to Boost Startups

Acceleration programs, like Rockstart Accelerator’s Smart Energy Accelerator, could help boost the energy sector and initiate an energy transition.
Published: Tue 21 Jan 2014

Startups in the energy industry are proving to be a significant driver in the energy transformation process. They have a good reputation for developing and introducing technological and business innovations.

Unfortunately, startups have high rates of failure, eight out of 10 fail, according to a recent study by Bloomberg. It is therefore imperative that they receive assistance so that they can continue to revolutionalise the ailing energy industry. Acceleration programs have been designed for this purpose. The aim is to support startups so that they can build scalable and innovative businesses.

One such program is Rockstart Accelerator who launched Europe’s very first Smart Energy Accelerator program. The Amsterdam-based program has been assisting startups for the last two years.

Rockstart Accelerator has recently announced the 10 international startups that are due to join their Smart Energy Accelerator program on 15 January 2014. The program attracted 130 applications from 39 countries. The founders of the selected startups come from the Ukraine, Greece, Chile, Netherlands, Israel, UK, Romania, France, Spain and Germany. This proves that smart energy really is a global phenomenon.

The startups will undergo an intensive 100-day program in Amsterdam where they will learn how to accelerate their companies’ growth and break through global markets. The program aims to help energy startups-around the world-to take their early stage business to the next level. Startups are provided with investment, office space, highly specialized knowledge, contacts and networking opportunities. They are also guided by a broad network of approximately 60 mentors. During the program, the startups learn how to manage all aspects of their company-from marketing, operations to legal and investment issues. Startups can also look forward to increasing their investment opportunities significantly during this program. 

The Class of 2014 will be focusing on a number of significant challenges:

  • Renewables innovation

  • Energy savings

  • Energy awareness

  • Smart buildings and homes

  • Recycling

  • Cleantech hardware

  • Carbon emissions

Accelerator Models

Rockstart Accelerator, founded in 2011, has already accelerated 20 startups in two earlier programs with good results: 70% of their first batch of startups was funded by investors like Greylock, Vitulum Ventures, to name a few.

The program partners of the Smart Energy Accelerator include the Amsterdam Investment Fund, Alliander, the Doen Foundation, Nuon, Accenture, Bird & Bird and KPMG Meijburg.