Rockstart launches first European smart energy accelerator

Published: Thu 12 Sep 2013
A blog entry by Info Engerati

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Amsterdam, 12 September 2013


International accelerator program for 10 innovative startups takes off January 2014


Amsterdam based Rockstart Accelerator is launching the first European accelerator program for smart energy startups. The program, kicking off in January 2014, helps build companies that stimulate a future proof energy system- by bridging the gap between internet technology and energy systems. Applications for startups open on September 16th and close on October 31st.

Rockstart partners with the Amsterdam Investment Fund (City of Amsterdam), NUON, Alliander, the Doen Foundation, Accenture and private investors, to help 10 promising international startups tune, build and grow and finance their businesses in a 100 day acceleration program.

Smart energy

Rockstart Accelerator believes startups and entrepreneurs are crucial players in dealing with today's economic and social challenges. Rockstart Accelerator Smart Energy helps deliver compelling solutions in the following (example) areas:

  • Smart homes, meters and grids

  • Collective and decentralized energy generation and distribution

  • Awareness and energy reduction

  • Mobility

  • Energy trade

Faster to market

The intensive Smart Energy Accelerator program will be designed in cooperation with an international mentor group of 50 professionals, specialists and entrepreneurs. In return for an equity stake of up to 8%, the selected startups are offered €20,000 in cash investment, and an additional in kind investment valued at around €45,000 consisting of office space and other facilities, and intensive support from the mentor network. This investment helps the teams stay focused and on track for Demo Day, where they can showcase their businesses to investors and media.

Improved survival rate

In the US, this model was pioneered by initiatives like TechStars and Y Combinator, which have proven that startups that participate in accelerator programs generally have better survival rates. Rockstart Accelerator has already accelerated twenty startups in two earlier programs in 2012 and 2013 focusing on the web and mobile industry. 70% of the startups from their 2012 program have raised funding. Werckerraised a $1 million investment led by Greylock Partners, a top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firm. 3D Hubs, a startup in the 2013 program, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a deal led by Balderton Capital, only six weeks after Demo Day.


Rockstart Accelerator Smart Energy is led by an experienced team: Yme Bosma (NL), Don Ritzen (NL) and Rune Theill (DK). Rockstart, 'The Global Startup Machine', was founded in 2011 by Dutch serial entrepreneur Oscar Kneppers, founder of media companies Emerce and Bright. The Rockstart 'Step Forward, Start' manifesto can be viewed at


More information on Rockstart and on Rockstart Accelerator Smart Energy: (+31 6 22 44 02 28) Twitter: @rockstartaccel