Review GIIF 2016

Green entrepreneurs were awarded prizes for innovative technologies

Twenty selected start-ups pitched their green ideas and met more than 120 people on the Green Innovation and Investment Forum (GIIF) in Stuttgart. This Forum has been initiated by bwcon and Umwelttechnik BW as a joint effort to foster entrepreneurs with their innovative, green ideas in bringing them together with partners, potential investors and coaches. The second edition of GIIF was opened by the minister for the environment, climate and energy sector of Baden-Württemberg, Franz Untersteller. The speech was followed by the keynote of Mr. Alf Henryk Wulf, CEO of GE Power AG focusing on the future of wind energy.

Organic thermoelectric generators (O-TEG) can electrify the internet of things. Any given difference in temperature is used in Otego’s generators to produce small currents that run devices like wireless heating valves in smart homes. The innovation by the Otego team of Fredrick Lessmann is twofold. The organic material used is non-poisonous and does not contain problematic substances like tellurium. The second revolutionary approach is Otego’s manufacturing process. The organic material is printed like ink on thin film, which is rolled up. These layers are cut to sugar cube-sized generators, which are cheaper and less harmful to the environment than usual TEGs. The GIIF-Jury awarded the Early Stage „Green Tech Award“, worth 3,000 Euro plus a five-days coaching on sustainable entrepreneurship. The prize was handed over by jury member Ulrike Steinbrenner from Foundation Energy and Climate Protection Baden-Württemberg that supported the GIIF with this Early Stage and an Advanced Stage Award. The second co-operation partner besides Foundation Energy and Climate Protection has been KIC InnoEnergy, an European start-up accelerator.

In the parallel pitching session other ten start-ups competed for the „Green Tech Award – Advanced Stage“. convinced the jury consisting amongst other experts of the heads of the two initiating organisations, Dr. Jürgen Jähnert (bwcon) und Dr.-Ing. Hannes Spieth (Umwelttechnik BW). Louis Parous presented’s business model of regaining silicon of high purity for the photovoltaic industry. „It allows to close a loop in a highly relevant resource stream and enables a step into a circular economy“ explained Dr.-Ing. Spieth. Dr. Jähnert from bwcon emphasised the jury’s difficulty in selecting the best green tech business idea amongst the strong field of competitors.

For the first time a third award was given by the Institute of Industrial Ecology of Pforzheim University of Applied Science. The Institute offers support through a research project conducted by students and lecturers of the course “Life Cycle and Sustainability”. Mulundu Sichone and his team of Pipe Hydro Energy were selected for the “Scientific Support Award 2016” to bring them closer to investor-readiness. The start-up’s Sichone-Turbine replaces throttle valves in pipes and generates electricity of the superfluous energy used to pump the water.

Click here to see highlights from GIIF 2016. You can find the programme brochure here.


„We are delighted to have won the GIIF Scientific Support Award. It will definitely help us in boosting our product and business development.“  Mulundu Sichone, Pipe Hydro Energy