29-06-2016

Energy startups win a total of €50.000 in investments

Clean Tech Aviation, Energie Company, Envitron, GRIDCORN en Synext have been elected winners of the Startup Fast Track 2016, the business accelerating program for energy startups. The winning entrepreneurs will receive a EUR 10,000 investment funding each. Startup Fast Track is initiated by Energy Academy Europe in collaboration with energy multinational ENGIE, Groningen University/VentureLab North, Hanze UAS and the Province of Groningen.

Startup Fast Track focuses on stimulating, accelerating and realizing high potential startups. The celebratory ceremony was held at Venture Lab North, partner in Startup Fast Track last Friday. In addition to the investment, the five entrepreneurs were also invited to take part in the follow up-program of Startup Fast Track, offering a range of specialist consultants who will be coaching them in various aspects of entrepreneurship.

Intensive coaching and connecting to the industry

Turning a business idea into a successful business, takes far more than just a business plan. It requires solid knowledge of and insight into markets, finance, risk management and marketing. And providing candidates with that knowledge is exactly what Startup Fast Track does, with an extensive programme and specialist guidance by experts in the field. The intensity of the programme is not for everyone though, because out the 27 candidates who started in March, only 9 candidates received their certificate on Friday.

During the ceremony, Professor of innovative entrepreneurship and valorization at the University of Groningen and University of Twente, Aard Groen, part of the Startup Fast Track team, stresses the importance of an intensive program: “As an incubator, you need to very assertive, because very often, candidates don’t fully understand what they can get out of programs like these, because you can’t ask the right questions if you don’t have the right knowledge yet.”

“Connections to the industry are also vital”, Professor Groen continues. “That’s why we’re very glad to be working with worldwide market leaders like Engie.”

This was the second edition edition of the Startup Fast Track programme. In 2017 the third edition of Startup Fast Track will take place. Interested in signing up your clean energy startup for next year’s edition? Check out: http://www.startupfasttrack.nl

Photo credit: Wouter Brem

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Carduso Capital receives European funding for innovative companies and startups

The European Investment Fund (EIF) recently joined as an investor in Carduso Capital, a new and independent fund for startups and innovative companies with roots in scientific research at the University of Groningen or the University Hospital (UMCG). Carduso Capital launched last year and with this EIF investment, the total fund has grown to €31 million. For the EIF, this is the first investment in the Netherlands, in what is also known as a ‘Technology Transfer”; investing in funds related to leading scientific research institutes throughout Europe and the stimulation of transferring academic knowledge to startups. According to the EIF, the Groningen region offers more than enough opportunities and challenges to justify investments and stimulate the regional economy.

Hacks & pitfalls: The CLIPON Kickstarter campaign
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Hacks & pitfalls: The CLIPON Kickstarter campaign

On February 16, Leonard Kollen started a Kickstarter campaign for CLIPON, a cool looking bottle that can easily be clipped on bicycles, strollers, golf carts, or basically any object. Even though Leonard’s crowdfunding campaign got a lot of media attention, he wasn’t able to get the funding he needed. He’s not giving up on his great idea though, and is currently looking for investors to make CLIPON a reality. Leonard owns Studio Kollen, focusing on brand identity and marketing campaigns, and he’s also an avid cyclist, so the CLIPON bottle and campaign was really a combination of the things he loves doing. “I wanted a bottle you could take with you on any bike trip, without having to bring a backpack or hang up a suspender. Originally, I was thinking about a bottle with a suspender, but the cool thing about CLIPON is that the bottle is actually the suspender.” “Even though the Kickstarter campaign wasn’t a success, it’s been an incredible learning experience”, Leonard continues. And that’s also the reason he wants to share his story, because people tend to focus on the successes. “There are so many pitfalls and little details, and, regardless of being successful or unsuccessful, these are the things we can all learn from.”