January 3, 2020 1 PM

What do start-ups really need, mentoring or financial investment?

The fifth edition of the PowerUp! competition is now done and dusted. Since its foundation, the competition has seen a total of 900 start-ups from 24 countries throughout Central-Eastern Europe take part. It is hugely satisfying to see so many ambitious businesses developing their ideas on an international scale, all helping guide us towards a safer and more sustainable future.

We enjoyed hearing from a number of our successful start-ups at the PowerUp! Grand Final at Impact’19 in Krakow. In their presentations, Latvia’s Hygen, Poland’s Gradis and Estonia’s Skeleton Technologies gave some great insights into how InnoEnergy has helped them to truly spread their wings, by developing their expertise in areas such as people management, adapting products to market requirements, prototype enhancement, sales, industrialisation processes and financial investment. But don’t just take our word for it, watch the start-ups’ presentations yourself.

A question we often hear is whether mentoring or financial support is more important for start-ups looking to get their ideas off the ground. At InnoEnergy, we believe that these two things complement each other, and that both are crucial for achieving success. Money is obviously important, but it isn’t everything: equally crucial to a young company’s development is establishing a network of business contacts and absorbing knowledge from experts and mentors. Without the right business management skills and proper market awareness, it’s extremely difficult to ensure financial capital is used in the right way. That’s why a key focus of PowerUp! is to encourage cooperation between start-ups and large corporations, with the idea being that both sides will gain from collaborating with one another.

And when we talk about innovation, we think beyond just the energy technologies themselves. Over the next 25 years, InnoEnergy's assets will generate 1.147 GWh of energy from renewable sources, thus saving EUR 809.5 million. Furthermore, these activities will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a total of 5.5 million tonnes, which is the equivalent of removing 47,000 cars from the roads. At the end of the day, our goal is to find solutions that will help us live and work in a cleaner, more energy-efficient world. This was central to our thinking for this year’s edition of PowerUp!, with our emphasis being on promising projects in the areas of energy, mobility, clean air, heating, cleantech, and smart technologies. We also placed a special focus on the topic of clean air, as it represents an essential part of our day-to-day activity.

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