Last week under the warm Berlin sun, the first national kick-off event for the SmartUp Accelerator project and competition took place. During the next month we will have national events in all partner countries – next one tonight in Riga. Read about the experiences in Berlin and take part in your local event!
In Berlin the project partners and interested startup founders, innovators, stakeholders and more met on the solar-powered Seminarschiff at the Berlin Nordhafen to introduce the SmartUp Accelerator 2018 Competition and spark discuss the increasingly relevant topics of consumer-oriented cleantech solutions and smart home technology. Even before the welcoming speech by Chris Ashe, the Director of the hosting project partner European Institute for Innovation, the participants convened on the sunny upper deck to engage in conversation on consumer cleantech and startups – over a few glasses of wine, of course.
In the first part of the evening, Satu Lähteenoja from Demos Helsinki introduced the enormous potential of smart home and consumer cleantech technologies to the listeners. An estimated annual growth of more than 25% makes the smart home and consumer cleantech sector highly interesting for founders and investors. Keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Lutz Göcke followed up the discussion by reporting on his experiences in the startup environment combined with his scientific research on business development. Since the majority of startups fail due to the lack of market potential, he highlighted the importance of evidence-based and self-validating projects and business development for entrepreneurs. One good practice example of this in action was introduced by Panjörg Salzmann from Unicorn Engineering, who has developed a smart home suiting battery system. The smart, portable, standardized and scaleable accumulators within the battery can help solve most of the existing issues with e-mobility, energy saving and energy storing, allowing for a far more efficient and sustainable way of life.
During the break, the participants held inspiring conversations on the development of sustainable solutions. Through the warm evening breeze drifted buzzwords such as “smart homes”, “renewable energy”, “consumer focus”, “cooperating development”, ‘’sustainability’’ and so on. The combination of automatisation and environmental sustainability brings to light a market potential that often still lacks in terms of market fit and financing. Mr. Ben Daumiller, Associate Director of the European Institute for Innovation, therefore went on to introduce a variety of available national and European subsidies relevant to consumer cleantech players.
The night concluded with the introduction and national kick-off of the SmartUpAccelerator Competition 2018 with the topic “Smart Homes” from Antti Lippo of Demos Helsinki. In August this year, startups and SME’s from Baltic Sea Region are invited to hand in their applications for their innovative products, services and business models surrounding cleantech – specifically smart homes. The winning enterprise will be granted the opportunity to quickly scale and testbed their product or service on the European market, on top of receiving 10,000 € support and the access to a highly professional and progress-driven network. Innovative solutions surrounding sustainability in building smart homes and housing in general – i.e. a CO2-reducing service or product, or steering and controlling devices for the efficient usage of existing buildings – have high chances of improving their market fit by participating in the competition. The SmartUp Accelerator project is very excited to see what kind of progress-driven, sustainable and suprising ideas, products and services this year’s competitors will bring to the table (and the BSR market)… stay tuned!
Interested in bringing your consumer cleantech, smart home-oriented product/service to market? For more information on the competition prerequisites and background information, visit the SmartUp Challenge webpage and follow us on Facebook.