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A workweek in a weekend for starting energy entrepreneurs

Last weekend, the Startup Fast Track Weekend took place in Groningen. After the first selection, fifteen energy startups received an intense training and coaching, providing their energy idea with an enormous boost. The weekend also functioned as a selection for the Startup Fast Track program. At the end of the weekend, at least seven energy startups earned their place, and will receive personal customized coaching, networking possibilities and chance on receiving €10.000 in funding.

Based on their investor pitch, business model canvas, progression made in the weekend, scalability, business potential and impact on the energy transition, Clean Tech Aviation, Energie-company, Enflex, Envitron, Grun2, GRIDCORN and Sound Energy have deserved their place in the Startup Fast Track program.

Led by top-facilitator Neil Sheridan, the energy startups were challenged to search those necessary qualities a company and its entrepreneur should have. During the weekend, it became obvious that there had been much focus on the initial idea of the startups themselves, and its technology. The startups had not yet focused on their potential market, and shaping their optimal business models. According to coach Maurits Alberda, “Startup Fast Track is focused on scalable innovative ideas. We ask startups the right questions to find out what they need in support, and what is needed for their optimal growth. How large is their market? How can you reach the market? What is their potential revenue? What is their business model? Where is the business in three years? How much investment do you need to reach your goals?”. With such questions, the startups and the experts from Startup Fast Track, worked a workweek last weekend.

 The group of energy entrepreneurs existed of students, alumni, PhD’s and more experienced energy professionals. And according to Alberda ‘’All participants are very motivated entrepreneurs with great ideas and determinant to make a success out of it.’’ The entrepreneurs had to be critical and motivating towards each other during the pitches and presentations. During the weekend this led to different mutual matches. Besides this the energy startups received interesting feedback from potential customers. All this together ensured that participants received eye-openers from players of the energy industry. For example, Jeroen Beks, the Development Director for Benelux and Germany, of ENGIE gave a lecture of the industry perspectives on the energy future.

In Startup Fast Track, Energy Academy Europe is facilitating a collaboration with ENGIE, Hanze UAS, Value050, University of Groningen Centre of Entrepreneurship, VentureLab International North and EnTranCe. The previous edition created a business acceleration for 15 energy startups. The second edition of Startup Fast Track takes place until the end of June 2016. For more information, check www.startupfasttrack.org.

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