More than 520 participants from startups, venture capitalists, business, government, academia and media met at Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam to pitch breakthrough technologies and hear from thought leaders and global executives on entrepreneurship and the energy transition.
Energy Fest was hosted by Shell, DSM, Eneco, Rockstart, Sungevity and Salesforce during Startup Fest Europe, a week-long festival of events across The Netherlands to help startups grow faster. As the only Startup Fest event dedicated to energy, it aimed to inspire connections and future collaborations between startups, investors and corporate innovators: all with a shared interest in tackling the transition towards a world with more energy and less CO2.
Collaboration, courage and determination
Yuri Sebregts, Executive Vice President Innovation, Research and Development and Chief Technology Officer at Shell, gave the opening address on The Innovation Challenge: Accelerating Technology Advancement. Yuri described the energy challenge as “so enormous that no single company or knowledge institute can solve this in isolation – so let’s work together, not only to generate ideas but also to drive them to full deployment.”
Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President European Commission Energy Union, shared The European Commission’s Vision on Energy Union Innovation. Vice President Šefčovič described courage and determination as critical to establishing a successful startup before summarising the Energy Union’s vision, policy, financing and technology pathways.
Showcasing new ideas and innovations
The audience then split as some startups made final preparations to compete in a Startup Pitch Competition and others took their places in a Startup Café to showcase their business ideas and innovations.
Coordinated by Energy Fest co-hosts Shell and Rockstart and moderated by Jan Michael Hess from Ecosummit, the Startup Pitch Competition saw 15 shortlisted companies compete across three categories: Big Data and IT in Energy; Renewable Energy and Storage; and Innovation in Oil and Gas.
Opening remarks from Energy Fest co-hosts Eneco, DSM and Shell set the scene for each competition round. Each startup had three minutes to pitch their business challenge to a jury of energy sector investors and corporates, plus a live audience. Following their pitches, each startup faced a three-minute question and answer session with the jury and audience.
Throughout the day, the Startup Café welcomed 75 startup companies who demonstrated their innovative products and services to venture capitalists, potential customers and accelerators.