Business Creation

The top ten most innovative start-ups in electrical storage are on track to fuel the energy systems revolution in Europe

April 2, 2019

“This call has allowed us to identify the most promising solutions across the world and bring innovation to boost the competitiveness of the battery value chain in Europe, which is the European Battery Alliance’s main mission”. Diego Pavia, CEO, InnoEnergy

Speedy charging, reduced costs, increased reliability, energy efficiency and portability: these are just a few of the critical areas that have been met with technological inventiveness and sound business sense in solutions submitted by the ten finalists in InnoEnergy’s global call for start-ups in electrical storage.

This inaugural contest was launched in the autumn to an overwhelming response: 220 international applicants were assessed by a team of high-profile internal and external judges on criteria that included innovative thinking, value proposition, addressable market, scalability, team structure, and competitive advantage. The aim of the global call was to locate and provide lifeline support to those start-ups that would most make a difference, and fast track their solutions to market.

“Energy storage is the linchpin technology for the clean energy system of the future,” affirms Diego Pavia, InnoEnergy CEO. “We are looking to bring the most innovative electrical storage solutions on board at the European Battery Alliance. This call has allowed us to identify the most promising solutions across the world and bring innovation to boost the competitiveness of the battery value chain in Europe, which is EBA’s main mission”.

Ten start-ups, from Austria, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, made it to the final that was held in Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam in March. All stepped up to the challenge with disruptive solutions that covered the major fields of electrical energy: storage, e-mobility / transportation, and general industry.

Two outstanding start-ups were crowned with the first prize of €100,000 each: Battrion (Switzerland) for its development of a disruptive technology that improves the structure of lithium ion batteries, boosting the charging speed of high-energy density cells, and instagrid (Germany) in proposing a solution that offers a portable electrical power supply, lightweight, waterproof, silent and long lasting, and with a power quality better than a wall socket. This brings electrical freedom to professionals in sectors such as construction, enabling them to work whenever and wherever they want.

The eight runners-up also impressed judges with their conceptual ambition and commercial drive, all earning their place on InnoEnergy’s coveted business creation programmes: the Highway™ or Boostway™. This will enable them to develop their idea, their technology and their business, receive mentorship and gain access to a network of key investors.

Aligning safety and low cost with heightened efficiency and battery capacity, runner-up m-Bee (Germany) presented technology for a decentralised energy supply; their patented, modular design reduces the total cost of installation and maintenance, reduces the risk of outages, and uses the full capacity of battery storage systems.

With the potential to revolutionise the emission-free transportation system of the future, start-up AVILOO (Austria) placed a focus on quality control, developing an independent testing system for batteries aimed at invigorating the used electric vehicle market. While WATTALPS (France) has placed a focus on versatility, offering a range of standard and modular products that can be integrated into electric vehicles or charging stations with speed, efficiency and reduced costs.

Standing out for its sensitivity to market and community needs, runner-up Skoon Energy B.V. (The Netherlands) bids to develop the share, rent and lease market, proposing an innovative network of versatile exchangeable batteries. The company aims to build a trusted community marketplace for businesses to offer, discover and book energy storage that can be used for mobile and/or temporary applications. TWAICE (Germany) also empowers the user, proposing a new centralised analytics platform for battery data. In building virtual battery models and constantly collecting data with smart control units, it aims to offer on-demand reports, and predictive diagnostics that have the potential of simplifying and improving battery testing, saving energy and money.

Efficient energy storage itself is a key area with start-ups working on disruptive means to make the self-sustaining home of the future possible. VoltStorage (Germany) proposes an electric storage device that can store clean solar power during the day to power homes at night. With renewable energy available 24/7, this device saves money, protects the environment and helps stabilise the grid. Powervault (UK) too is developing an affordable and easy to install home energy storage device, which by storing solar energy, can lower consumer electricity bills and provide emergency power to critical devices. An ‘emergency power socket’ enables customers to use their stored energy during blackouts.

Efficiency and innovation combine in the work of Gaia Membranes (Switzerland), who have turned an obstacle into an asset with their innovation Amphion™, an ingenious innovative membrane technology designed to maximise the efficiency of a wide range of energy storage and conversion systems. 

InnoEnergy congratulate all ten start-ups selected as the most innovative electrical storage start-ups in the world. We thank every applicant that responded to the global call and who made the inaugural competition a success; we look forward to hearing from them again in the near future. For the top ten start-ups, the journey to commercialising their solutions is already underway, each with the potential to play a vital role in accelerating the global clean energy transition, with Europe as its power source.