A pan-European impact fund is chasing the next round of unicorns for investment

Science Park Tehnopol, in cooperation with EIT InnoEnergy, a pan-European impact fund, invites Estonian companies to participate in the new international PowerUp! Challenge programme aimed at investing in innovative solutions and finding the next unicorns in the field of green technologies. The program also includes the PowerUp! competition for start-ups which in the past has been very successful for the Estonians.

PowerUp! Challenge aims to expand the PowerUp! competition previously meant exclusively for the green technology start-ups. According to Heleri Holm, a project manager at Science Park Tehnopol and the programme ambassador in Estonia, InnoEnergy is hoping to find bright companies that have the potential to become the next unicorn in the fund’s portfolio, as well as partners who want a global impact and a sustainable world.

 „With the opportunity for multi-million Euro investment the programme is open for companies at any size or stage of development. The thematic verticals are energy, mobility, cleantech, smart cities, but the challenge is open for all ideas outside the box,“ Holm added.

Companies which succeed to join the InnoEnergy network will get product enhancement, development, and pilots, commercialisation strategies, international market introduction and expansion and further funding opportunities from a trusted network of VCs and public bodies. The most well-known Estonian companies that have received large-scale investments through the InnoEnergy network and are strong players in the energy field are Skeleton Technologies, Hepta Airborne and Thinnect.

In 2016, InnoEnergy invested 4 million euros in Skeleton Technologies. Today, Skeleton is the market leader in ultracapacitor production and there is a growing demand for these products. Their innovative energy storage solution is used for example in cutting car emmissions, harnessing the oceans’ wave energy smarter and preventing costly blackouts.

According to the Programme Director at Skeleton Technologies, Egert Valmra, Skeleton has been working hand in hand with InnoEnergy since 2014, including the funding of two innovation projects as well as benefiting from a “smart money” approach concerning business development. “In fact, InnoEnergy has supported Skeleton in winning several prominent supplier nominations in the automotive and transport industry in general. Without any exaggeration it can be said that InnoEnergy has built a formidable business network and considerable “capital” of trust towards European industry,” Valmra stated.

Exclusively for start-ups InnoEnergy is holding a competition with financial prizes up to €65.000 and the title of Start-up of the Year. Other benefits include participation in the Business Bootcamps© focusing on substantive support of programme experts with topics such as business planning, pitching skills, IP protection.

To apply for the PowerUp! Challenge you need to submit your application by 5 March 2020 via the InnoEnergy website: powerup.innoenergy.com.

InnoEnergy’s partner in Estonia is Science Park Tehnopol, which shares the goal of supporting the development and sustainability of Estonian innovative companies in the energy sector.  Tehnopol has been operating in the development of the Estonia green energy sector since 2010 in collaboration with PAKRI Science and Industrial Park.

EIT InnoEnergy is the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe. It supports and invests in innovation at every stage of the journey – from classroom to end-customer. With InnoEnergy’s network of partners it helps build connections across Europe, bringing together inventors and industry, graduates and employers, researchers and entrepreneurs, businesses and markets. InnoEnergy was established in 2010 and is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). It is a body of the EU.

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