According to Ragmar Saksing, manager of greentech field at Science Park and Business Campus Tehnopol, the organiser of the local competition, startups need support in the current difficult economic situation and the PowerUp! competition is a good opportunity for them to make themselves visible.
"InnoEnergy is indisputably one of the strongest organizations in Europe that has helped many startups take off. A good example from Estonia is Skeleton Technologies, which, with the support of the InnoEnergy network, is changing the future of urban transport in Warsaw today with its supercapacitors. In addition to financial support, companies highly value belonging to the inner circle, where the contacts and opportunities created help to make the business sustainable,” added Saksing.
The competition, launched by EIT InnoEnergy, the engine behind Europe’s sustainable energy transformation, received a record number of 425 applications from 24 European countries. Seven startups from Estonia will compete online for the national Startup of the Year title in the local final on April 30 at 16.00, screened online.
The teams will advance to the grand finals in Krakow with a chance to win prizes up to €65.000 as well as other valuable products and services from key partners such as Amazon Web Services, Revolut or SpeedUp Group.
PowerUp! competition is part of the InnoEnergy PowerUp! Challenge program which offers the opportunity of multi-million-euro investment to innovative ventures and the possibility to join the EIT InnoEnergy network. These companies will get a variety of support opportunities such as product enhancement and development, pilot projects, commercialisation strategies, international market introduction, expansion, and further funding opportunities.
“It was a decision call if we wanted to proceed with our event despite the Europe-wide lockdown aimed at containing the COVID-19 virus,” said InnoEnergy Central Europe’s CEO, Jakub Miler. “We decided to go ahead precisely because of it – although doing everything online in a safe and responsible manner. We want to keep supporting innovative ventures to help them survive, develop and thrive at a time when the economic outlook is rather grim. While many channels and sources on the market might dry up for them, with the backing of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology we are here to continue our support of innovative entrepreneurs with financials, know-how, and valuable partnerships.”
The local finalists are:
Vok is a shared 4-wheeled e-bike that replaces the car in dense urban areas. Vok offers functionality that is currently lacking in micro mobility - weather protection, cargo space and ability to carry a passenger.
2. Local Offset
Local Offset offers companies an opportunity to offset their climate footprint in local natural resources - by preserving forests, restoring wetlands, improving agricultural activities, etc. We're building a platform that tokenizes natural resources for their carbon offset and biodiversity, - and, by that, brings transparency and trust to the current voluntary carbon offset market.
We connect data from inverters, meters and sensors of different vendors using existing API-s or 3rd party connectivity devices. This enables us to collect all needed data and help customers manage all their sites at single system – therefore simplifying management, handling and amount of IT-systems. Availability of reliable and usable data is enabling analytics and AI to find efficiency increase opportunities together with means to preventive maintenance and cost reduction.
4. Up Catalyst
Up Catalyst is producing novel carbon nanomaterials in a circular economy process. Nanomaterials are CO2-grown or made from waste materials such as the wastes of wood, pulp and paper industry.
Woola is producing protective packaging out of sheep wool to reduce the plastic waste of e-commerce.
EU bans single-use plastics by 2021; countries around the world have been gradually reducing use of single-use plastic items and shifting to reusable. CUPLOOP delivers collecting robots (software and hardware technology) for Smart Usage Circle of Reusable RFID Tableware and unique reversal NFC payment for deposit return. Solution was tested in small-scale on Tallinn Food Festival in 2019.
SKYCORP has extended flight times for drones from minutes to hours with hydrogen technologies. By automating the entire ecosystem it’s seeking to not only reduce the need for expensive manned aviation, but also land traffic and the related carbon footprint. Creating the Drone Cities of the future allows to aerially extend the access of amenities and services to neigbouring settlements.
The partners of the PowerUp! Estonian final are Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and the Environmental Investment Center (EIC). EIC has also presented an award to the local winner - tickets for the business festival sTARTUp Day 2021. The sixth edition of PowerUp! Estonian country final will be organized by Science Park and Business Campus Tehnopol.