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The New Energy Challenge, with the theme of “Raising the Bar”, has sought out startups developing low-carbon energy solutions.

The startups will be competing for a €100,000 convertible loan and one year of business advice from Shell Technology Ventures, with the winner announced on September 28 at EnergyFest in Amsterdam. The two runners-up will receive a cash prize and the opportunity to enter the Rockstart and YES!Delft accelerator programmes respectively, to move their business forward.

The 20 finalists from Europe and Israel were chosen by Shell Technology Ventures, Rockstart and YES!Delft from a list of 246 entrants.

All entrants submitted ideas for projects that improve the sustainability and innovation of the energy sector by harnessing forces like extreme heat and wave power and making energy storage more efficient.

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The ongoing energy transition – the shift toward more sustainable energy sources – presents a lot of challenges that can be met head on by startups, which were chosen with the future in mind.

“Team is everything, we look for passionate and ambitious founders that want to change the world,” said Evert Jaap Lugt from YES!Delft on the startup selection process. “Next to that we look at ‘what problem are you solving?’, and what unique solution do you have. In addition we look into specifics like proof of validation, total addressable market, customer segment, intellectual property etc.”

The 20 final startups will present their ideas and solutions in a number of different categories. Many of the applicants focused on new alternative forms of energy, added Geert van de Wouw, manager of Technology Ventures at Shell’s New Energy business.

This year’s finalists are:

Solar
Solaris Offgrif (Spain), Heliac (Denmark), SOLHO (The Netherlands), JPM Silicon (Germany)

Hydropower
Arrecife-Systems (Spain), RONAMIC (The Netherlands), CorPower Ocean (Sweden)

Battery
Brill Power (UK), Chakratrec (Israel), Cleanenergypack (Germany), Bamomas (Finland)

Wind
Fibersail (Portugal)

Alternative
H2GO (UK), HySiLabs (France), Noiseless Acoustics (Finland), Nostromo Energy (Israel), Electrochaea (Germany)

Shell, Rockstart, and YES!Delft will help the finalists hone their ideas into viable solutions through coaching sessions, pitch training, and workshops with experts. Rockstart also brings a unique experience to the selection process, having previously run its own Smart Energy accelerator.

“We will help the teams to rethink their proposition in terms of being able to communicate the business value and energy-transition impact, and reshape their pitch presentation (and investor proposition) accordingly,” said Freerk Bisschop, Director of Rockstart Smart Energy. “We’ve also engaged mentors from our Smart Energy ecosystem to provide valuable feedback, support and connections in speed-meetings. And we’ve asked our trusted team-development specialists to run a targeted workshop to identify their team potential and development/growth issues – something that startups always fail to address properly and early enough in their venture journey.”

The final 10 startups will then be chosen to face the jury for the New Energy Challenge at EnergyFest to determine the overall winner.

Two runners-up will win a cash prize and the chance to enter Rockstart’s and YES!Delft’s accelerator programmes.

“The aim is to find the best startups with the highest potential for massive impact,” added Lugt. “The best outcome of the New Energy Challenge is to have at least one startup participating in our Incubation Program – supporting them in building an actual tech company and getting that team to revenue as fast as possible. We will invest our network, time and energy into the teams, to help them accelerate.”