Europe meets in Frankfurt - Get started where the business is

11.10.2017 Kategorie: Aktuelles Hochschule

Around 60 start-ups from nine different European countries were selected to join the competitive Climate-KIC EIT Accelerator Programme in June 2017. The programme encompasses a joint curriculum for all participants with a focus on sustainable business modelling. Further, it consists out of individual business coaching for the startups, a mix of national and international bootcamps and financial support. All nine countries are working together to strengthen the international market for cleantech solutions. The programme is funded by the European Union as part of its Regional Implementation Scheme.

Two months into the programme, the startups came on invitation of Provadis School of International Management and Technology to Frankfurt to connect and work with each other during the bootcamp. On 5th and 6th October 2017, startups from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia learned more about sustainable business modelling and expanding their business to Germany, a market which many of the startups are targeting.  

“It’s great to see this community of ambitious European cleantech startups coming together in Frankfurt”, said Hannes Utikal, lead of the Center for industry and sustainability at Provadis Hochschule, in his opening speech. “Once again, the industrial park Höchst, demonstrates that it is not only a place with great economic history, but as well a hotspot for future business”.

The first day was all connecting the teams and creating a cleantech startup community. Open Innovation specialist Andy Zynga, founder and former CEO of Nine Sigma and future lecturer at Provadis Hochschule, set the scene with an inspiring keynote on why openness and cooperation are key also to startups. In small breakout groups, the startups explored synergies amongst their companies. After a tour through Höchst’s impressive Industrial Park, a table captain dinner in the magnificent Peter Behrens Building, a masterpiece of 20th century industrial architecture, helped connect the European entrepreneurs with relevant experts. The startups had the opportunity to ask questions to table captains relevant to their industries, including the Head of Innovation at Deutsche Bahn or the Co-Head of the Frankfurt School - UNEP Collaboration Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance.

On the second day Annika Förster from the economic development agency of the Federal Republic of Germany German Trade & Invest was grilled by the teams with many questions about how to go about expanding into the German market. The teams then focused on sustainable business modelling for the rest of the day. “In this programme, startups not only focus on their financial results. They have to make sure that they have a positive triple bottom line – taking the economic, ecological and social dimension of their activities into account. The triple bottom line is the core of this programme”, underlines Wolfgang Rams, who was responsible for the curriculum and the content of the bootcamp.

The startups will meet again shortly in Portugal where they will come together for the programme’s second international bootcamp in the beginning of November. Hosted by BGI (Building Global Innovators), a deep technology accelerator, they will focus on getting investment-ready and conquering clients. 

A matchmaking site has been set up to present all participating teams and connect them to investors and further interested parties. The event will hopefully bring them closer to follow into the footsteps of previous years’ programme participants, including for example Sympower from Estonia who have recently raised one million Euros from angel investors and investment fund Enfuro Ventures.