05 Feb, 2016

Winners Announced in SAFT Challenge

As initiators of SAFT – Energy startup solutions for 2050, swissnex San Francisco, Impact Hub Fellowship Association, and Impact Hub Zürich are very pleased to announce the final participants in this first-of-its-kind international program focused on the electricity sector.

Nine startups with a variety of solutions for distributed energy, energy efficiency, and smart cities were selected to pitch their ventures to an expert jury and jockey for a spot in the lean accelerator program.

SAFT offers a one-month boot camp in Zurich followed by a one-week market expedition in Silicon Valley, and an additional three months of incubation afterward in Zurich—an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate entrepreneurship and the clean energy transition in Switzerland simultaneously. The jury is in, and we are pleased to announce that the first SAFT cohort of energy entrepreneurs are:

 

Adaptricity: Decision Support Software that enables Distribution System Operators to integrate more renewables into their grid while maintaining grid stability and saving operation and planning costs.

BATTRION: Innovative fabrication technologies for lithium ion batteries aimed at increasing the charging speed of high energy density cells.

CARBON DELTA: Carbon ratings that help investors improve the assessment of climate risks in their portfolios; a collaboration with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the rating agency Independent Credit View.

Joulia: Modular heat exchangers to recycle heat from shower drain water.

WATTELSE: Automation and optimization software that can analyze building control and energy data to identify where energy and comfort are lost.

Younergy: Service that allows residential customers, corporations, and other property owners to benefit from affordable solar electricity with no upfront investment.

 

“I’m very excited to be part of the SAFT program with WATTELSE,” says Founder Martin Hofer. “It is a great opportunity to review our business for the American market together with corresponding experts. And I’m curious about the spirit of the Silicon Valley and the inspiration of the whole journey.”

The jury had an intense day pouring over the application materials, and a tough time deciding amongst the high quality of products and pitches they heard throughout the day. Special attention was given to the impact potential of the ventures including: degree of innovation, international growth potential, business model, and team.

“I had a great day at the Impact Hub Zürich,” said juror Markus Balmer, Head of Strategy and Innovation at IWB, the local utility in Basel. “It’s fascinating to see these start-up teams pushing forward to challenge the energy markets, its incumbents and regulatory systems, empower customers and improve sustainability. I’m looking forward to our Silicon Valley visit!”


07 Jan, 2016

SAFT Startup Challenge: Finalists Announced

Silicon Valley leads the world in innovation. No one who visits leaves unchanged.

That’s why on January 28 in Zurich, 10 exciting new ventures from Switzerland will attempt to pitch their way into an accelerator program that includes a startup boot camp, a one-week market expedition to Silicon Valley, and three months of incubation services upon return.

These 10 ventures are the finalists in SAFT – Energy startup solutions for 2050, launched in September 2015 by swissnex San Francisco, Impact Hub Fellowship, and Impact Hub Zurich. The competition targets entrepreneurs in the fields of smart cities, distributed generation, and energy efficiency looking to take their startups to the next level. With SAFT, swissnex and its partners hope to help early stage startups accelerate Switzerland’s transition to a sustainable energy system by 2050.

“When we initiated SAFT with Impact Hub, we were sure that that we’d discover some interesting startups working to realize the clean energy transition but we didn’t realize how many there would be and how compelling their products would turn out to be,” says Laura Erickson, swissnex San Francisco’s Associate Director responsible for sustainability and strategy.

Later this month, with the guidance of SAFT program partners Climate-KIC Switzerland and Swisscom, the finalists will pitch their businesses to a jury of industry experts including Philipp Leo, Entrepreneurship Lead for Climate-KIC Switzerland; Peter Wildhaber, Head of Energy for Swisscom; Greg Stace, CEO of Earthed B.V.; Hans Dellenbach, CFO of Emerald Technology Ventures; and Markus Balmer, Head of Strategy and Innovation at IWB.

The 10 selected startups represent a cross-section of forward-thinking entrepreneurs working to advance clean energy in Switzerland. We wish them all good luck and success in powering their future! They are (in alphabetical order):

 

Adaptricity: Decision Support Software that enables Distribution System Operators to integrate more renewables into their grid while maintaining grid stability and saving operation and planning costs.

BATTRION: Innovative fabrication technologies for lithium ion batteries aimed at increasing the charging speed of high energy density cells.

CARBON DELTA: Carbon ratings that help investors improve the assessment of climate risks in their portfolios; a collaboration with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the rating agency Independent Credit View.

DHP Technology: New photovoltaic system technology that covers sealed surfaces and works like a folding roof. Fully automated and protected against heavy weather, vandalism, and pollution.

InSun: Cloud-based, easy-to-use 3D photovoltaic configurator and simulator to design any kind of plant, generating full technical documentation. Also a sales and marketing service where manufacturers can upload catalogs to integrate their supply chain.

Joulia: Modular heat exchangers to recycle heat from shower drain water.

Solaxess: Nanotechnology film that can be integrated into or applied to white and colored, completely uniform photovoltaic modules.

Power-Blox: Intelligent solar energy cube that allows building bottom-up micro grids from scratch, starting with a single cube and extending it to a huge city-grid using swarm electrification.

WATTELSE: Automation and optimization software that can analyze building control and energy data to identify where energy and comfort are lost.

Youngery: Service that allows residential customers, corporations, and other property owners to benefit from affordable solar electricity with no upfront investment.


17 Sep, 2015

SAFT Startup Challenge Seeks Energy Solutions for 2050

swissnex San Francisco, Impact Hub Fellowship and Impact Hub Zürich are joining forces to launch SAFT – Energy startup solutions for 2050, a startup challenge targeting entrepreneurs in the fields of smart cities, distributed generation, and energy efficiency who want to take their startup to the next level. The initiative will be announced officially at the Swiss Energy Climate Summit in Bern, Switzerland, on September 17, 2015.

From all of the entries, 10 ventures will be selected to participate in a live pitch event at Impact Hub Zürich on January 28, 2016. Of those, up to five winning teams will be chosen by a jury of experts to take part in a month-long startup boot camp in Zurich, a one-week international market expedition to Silicon Valley and three months of incubation at Impact Hub Zürich. One additional team will be nominated separately by Climate-KIC to join the cohort.

The initiators and partners of SAFT hope that the challenge will encourage entrepreneurs to help accelerate the shift to a clean energy system, a goal that Switzerland has set to achieve by 2050.

“Entrepreneurial solutions are key to innovative breakthroughs in the energy market,” says Ruth Armalé, Managing Director of Impact Hub Fellowship. “This program will challenge and inspire early stage ventures to take a responsible leadership role towards a secure, competitive, and decarbonized energy system. Through our international collaboration with swissnex San Francisco, the ventures will be granted exposure to the well-developed startup ecosystem of Silicon Valley. This is a great opportunity for the ventures to get to the next level, network with peers, and meet potential partners or investors.”

Support for SAFT is provided by program partners Swisscom, the Gebert Rüf Foundation, and Climate-KIC Switzerland. Startups based in Switzerland with concepts or prototypes that have demonstrated customer interest and international orientation are invited to submit their ideas by November 13, 2015.

SAFT Milestones

September 17, 2015 Launch event at Swiss ECS
November 13, 2015 Startup submission deadline
December 10, 2015 Announcement of finalists
January 28, 2016 Pitch event in Zurich, award ceremony & announcing winners
February 2016 1-month boot camp in Zurich
March 6-12, 2016 Expedition trip to San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley
April-June 2016 Incubation at Impact Hub Zürich