Energy efficiency & energy transition & low carbon economy

Veolia and InnoEnergy start a unique acceleration program for energy startups. The next U-START call for startups is organized in partnership with InnoEnergy, the largest European accelerator in sustainable energy, with already more than 160 ventures in its portfolio.


The joint call addresses startups proposing innovative and sustainable business ideas in the fields of energy efficiency, energy transition and low carbon economy. These new concepts should be deployable in commerce and/or industry sites, ecodistricts and municipal utilities, with focus on service provider topics (“B2B”).

More specifically we look for the following solutions:

Energy efficiency measures

Innovative technologies that lead to cost effective energy efficiency in commerce and industry sites or municipal utilities, possibly with optimization management of industrial streams and resources, including new concepts of energy recovery and storage

New services addressing energy transition and low carbon economy

Innovative services related to e.g. waste2energy, energy storage, renewable energy, CO2 recycling etc

Offers to manage energy systems based on digital solutions

e.g.  smart metering and data acquisition, blockchain etc

The candidates will have to demonstrate what the business relevance of their concept would be within 3-5 years, including the societal and environmental benefits.

The goal of this initiative is to start cooperation with up to five game changing startups. The ambition is to accelerate the time to market of the innovative concepts through the support of InnoEnergy and Veolia in a “co-creation” mode. In particular, the intention is to test the concepts on the industrial and commercial sites of Veolia in Germany, providing first references in a real environment.

Joint offer

The support package for a up to two year incubation program contains seed money, business coaching by InnoEnergy which will be complemented by industrial mentoring and some additionally seed money by Veolia. On top of that, there will be offices available for you in the startup ecosystem of EUREF-Campus in Berlin.

The following three packages are available to the startups depending on their maturity level – in total up to about 180 k €:

  • ​Business model challenge: proof-of-concept and feasibility study incl. laboratory tests and business case validation. 
  • Technology and team development: infrastructure or incubator services for getting support towards tests on industrial sites including protecting IP.  
  • Market uptake and investment-readiness: direct investment to boost your growth including large scale demo project and marketing concept.

For the successful startups it is possible to pitch for another financing round with InnoEnergy after the Highway-Accelerator. 

Why apply?

  • Up to two year mentoring program and cooperation with TWO leading institutions with strong market experiences
  • Veolia: world leader in environmental solution deployment, as your industrial mentoring partner
  • The allocation of a seed funding to perform a field validation of your innovation
  • InnoEnergy: business development partner giving you support in business model & product development etc.
  • Taking advantage of Veolia and InnoEnergys’ expertise and client base to form your business ideas into a market solution
  • Up to two year office location on the EUREF-Campus, a very inspiring innovation campus in Germany
  • Networking with our young and innovative startups


Who is eligible?  

Startups with a business related to Veolia services working in the field of energy, circular economy or water services. You should have already found a viable business model and made a first MVP. You also should be full-time committed to your venture. Participants can opt to relocate key staff to our Co-Working facilities at the EUREF-Campus Berlin: InfraLab Berlin during the program’s duration.


How to enter the call?

Participants have to submit an online entry (one pager) via [data privacy information] until March 31st, 2017. There is no fee to enter the call. The most promising startups will pitch in front of a jury composed by top management from InnoEnergy and Veolia. Up to five startups will be invited to participate in the acceleration program.
The decision of whether to cooperate with a startup depends on its strategic alignment with the Veolia priorities, their potential value & its prospects for commercial development. 

We encourage you to contact us before applying if you need more information. Please contact Laura Drexler via [email protected]



Our U-START team

For further questions please contact Laura Drexler via [email protected].



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