5 reasons to join the European CleanTech Challenge 2013


If you are an early stage CleanTech start up and are thinking about taking part in this year’s competition, we wanted to share with you 5 good reasons why we think this is an amazing initiative for you to take part:

1. Funding

If you are a start-up looking for funding, this is really a unique opportunity to pitch to top investors (Angels and VCs) in Milan, London, Frankfurt, Paris, New York and San Francisco. Every investor Arena Meeting is attended by, on average, 75 selected investors. Many of the start-ups that went through this program in previous editions have successfully closed one or more rounds of funding. One of the finalists from last year is now incubated at 500 Startups.

2. Coaching/Mentoring

If you have already gone through start-up bootcamps in your career you might be doubtful whether there will be any value in attending yet another one. Having gone through the program ourselves, we really think there is something special about this one. The group / one-to-one sessions held by Bill Barber and his team at Maverick Angels are top quality. They really focus on helping you improve the pitch and provide some great insights on how to approach investors and fine-tune your 10 slide presentation.

3. Networking with other start-ups

You will have the opportunity to meet and bond with start-ups from different tech fields and countries. Going through each stage of the program you will meet great fellow entrepreneurs and share ideas, experiences, feedback and insights that can be extremely valuable.

4. Intesa Sanpaolo Partner Network

Being the second largest Italian bank, with a significant presence abroad, Intesa Sanpaolo reaches out to a large network of partners, service providers as well as large corporate organizations. These contacts can be extremely useful for start-ups looking to grow their business. The focus is on funding, but you will get much more out of it (media coverage, meeting potential partners, customers.)

5. Free to Join!

There is no fee to join and the submission only takes a few minutes to complete. We really think that, if selected, you will benefit hugely from the program!

If you have any question or need any further clarification, feel free to send us a message at franck.lada@skipso.com. All the best on your submission and we hope to see many of you at the first bootcamp weekend in Milan on October 12nd .


European Cleantech Challenge’s International Investor Roadshow : Who Are The Investors ?

         Many thanks to all of those who have taken their time to submit their entry ! We have received some great submissions so far and it will surely be a tough task for the judging panel to select a shortlist. Let us remind you that, if you haven’t done so already, the NEW submission deadline is next Sunday, August 26th at midnight GMT.

Today, we would like to give you some details about the International Investor Roadshow. For those of you who have already registered and/or submitted ideas, you might be wondering : Who am I going to meet in this International Roadshow ? Who are these “top investors” I will get the chance to pitch to in Arena Meetings ?

         Well, here are some names of Venture Capital firms and Business Angels who participated in last year’s editions of the European Cleantech Challenge.  We hope this non-exhaustive list will reassure those who have registered to the challenge and will encourage those who haven’t done it yet !

European Cleantech Challenge : What happened to previous participants ?

Are you still hesitating on whether you should participate in the European Cleantech Challenge or not ? Sure, meeting business angels and VCs in an International Roadshow sounds like a great idea. However, is it worth the travel time and cost spent for all these Arena Meetings? Well, let’s take a look at what happened to Agroils Technology, a renewable energy company who participated in the Cleantech Challenge. Last March, we were glad to report that the Italian start-up, based in Florence, Italy had raised about $1.5 Million (€1.1 M) in the venture financing round. The investment was provided by X-Capital S.p.A. ($1.2 M/ €0.9 M) and Italian Angels ($0.27 M / €0.2 M) – Source: Biofuels International, Italy.

Agroils Technologies focuses on innovative processes enabling the production of superior quality biofuels, animal feed and molecules of pharmaceutical interest from no-food Jatropha energy crop. The Italian company intends to use the proceeds from the financing to develop its technology to produce biofuel, protein biomass for animal feed and Jatropha. Their solution has already helped many Jatropha farmers to optimize their production in Senegal, Nigeria and Dominican Republic.

This is only one of many success stories of start-ups that have successfully closed their funding round following the program. Give yourself a chance to succeed as well : www.europeancleantechchallenge.com ! Please note that registration and submission deadline is August 24th.

European Cleantech Challenge 2011 : profiles of last year’s finalists

The European Cleantech Challenge is part of Intesa Sanpaolo Start-Up Initiative, a comprehensive program aimed at start-ups looking for concrete business development and fund raising opportunities. Every few months, a rigorous selection and training process leads the best start-ups to high-profile, technology-specific events called Arena Meetings, where they can pitch to international top investors and corporations in Milan, Frankfurt, Paris, London, San Francisco and New York.

This week, we would like to report the profile of the 10 start-ups that have been selected by Intesa’s expert judging panel in the 2011 edition to take part in this year’s International Investor Roadshow (series of Arena meetings). Today, we will focus on 8 start-ups who were identified as the best CleanTech startups among 30 participants in the European Cleantech Challenge 2011.

For more information about any of these startups please contact Intesa Sanpaolo or send us an email at carole.nguyen@skipso.com


Founded in 2010 in Italy, A+ Sun Systems designs, produces and commercializes innovative high-quality mounting systems for photovoltaic plants on roof tops and grounds. Their solution, a tensile structure to support photovoltaic panels, is capable of being safely anchored to any type of roof, including round shapes, those not robust enough for the weight of ballast or not suitable to be drilled. The company has developed an extremely light, money-saving, quick to mount on any roof and high-quality tensile structure to support solar modules.

Whether in the office, factory or at the installation site, the A+ Sun Systems team enthusiastically creates and applies innovative technical solutions to better serve their clients and make their photovoltaic installations more competitive.


Founded in 2009, Genport is headquartered in Italy and in the US.
Genport is the Italian progressive spin-off of Politecnico di Milano, developer and manufacturer of an advanced, lightweight technology for portable power generation and storage in medical, defense, emergency, telecommunication and industrial applications.

GENPORT combines Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) and Ion Lithium technologies, in order to provide advance power solution to any off-grid external equipment up to 1000 Watt, with superior performance, reliability and satisfy such requirements as long life, design flexibility, high energy density, compact configuration, high cycling, high rate discharge, reducing to zero both noise and emissions and operating in extreme environmental conditions.


Based in France and founded in 2010, Qualisteo is an eco-innovative start-up company taking an active role in the electricity «smart grid» endeavour. Qualisteo is the first spin-off of the Econoving Industrial Chair. Its mission is to help electricity consumers take ownership and control of their consumption patterns, thereby managing and reducing their ecological footprint.
Qualisteo has engineered an innovative and patented solution, the Lynx Wattseeker, which makes it possible to measure and tell apart, predict and control power consumption of multiple devices from a single measurement point, in real-time. Qualisteo products and services enable cost efficient, non-intrusive and meaningful measurement of electricity flows by usage and efficiency, in any building.


Established in 2010, Pontoon Power is a Norwegian company. The company’s primary purpose is to develop electric power production based on offshore wave power by means of their patent pending wave power converter, the Pontoon Power Converter (PPC) for operation in open ocean.

The 15-20MW Pontoon Power Converter is a floating wave energy converter based on working pontoons, hydraulic pumping cylinders, hydroelectric turbine and generator mounted on a patent pending ballasting and load-bearing structure, with slack moorings suitable for a wide range of water depths and many offshore locations.

In October 2011, the company was ranked as the “Best Cleantech Start-Up 2011” at the first Arena meeting that took place in Milan, Italy.


Established in Italy in 2011, Underground Power ‘s mission is to become a leader in production of energy harvesting devices based on linear motion. Their main objective is to develop and market their patented, innovative product LYBRA which is an energy harvesting device similar to a flat speedbump that recovers the energy wasted by vehicles brakes in decelerating lanes, reduces the speed and produces electric energy.

Underground Power offers a solution to traffic problems, providing a product that reduces vehicles’ speed by converting into electricity the kinetic energy wasted by brakes, achieving both road safety and traffic CO2 compensation.


Founded in 2011, Voltalink develops and commercializes innovative solutions for solar panels Metering, Automation and Supervision (“MAS systems”). The Italian company’s objective is to develop, produce and commercialize a family of electronic products and information technology services to remotely monitor and safely manage each single panel in real time inside a photovoltaic installation to assure the highest energy productivity and reduce maintenance costs and safety risks.


Founded in 2011 in Sweden, this company is an expert in the photovoltaic sector. Their mission : finding innovative ways to improve the absorption of light in silicon solar cells at a reduced cost. They have developed next generation anti-reflective coatings for solar cell that drastically increase the amount of light a solar cell can absorb (up to 15% more efficient than existing techniques). Their patent pending technology has already received multiples cleantech awards and has been identified as one of the most promising cleantech innovations of 2011.


Established in 2011 in Italy, Clean Power Tech has developed a patented low-emission diesel engine that allows substantial reduction in production, maintaining high-engine efficiency. Their innovative solution focuses on a new combustion strategy able to couple intrinsically low soot and NOx emissions resulting in a substantial cut in environmental pollution while keeping high-efficiency and power density.

The European Cleantech Challenge 2012 is Live!

Intesa Sanpaolo is pleased to invite you to apply for the 2012 edition of the Cleantech Start-Up Initiative, a unique fund raising and business development opportunity for high-tech start-ups.

This program is part of the Intesa Sanpaolo Start-Up Initiative, an end-to-end acceleration platform that combines training, services, access to international investors and media coverage. The initiative, launched in 2009 by one of Italy’s leading banks, has developed a strong track record: 41 investment forums in 5 countries, matching over 270 start-ups and growing companies with over 3.500 investors and corporate players.

Selected start-ups will go through a training and selection phase made available at no charge by key industry players and qualified coaches. The most promising teams will have a chance to pitch their project to a wide audience of financial and corporate investors, significantly improving their fund raising and business development reach.

The program, whose initial phases will revolve around Milan, Italy, is structured as follows:

  • Sep 15-16 – Boot Camp Weekend (Milan): admitted start-ups will receive two full days of training delivered by Silicon Valley investors Maverick Angels, to strengthen their business plan and improve investor communication
  • Sep 17-27 – Remote coaching: each start-up will have a chance to schedule one-to-one skype sessions with our coaches, to discuss pitch details and receive customized pointers
  • Sep 28 – Deal Line-Up (Milan): the trained start-ups will pitch to a panel of experts (industry players, investors and researchers), who will provide structured feedback and select the finalists, which will move forward with the program
  • Oct 2 – Investor Arena Meeting (Milan): the start-ups selected at the Deal Line-Up will have 10 minutes to pitch their project to an audience of investors, corporations and players of the innovation ecosystem
  • Over the course of 2013, the best among finalist start-ups will be given an opportunity to embark in an International Roadshowcovering UKGermany and France, to reach more investor audiences and maximize their chances of success.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, August 24th 2012 . If you are interested, you can submit a Business Plan and/or Executive Summary of your project.

Participation to the program is free of charge (travel and accommodation expenses not included). More information can be found on by clicking on the two links above.

Many thanks and best regards,

The European Cleantech Challenge Team

Cleantech Grants, Awards, Incentives – Monthly Update (October 2011)

The following grants and incentives have been added to the Skipso’s Cleantech grants database:

  •  12 new Cleantech Grants, Awards and Incentives
  •  Focus: 4 R&D Grants,  3 Prizes / Awards, 1 Loan, 1 Installation Project, 1 Production Incentive, 1 Start-up Grant, 1 Other
  • 15 grants and awards approaching application deadline
  • The Skipso funding section has reached 906 Cleantech grants, awards, incentives, all are accessible for free on: http://www.skipso.com/grants/grid.html



Autodesk to Provide European Cleantech Challenge Finalists with €120K worth of Free Software

The European Cleantech Challenge team is excited to announce a partnership with Autodesk, a world leader in Digital Prototyping. As part of the partnership, Autodesk will provide the 12 European Cleantech Challenge finalists with up to €120,000 worth of its industry-leading software applications for free. The Autodesk software is designed to support Cleantech companies in optimizing their product development process, allowing them to significantly reduce the number of costly physical prototypes.

“We are glad to announce the new collaboration with Autodesk. The European Cleantech Challenge aims to identify the most promising European Cleantech startups and to provide them with everything they need to grow their business: mentoring, coaching and especially access to a network of top investors. The Autodesk software package is certainly another great service we can add to the toolbox” said Livio Scalvini, Head of Innovation at Intesa Sanpaolo.

“Europe is in the vanguard of many fascinating developments in the field of alternative energy sources and operates some of the world’s most ambitious programs to promote clean technologies. It is only a logical step for Autodesk to partner with Intesa Sanpoalo and their European Cleantech Challenge“ said Erwin Burth, Director of Industry Development at Autodesk.

We would like to remind you that the submission deadline for this year’s European Cleantech Challenge is July 30th. If you haven’t done so yet, join the challenge today, create an account and submit your entry following the instructions. It only takes a few minutes!

The European Cleantech Challenge Team

About Autodesk

A world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, Autodesk enables customer innovation by delivering the broadest product portfolio for the digital design, visualization, and simulation of real-world project performance. The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program supports early-stage clean technology companies with design and engineering software they can use to accelerate their development of solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

For more information visit www.autodesk.co.uk/cleantech or www.autodesk.de/cleantech.

About the European Cleantech Challenge

The European Cleantech Challenge is a new business plan competition aimed at identifying and supporting the best, most innovative cleantech startups in Europe.

The competition is part of Intesa Sanpaolo’s ‘Startup Initiative’ and will offer winners extensive training, mentoring and opportunities to present their companies to investors in a series of ‘Arena Meetings’ to be held in Milan, Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York and San Francisco.

The competition is free and entries can be submitted by registering on the challenge’s website. Please note that the deadline for submissions is 30 July 2011.