The deadline for applications for the Nordic Cleantech Open is only a week away. The competition is a great opportunity for Nordic seed-stage companies to turn their ideas into successful growth companies by accelerating business development and exposing them to prominent venture investors both in the Nordic region and the rest of the world.
Great opportunity for Danish companies
Last year, only one company represented Denmark in top 25, and we at the Innovation Center Denmark would strongly recommend Danish companies to apply. We see the competition as a great opportunity for Danish companies looking to accelerate and get invaluable feedback. And there is no doubt that Denmark has a lot to offer on the cleantech front. The Nordic Cleantech Showcase, less than two weeks ago, was a good example of this, as Danish One Heat, Me-Mover, and Black Silicon Solar pitched their ideas to a panel of Silicon Valley investors.
More than ‘the winner takes it all’
The aim of the competition is to strengthen innovation and accelerate development of Nordic cleantech companies. This is done, first of all, by giving all applicants valuable feedback from some of the most skilled and experienced people within the industry, not least the impressive jury and advisors available for the applicants. For the top 25 companies, the Nordic Cleantech Open will offer travel grants, workshops, software solutions, and most of all mentorship from accomplished entrepreneurs, as well as the obvious market advantages of being among the top 25 in the world-leading Nordic cleantech scene.
Entrants can be individuals, teams, or early-stage companies, but one criterion is that the applicant has received less than €750,000 in external equity financing. The deadline is December 7th and you can apply right here.
Innovation Center Denmark teamed up with Cleantech Scandinavia and our colleagues from the other Bay Area Nordic organizations to bring 11 of the most promising cleantech startups for a week of pitch training, networking, and company visits, culminating with the Cleantech Open Forum and our own Nordic Cleantech Showcase.
Of the 11 early and growth-stage companies, three were from Denmark and target three very different markets, Black Silicon Solar, Me-Mover, and One Heat.
Black Silicon Solar
Black Silicon Solar reduces the price of silicon solar cells by 10% through an alternative texturing process using nanostructures. In addition to lowering manufacturing cost the technology will reduce production times, toxic chemicals, and the amount of silicon that goes into each solar cell while at the same time raising efficiency.
The two young founders, Rasmus Davidsen from the Danish Technical University, and Hjalmar Nilsonne from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, already won 1st prize in Venture Cup this year, and made it all the way to the final six in the Global Forum.
The Me-Mover is essentially a step machine on wheels. The Chief Mover Jonas Eliasson – since he is the tallest guy in the company – presented this three-wheeled, pedal-driven vehicle that also turns into a trolley that can be brought along on public transport. The main point of the Me-Mover is to get users to skip the car in city commutes and get them outside with a healthy and fun new mode of transportation.
See the Me-Mover in action here.
One Heat, represented by Tor Reedtz and Brian Jensen, has a new technology for instant, tank-less water heaters. One Heat is able to heat water at a never-before seen rates and clean the water at the same time. Thus One Heat’s platform technology holds promise in many different market applications.
GridManager’s work to reduce energy consumption is awarded with the Beacon Award from IBM. The recognition from IBM follows a 2nd place at the European Smart Metering Awards in London in January and a seat in the finals of Nordic Cleantech Open, a cleantech business plan competition gathering the 25 most promising cleantech start-ups is Scandinavia.
Each year the international giant IBM honors an elite group of business partners with the Beacon Award. According to IBM the prize is given to “IBM Business Partners who have raised the standard for delivering innovative solutions and exemplary client satisfaction”.
IBM highlights GridManager as a company helping customers understand and monitor energy expenses and thus providing large cost reductions in energy consumption for clients.
The award can potentially provide winners with a competitive advantage by providing the opportunity to gain greater visibility with clients, across the industry and throughout IBM.
In late 2010 GridManager entered a joint venture with Vento Australia providing access to businesses in both Australia and New Zealand. If GridManager continues developing at this speed it should be interesting to follow the Danish smart meter company in the future.