INCENSe (INternet Cleantech ENablers Spark), the only CleanTech and energy accelerator co-funded by the European Commission within its FIWARE Accelerate programme, has closed its first open call for startups. INCENSe was launched by Enel, Endesa, Accelerace and FundingBox with the aim to foster innovation and high tech employment in the European energy sector by accelerating the implementation of CleanTech. INCENSe’s first open call received 230 applications from 30 European countries and Israel. Over 50% of the applicants came from Spain and Italy while 85% of applications were presented by SMEs and the remaining 15% by individual entrepreneurs.
Independent experts and the INCENSe Evaluation Committee, composed by managers from the partner companies that kick-started the initiative, are launching the evaluation process by the end of this month. Said process is due to end in April 2015, with a Pitching Day during which the finalists will present their projects and the 14 first call winners will be announced. The 230 applicants, from which the finalists will be selected, have submitted their online technology platform (FIWARE)-based projects to www.incense-accelerator.com starting from the first call launch in October 2014. Submissions were classified under the following categories: Energy Efficiency & Home Automation, Renewable energy, Renewable Forecasting Solutions, Smart Grids, Energy Storage, Advanced Diagnostic & Automation Solutions, e-Mobility, Cyber-Security or Digitalization of Energy through ICT.
A second open call will be launched in June 2015, to award 28 additional startups. Overall, INCENSe will support as many as 42 startups.
The winning startups will be incubated and accelerated thanks to a non-reimbursable grant of up to 150,000 euros cash each (with no equity considerations) and support services. These services, which will be supplied by INCENSe partners, include: a 6-month acceleration programme, additional coaching sessions, tailored workshops on European funding programmes, access to test beds in Spain (such as Smart City and Zem2All in Malaga), Denmark (such as Next Step City Living Lab in Esbjerg), and Italy, as well as brokerage events during which startups will be able to present their projects to “Business Angel” investors. In addition, winning startups could also be considered for further investments by INCENSe partners.
With an overall budget of nearly 8 million euros and co-funded by the European Commission, INCENSe is coordinated by Enel, Europe’s second largest listed utility by installed capacity. Other partners include Endesa -Enel’s Spanish subsidiary-, the leading electricity company in Spain, Accelerace (Denmark), leading accelerator in Scandinavia, which has experience in growing up startup companies and working with next-generation energy and digital products and services, and FundingBox Accelerator (Poland), the first and largest global public funding platform for startups and researchers. Startups will benefit from the experience of these strong partners, and from the opportunities that Enel Group’s large customer base and global presence could represent for their products and services.
The FIWARE Accelerator Programme is the third phase of the Future Internet Public Private Partnership (FI-PPP) Programme, which was launched by the European Commission in 2011. The FI-PPP Programme has involved key European technology companies in the development of an internet-based free technology platform (FIWARE), with a budget of 400 million Euros for the first two phases. The third phase, counting on an 80 million euro-budget, aims at giving access to the market to products and services based on these technologies, by supporting SMEs and web entrepreneurs, thus accelerating a new generation of European startups and fostering the development of high tech employment.
For further details on INCENSe: www.incense-accelerator.com.