Danubia NanoTech from Slovakia was named the overall winner by the judges following a close battle with its rivals for the top prize at the fifth edition of InnoEnergy’s PowerUp! Competition. The event saw participation from over 300 start-ups from 24 countries across Central and Eastern Europe.
The company has received a check for 50 000€, as well as the opportunity to join the prestigious Highway® by InnoEnergy business accelerator. Romania was among the 14 country finalists and was represented by Green Spots, a multi-functional smart city solution – an urban solar charger and platform.
The winner presented a solution for aerial temperature monitoring in a form of graphene temperature sensor, available as an extremely thin film, applied on any non-metallic substrate. This technology is valuable for EV batteries and for grid battery storages, extending the batteries’ lifetime.
“We applied in the competition because we have been seeking for a smart investor like InnoEnergy that does not only provide financial investment, but also supports us in business development with its network and business accelerator” – said Patrik Krizansky, CEO of Danubia NanoTech. “With this award, we are very excited to start fine tuning the product to the needs of the final customers and commercialize it“ – added Krizansky.
Second place – and a 10 000 € prize – was awarded to Atlant3D from Latvia which has created a versatile 3D printer for micro and nanochip fabrication, and developed a unique solution that can rapidly accelerate prototyping for micro-and nanodevices and systems at a fraction of current time and cost. Third place – and a 5 000 € prize – was taken by V-Chiller from Hungary, a revolutionary cooling device that can chill canned beverages in just a minute, using minimal energy with minimal environmental impact via a vacuum cooling method with a proprietary, environmentally friendly refrigerant.
This edition’s Grand Final was held in Krakow at Impact’19, one of the most high-profile economic events in the CEE region. The panel of judges and wider audience consisted of investors, industry representatives, clean energy experts and international media. 14 start-ups took part in the competition, having won their respective Country Finals to gain entry to the Grand Final. Participants came from Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey and Greece. Romania was represented by Green Spots, a multi-functional smart city solution – an urban solar charger and platform.
“It’s worth emphasising that the PowerUp! competition isn’t just for energy companies: it’s also open to solutions focusing on mobility, clean air technology, heating, cleantech and smart technologies. What distinguishes us from other competitions is that, apart from financial prizes, participants can rely on our comprehensive support, mentoring and entrepreneurial know-how to help take their products and services to the next level” – says Jakub Miler, CEO of InnoEnergy Central Europe.
Both the Grand Final and respective Country Finals were preceded by two-day bootcamps run by renowned coaches and business mentors. Here, participants had a chance to verify their business models, align these with market expectations, and improve their presentation skills. However, the main incentive for many to take part was the opportunity to be invited to the prestigious Highway® by InnoEnergy accelerator programme, one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Europe, offering investment of up to 150 000€ and close access to InnoEnergy’s expertise as a start-up continues its development.
For the first time in the competition’s history, an additional Clean Air Challenge Award was granted at this year’s edition, open to companies demonstrating innovation and pioneering thought in clean air initiatives. This distinction was awarded to Roofit.solar from Estonia that introduced a new type of solar panel, which combines the everyday roofing material with photovoltaic modules. The award was sponsored by Veolia, a reputed company for creating, developing and implementing solutions, which contribute to the sustainable development of cities and industries.
The panel of judges consisted of Jakob Ruiter, CEO InnoEnergy Benelux and representatives of the PowerUp! partners: DTEK, RAFAKO, ZSE Energia and Enerjisa Enerji A.Ş. There was also a panel of representatives from previous InnoEnergy success stories, including HYGEN, Gradis and Skeleton Technologies.
InnoEnergy is supported by the EIT, a body of the European Union.