Free Electrons attracts more than 500 startups from 65 countries

March 8, 2018

In the wake of Free Electrons closing its applications it’s time to speak numbers. The first global energy startup accelerator program that connects the world’s most promising smart energy startups with leading utility companies was a success. And the reason why it was a success is because everybody worked as a team, there were no time differences there was only hard-work.

515 startups from 65 countries applied to the program. From these 84 are from the United States of America, the most represented country, 30 from Brazil and 29 from India, closing the top 3. Australia had 24 applications, Spain, United Kingdom and Germany all had 23 and Portugal 14.

Luís Manuel, Executive Board Member of EDP, said “We couldn’t be happier with the applications process. The bar was set very high with 451 applications so we are very pleased to have exceeded that number. Also, 72.1% declared that they are not currently in a fundraising process, a fact that speaks to the overall maturity of the candidates. We believe that this is critical, as we are looking for innovative solutions, that can be adopted and integrated in our companies, and not only fresh ideias”.

When the program was launched the focus was clean energy, smart grids, energy efficiency, management and access, e-mobility, customer solutions and business models and the success of a program is also measured by the startups that apply and if they are a good match and looking at the numbers there are reasons to celebrate – 22% from Clean Energy, 15% IoT and Digitalization, 12% Energy Efficiency and 7% Smart Grid.

Manuel Tânger, Co-Founder & Chief Open Innovation Officer at Beta-i, believes “Free Electrons is all about harnessing potential and generating innovation, while learning in that process! This is a great opportunity for utilities from 8 different geographies to come together and create something unique, tapping into the power that startups are already generating in several different industries. For us, it’s a unique chance to demonstrate, yet again, our vision of how innovation will stem from partnerships between startups & corporates, and how it will become the new normal”.

Last year’s edition, generated an overall financial value of contracts signed between the 12 startups and the 8 utilities of about 2 million dollars, with a pipeline of ongoing opportunities surpassing 12 million dollars. The future is unknown but we’re all about exceeding numbers.