Six new energy startups join our accelerator program07.07.2020
The six startups were chosen from among the 1,275 proposals received in the 9th Entrepreneurs Fund call for proposals. After an extensive evaluation and selection process, which due to COVID-19 was carried out entirely online, nine companies were chosen as finalists in the early round. From among those, a jury of experts selected six which will become a part of the Repsol Foundation's accelerator program.
The projects selected will receive up to 120,000 euros for one year. In addition to the economic support, they will also have a team of mentors that will guide them through the acceleration phase. Also, one of the highlights of this accelerator program is the access to Repsol professionals and the possibility of carrying out prototype tests in industrial facilities, which is one of the most valuable aspects for entrepreneurs. This support does not imply that the Repsol Foundation asks for any equity or intellectual property.
This edition has stood out for the quality of the initiatives, especially those focused on emissions reductions through carbon capture, use, and storage technologies (CCUS) and the production and use of hydrogen, or efuels. Additionally this year, several interesting proposals were submitted for improving the efficiency in the energy sector through the application of digitalisation and artificial intelligence. And finally, the six companies that will become a part of the expert accelerator program are:
- Aloxy (Belgium): IoT (Internet of Things) control of critical valves in industrial plants.
- Captive Systems (Italy): nanoparticles for eliminating heavy metals in industrial water.
- Eigen Control Inc. (United States): artificial intelligence applied to distillation operating units.
- EvoEnzyme (Spain): deterioration of plastics through selected enzymes.
- Opus 12 (United States): ethylene production from CO2.
- UniSieve Ltd. (Switzerland): membranes for the separation of propane and propylene that would reduce energy consumption by up to 80% and associated CO2 emissions by 90%.
Selection process during COVID-19
The submission deadline was 4 March, which means that almost the entirety of the evaluation and selection process had to be held online during the COVID-19 crisis. Nevertheless, the Entrepreneurs Fund team, in close collaboration with Repsol experts in technology, innovation, and new ventures, adopted the procedures necessary for ensuring quality during this phase, when all the proposals received are analysed and online meetings are held with the entrepreneurial teams.
This year the startups are from 83 different countries, with 34% being Spanish. The other 66% percent of the proposals come from 37 European countries (32%), 18% from North America (13% from the United States and 5% from Canada), 6% from Latin America, 6% from Asia, and 4% from Africa. It's important to note the increase in startup proposals from the United States, almost tripling the amount received last year. There was also a significant increase in proposals from Asia and Africa, demonstrating the globalisation of this program, which in past years had already supported startups from Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, and Portugal, among others.
Energy transition and society
This project falls within the Repsol Foundation's strategy, which is focused on energy transition and society, and which also responds to Repsol and its Foundation's commitment to innovation and technology as key to becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050.
The Entrepreneurs Fund business accelerator program began in 2011 with the aim of driving talent and supporting the best technological solutions in the energy industry and advanced mobility fields in order to contribute to a more sustainable energy model.
Since its start, more than 7 million euros have been used to support a total of 54 startups, including the newest six initiatives.