There is an interesting trend going on in the accelerator industry with an increasing number of accelerators moving into verticals: health, mobile, IoT and now also energy. The rationale is simple: Building a network of mentors, clients and partners for a program specific to an industry can make or break a startup.
Inspired by the potential for change in the traditional energy sector, Rockstart has launched the first Smart Energy accelerator in Europe kicking off Jan. 2014 in Amsterdam and supporting 10 startups that integrate ICT with energy systems.
Rockstart Accelerator was founded in 2011 and so far has had good results in the tech and media space: Seventy percent of its first batch was funded by investors like Greylock, Vitulum Ventures and renowned angels.
In return for an equity stake up to 8 percent, selected smart energy startups get access to an international mentor group of over 60 entrepreneurs, experts and investors and receive €20,000 in cash and an additional in-kind investment of €45,000, consisting of office space and services (e.g., legal, accounting). At Demo Day, they pitch to over 300 investors, executives and journalists. Afterward, the program focuses on fundraising and PR, and it ends with an international road trip to several energy hot spots. Applications close Oct. 31 at 11:59 PM.
What type of startups?
Rockstart believes entrepreneurs are crucial in dealing with today’s economic, social and environmental challenges. They focus on startups in:
- Smart homes, meters and grids
- Collective and decentralized energy generation and distribution
- Awareness and energy reduction
- Energy trade