Berlin Bootcamp - Calling all startups with innovative solutions in the energy sector to apply!

5th May 2016
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This article is sponsored by GIZ.

Buildings that double up as thermal batteries at the flip of a switch may seem like science fiction but they’re now close to becoming a reality. In fact, the energy sector overall, and energy technology in particular, is innovating like never before. One example is Tesla’s Powerwall, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that stores electricity for household consumption, as a backup, or for load shifting. The Powerwall has hogged the limelight for being, potentially, the next big disruption in the energy storage industry.

Energy-technology innovators are leveraging developments in software and consumer electronics, semiconductors, big data, IoT, and related fields. And the widespread adoption of these emerging technologies is all set to improve how the world produces and consumes energy.


If you have a world-class idea related to innovations in the energy sector with proof of concept or proto-type, apply to the Berlin Bootcamp being hosted by GIZ India and Social Impact in Germany in July. (Last date 31 May.)


Why it’s an opportune time for Indian startups in the energy sector

Companies and countries worldwide are attempting to consciously reduce reliance on a carbon-driven economy. India too has committed to cutting down carbon emissions by 35% by 2030. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of reducing oil import dependence by 10% by 2022. And at the first India-US Startup Konnect held in Silicon Valley in September 2015, a number of energy-sector startups were part of the 30 Indian startups showcased at the exhibit. These included startups such as: Boond Engineering, a Delhi-based social enterprise that offers affordable and clean energy to rural India; Gram Power, a Jaipur-based startup that enables villagers to produce and store renewable energy and helps them integrate and generate energy out of biomass, solar or wind on-site.

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The role of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and global exchange programmes

Public Private Partnerships that boost sustainable economic development are fast becoming an important tool for many private sector entities. In India an increasing number of large corporates and startups are looking at partnerships with public entities to create meaningful impact. Corporates and startups have realised that partnering with the public sector can open up new business opportunities. Even countries such as Russia, US, Germany have expressed their interests in exploring new avenues with India in various sectors including energy.

Last year, in 2015, at Hannover Messe, India was a key country partner at this industrial fair, where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined the importance of economic collaboration between the two countries and the chances for future cooperation in their welcome speeches. Taking this vision forward, is the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a federal enterprise that supports the German government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation.

Guided by the strong belief that extensive cooperation with and within the private sector is key for sustainable and inclusive economic growth, GIZ, Bosch and Intellecap came together to launch a Strategic Alliance in 2015. The joint work under the alliance aims at creating an engagement mechanism, strengthening incubation capacities and creating opportunities for corporates, incubators and innovative start-ups to partner. GIZ also aims to work with other corporates interested in strengthening their partnerships with incubators & startups/social enterprises and welcome them to join the alliance.

As part of the Strategic Alliance, GIZ along with its partners is conducting a bootcamp which will be hosted in Berlin, Germany from 18 July to 27 July 2016 and is calling for applications from innovative startups operating in the Energy space.

What the Berlin bootcamp is all about

The bootcamp is being hosted by GIZ India and Social Impact Lab (an incubator fostering social innovation in Germany), along with their partner organisations – SAP, Bosch and Intellecap. If you are a startup in the energy sector and looking to take the next big leap in your entrepreneurial journey, here is a chance for you to benefit from the diversity of the cohort and accelerate your venture.

Up to 10 selected startups, (5 German, 5 Indian) will get to participate in the 1.5-week-long bootcamp at the Social Impact Lab in Berlin.

The bootcamp will bring together entrepreneurs from Germany and India, mentors, corporates, technology experts, and other key stakeholders to discuss ideas, help gain new knowledge and get inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Berlin – the heart of all startup activities in Germany. At the bootcamp run at the Social Impact Lab in Berlin over a period of 10 days, startups will get an opportunity to develop products or services further, validate business plans, exchange ideas, develop synergies and build globally competitive businesses. Startups can capitalise on enterprise showcase opportunities to corporates including Bosch and SAP and also leverage the opportunity to collaborate with corporates beyond the bootcamp for further support in the areas of mentorship/ infrastructure/ technology. All the program related cost for the participant (1 from each selected startup) will be borne by GIZ India.

To apply for the bootcamp, startups must meet the following criteria:

  • Committed to make an impact in the energy sector – be it digital, social or technology innovation/clean and sustainable energy innovation/energy efficiency innovation.
  • Offer innovative and creative product/service ideas and solutions.
  • Clear evidence of market demand for the product or service demonstrated by performance data from at least a pilot or proof of concept.
  • Business growth model demonstrating potential for delivering scalable social and/ or environmental impact.
  • Clearly defined interest in cross-border collaboration and demonstrated potential benefit from and to the bootcamp.

The applications will be evaluated by renowned organisations such as Asha Impact, Infuse Ventures, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Selco, Bosch, Intellecap & the Innovationszentrum für Mobilität und gesellschaftlichen Wandel.

If you are excited about participating in the Berlin bootcamp, apply now! Read more about the bootcamp here.

Last date for the submissions: 31 May 2016.

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