SAFT Startup Challenge: Finalists Announced

Silicon Valley leads the world in innovation. No one who visits leaves unchanged.

That’s why on January 28 in Zurich, 10 exciting new ventures from Switzerland will attempt to pitch their way into an accelerator program that includes a startup boot camp, a one-week market expedition to Silicon Valley, and three months of incubation services upon return.

These 10 ventures are the finalists in SAFT – Energy startup solutions for 2050, launched in September 2015 by swissnex San Francisco, Impact Hub Fellowship, and Impact Hub Zurich. The competition targets entrepreneurs in the fields of smart cities, distributed generation, and energy efficiency looking to take their startups to the next level. With SAFT, swissnex and its partners hope to help early stage startups accelerate Switzerland’s transition to a sustainable energy system by 2050.

“When we initiated SAFT with Impact Hub, we were sure that that we’d discover some interesting startups working to realize the clean energy transition but we didn’t realize how many there would be and how compelling their products would turn out to be,” says Laura Erickson, swissnex San Francisco’s Associate Director responsible for sustainability and strategy.

Later this month, with the guidance of SAFT program partners Climate-KIC Switzerland and Swisscom, the finalists will pitch their businesses to a jury of industry experts including Philipp Leo, Entrepreneurship Lead for Climate-KIC Switzerland; Peter Wildhaber, Head of Energy for Swisscom; Greg Stace, CEO of Earthed B.V.; Hans Dellenbach, CFO of Emerald Technology Ventures; and Markus Balmer, Head of Strategy and Innovation at IWB.

The 10 selected startups represent a cross-section of forward-thinking entrepreneurs working to advance clean energy in Switzerland. We wish them all good luck and success in powering their future! They are (in alphabetical order):

  • Adaptricity: Decision Support Software that enables Distribution System Operators to integrate more renewables into their grid while maintaining grid stability and saving operation and planning costs.
  • BATTRION: Innovative fabrication technologies for lithium ion batteries aimed at increasing the charging speed of high energy density cells.
  • CARBON DELTA: Carbon ratings that help investors improve the assessment of climate risks in their portfolios; a collaboration with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the rating agency Independent Credit View.
  • DHP Technology: New photovoltaic system technology that covers sealed surfaces and works like a folding roof. Fully automated and protected against heavy weather, vandalism, and pollution.
  • InSun: Cloud-based, easy-to-use 3D photovoltaic configurator and simulator to design any kind of plant, generating full technical documentation. Also a sales and marketing service where manufacturers can upload catalogs to integrate their supply chain.
  • Joulia: Modular heat exchangers to recycle heat from shower drain water.
  • Solaxess: Nanotechnology film that can be integrated into or applied to white and colored, completely uniform photovoltaic modules.
  • Power-Blox: Intelligent solar energy cube that allows building bottom-up micro grids from scratch, starting with a single cube and extending it to a huge city-grid using swarm electrification.
  • WATTELSE: Automation and optimization software that can analyze building control and energy data to identify where energy and comfort are lost.
  • Youngery: Service that allows residential customers, corporations, and other property owners to benefit from affordable solar electricity with no upfront investment.