Review GIIF 2017

Steam from Denmark wins the race at the Green Innovation and Investment Forum 2017

Photovoltaic systems for streets, puristic E-Bikes, walls of moss against pollution: On the 8th of March 2017 Start-ups from whole Europe present forward-looking porducts and solutions, which should save raw materials and the envionment at the Green Innovation and Investment Forum in Stuttgart. Three outstanding ideas received a „GIIF Award“.  Around 130 visitors attended to the event in the Steinbeis Centre for Management and Technology in Stuttgart-Plieningen.

Stuttgart. 20 international and green Start-ups, who asserted themselves against 50 applicants, had the chance to present their ideas to an expert audience on the Pitching day at the Green Innovation and Investment Forum (GIIF) 2017. In addition they could establish important contacts to companies and investors. At the end of the day, three innovative ideas were rewarded.

The french Start-up HySiLabs received the GIIF Scientific Support Award. With its emission-free and hydrogen-based liquid fuel they presented a expandable innovation for the hydrogen economy of the future. The munich Start-up CAALA GmbH with a software for life cycle analysis and energy demand calculation could be pleased with the GreenTech-Award Early Stage. With their software it is possible to model negative environmental effects like greenhouse emissions and acidification, as well as to optimize construction costs with a calculation tool.

This year, the danish team Heliac ApS was rewarded with the main prize, the GreenTech-Award Advanced Style. With their idea of a high-powered, light-bundling foil, which enables a cost-effective and scalable use of sunlight for energy production, even at low-luminious places, they convinced the expert jury. The GreenTech-Awards were presented by Ulrike Steinbrenner, representing the sponsor of the Awards, the foundation for energy and climate protection Baden-Württemberg (Stiftung Energie & Klimaschutz Baden-Württemberg).

The day started with keynotes, one from an investors perspective and one from a founders perspective.

Jochen Wermuth from Wermuth Asset Management explained in his keynote, why he loves to invest in the green area. It is not all about earning money, rather he wants to support the, out of his view, absolutely necessary “Green Industrial Revolution.”  For the innovations, which are required to stop climate change, he centres more on Start-ups than on established companies. There is a need of disruptive technologies, which are easier to follow if you don’t have to keep up the Status-quo of ongoing operations.

Bas van Abel, founder of the sustainable smartphone Fairphone and laureate of the german environmental award 2016 provided an authentic and honest insight in the inner life of a Start-up. With the company foundation a creator suddendly has to deal with issues like a business plan, fincancing, production planning and marketing. The complexity of these new challenges might lead to a personel feeling of helplessness and overload. On top of that you have to take disgreeable decissions. Therefore it is important to recognize, that lots of creators and founders are struggling with these kinds of growing pains. But at the end the result is worth it, says van Abel.

After the pitches, Wermuth and van Abel suggested to the Start-ups, that they shouldn’t focus to much on the technology or innovation. Instead it is absolutely necessary for the founders to show their motivation and passion and to make it clear for which values their companies stand for.

The day before, within the scope of the Coaching Day, the Start-ups received an intensive coaching concerning their business plans, as well as the financing and patenting of their ideas. In the Pitching Battle they could test their pitch for the next day and optimize it with the feedback of the consultants.

The organizers and supportes, next to Umwelttechnik BW and bwcon, primarily InnoEnergy and the the foundation for energy and climate protection Baden-Württemberg (Stiftung Energie & Klimaschutz Baden-Württemberg) were satisfried with the third edition of GIIF. Dr. Jürgen Jähnert, CEO of the bwcon GmbH, acclaimed the varied products and ideas, which were presented in this year. „It is great to see, that our Matchmaking-Event becomes more and more international and that the Start-Ups can face a growing expert audience, says Jähnert.

Dr.-Ing. Hannes Spieth, Managing Director of Umwelttechnik BW was especially impressed by the rising quality of the submitted ideas: „In fact it was very tough this year to pick up 20 ideas out of the 70 which were submitted. The number of submissions on the topic energy production shows, how concious and aware the green Start-up-scene is about the energy revolution. The key factors for the success of Heliac ApS were the high cost effeciency of a simple idea and the outstanding scalability of the technology.“

By awarding the Scientific Support Award to HySiLabs Prof. Dr. Claus Lang-Koetz from the university of Pforzheim supports a Start-up in the next month, which will benefit from the scientific monitoring of his institute:” The innovative technology, to produce hydrogen as a spin-off product of the industry, could become very interesting for the future of the hydrogen economy.”, justified Lang-Koetz his decession for the french Start-Up.

Click here to see highlights from GIIF 2017. You can find the programme brochure here.

Video abstract from our partner Stiftung Energie & Klimaschutz Baden-Württemberg (predominat in german).

Video abstract from our partner the University of Pforzheim, Institute of Industrial Ecology, INEC (in german).

Quotations:

“GIIF was a good place to meet potential investors and industrial customers. And to meet fellow entrepreneurs. We got some good leads that would not have materialized otherwise. The one-to-one coaching the day before the event is a great initiative, which I haven’t seen anywhere else at events like this.” Jakob Steen Jensen, Heliac ApS

„GreenTec is still a niche. By connecting us with investors and companies GIIF is doing a great job in changing this.“ Philipp Hollberg, CAALA GmbH