Essen/Silicon Valley,

Strong kick-off for global start-up programme

  • Over 450 applications from 51 countries for “Free Electrons” accelerator
  • innogy initiates programme with seven international energy companies

The response was huge and global. More than 450 start-ups from 51 countries signed up for the highly coveted positions to participate in the “Free Electrons” programme. Just a few weeks ago Germany’s leading energy company innogy and seven other international energy companies initiated “Free Electrons”, the world’s first accelerator programme for start-ups in the energy industry. A total of twelve promising technology companies were selected to participate in this year’s programme.

Peter Terium, CEO innogy SE
It’s amazing how much enthusiasm we’ve generated around the world with our initiative “Free Electrons”. This shows that there are incredible numbers of innovative ideas in the energy industry. And I’m really proud that innogy already enjoys such a first-class reputation in the international start-up scene, otherwise we wouldn’t have had so many applications from young, creative enterprises. This is a fantastic achievement in such a short time – particularly because we only launched our own company innogy SE just about a year ago.
Peter Terium, CEO innogy SE

The twelve selected companies hail from completely different regions around the world: four companies come from the USA, two from Israel and one each from Germany, Ireland, Portugal, India, the UK and Switzerland. All of them are working on innovative solutions for the energy market of the future. Yet they work in completely different sectors, including renewable energy sources, e-mobility, smart energy management. One of the members, the German start-up GreenCom Networks from Munich, has developed software for energy companies that efficiently integrates a large number of renewable power plants of varying sizes into the company’s own system. The Israeli start-up Driivz offers innovative, cloud-based software for areas such as e-mobility or grid management.

The twelve finalists are:

Intelligent grids, Smart Grid

Energy management

Renewable energy sources


Cyber security


These twelve companies will be facing an intensive work programme: working with the energy companies who are behind the initiative, they will have the opportunity to test their products and services under real conditions and to improve their products’ market maturity. One key focus of the Free Electrons programme is solving the problem of how young companies can successfully attract new customers – for most start-ups, this is one of their biggest challenges. The programme kicks off in Silicon Valley, continues in Lisbon and Dublin in summer and culminates in Singapore in winter.

The founders of Free Electrons who are collaborating with innogy SE are AusNet Services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), ESB (Electricity Supply Board), EDP (Energias de Portugal), Origin Energy, Singapore Power (SP) and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). Altogether, these companies represent over 73 million customers in over 40 countries. Numerous other energy companies have already expressed interest and signed up for 2018. For more information on Free Electrons, see ourpress release which we issued on 1 February 2017 at the launch of the programme, or see the website