16 April 2019

A hub of activity

The GreenTech Hub greeted over 100 startups, investors, corporates, and other players in the green innovation space at a special launch event on March 28, 2019.

GreenTechHub Event at Finance in Motion

“It is the year of Icarus,” proclaims poet Fee to a spellbound audience. A room full of nearly one hundred guests listens expectantly. “We have flown too close to the sun,” she continues. “Behold your own future, step up, don’t hesitate! It’s good you do now, before it’s too late.”

The audience of entrepreneurs, investors, financial advisors, climate experts, and more had gathered for precisely that purpose: to step up and look to the future. For this was the official launch event of the GreenTech Hub, Frankfurt’s dedicated platform for startups in the green innovation space.

Finance in Motion Managing Director Elvira Lefting and TechQuartier Managing Director Sebastian Schäfer had been particularly looking forward to the evening. The two companies had pooled their combined expertise in impact investing and startup acceleration to establish the Hub as a place for those with high-impact ideas to find support and resources. The evening was therefore not only about showcasing the platform’s momentum so far; it was also about creating connections and supporting the ability of Germany’s financial center to address the challenges of the future.

After Fee’s outspoken call to action, Elvira and Sebastian provided some insight into the environment and goals of the GreenTech Hub. They pointed out that sustainability as a core business model is no longer a niche sector: Today, around a quarter of new German startups are based on ideas that are “truly green.” And their effective implementation, explained Elvira, requires “more than just money. We need to create an enabling ecosystem of innovation. That is why you are here this evening.”

Sebastian agreed on the catalytic power of community. ““In our experience as a startup platform, we have learned that tackling systemic challenges not only requires the latest technologies, we also need to foster a collaborative mindset. That is why community building is one of the key pillars of the GreenTech Hub.”

The audience was then introduced to some of the high-potential startups connected by the GreenTech Hub, including three movers and shakers in the green transformation.

Node.energy was established to help companies implement renewable energy sources into their operations. Although many companies are keenly interested in, for example, installing solar panels onto their own production plants, the necessary regulatory steps can prove an intimidating jungle. The engineers at node.energy have created specialized software that enables users to better take advantage of the endless possibilities of self-produced energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

Right.based on science explained that a major challenge to addressing climate risk is in creating reliable, comparable metrics to gauge companies’ carbon footprint. The startup then showed how their “X-Degree Compatibility” tool combines the necessary legal, scientific, and mathematical expertise to provide a thorough assessment that reveals key areas for improvement, and enables companies to explore the extent to which specific actions contribute to climate change.

Technological innovations continued to impress the audience as Kraft Block introduced their unique energy storage material that is eco-friendly, cost efficient, modular, and highly scalable. For less than the cost of lithium ion storage systems but with 3-4 times more capacity, Kraft Blocks capture the energy produced by, for example, wind farms and solar panels, and store this as heat for later usage as power.
 
After guests were inspired by the environmental and business potential of green innovations, Elvira then encouraged them to continue learning in one-on-one exchange. “For the networking portion of the evening,” she said, “I invite you to begin the conversation with an open question: ‘What can I do for you?’” Attendees took her at her word. The buzz of exchange between entrepreneurs and investors continued long into the evening.

For more information on the GreenTech Hub, feel free to visit the website or follow us on Twitter @GreenTechHub_