2 min reading

Visit SET Festival Berlin

Start Up Energy Transition (SET) is a leading international platform supporting innovation in energy transition focusing on making the link between inventive business models and political will. The initiative connects start-ups, international venture capitalists & investors, and partners in the public sector to promote innovation and make global energy transition a success. SET is an initiative of the German Energy Agency (dena) in cooperation with the World Energy Council.


The SET platform entails the annual SET Award and SET Tech Festival, which this year took place at the WECC in Berlin. The SET Award is a competition for start-ups and young companies worldwide who are working on ideas affecting global energy transition and climate change. There are six different categories applicants can present their projects in: Low-Carbon Energy Production, Intelligent Grids, Platforms & Cyber Security, Energy Efficiency, Smart Devices & Storage, Innovative Mobility. Elia Group Innovation has interest in all of those subjects so getting a better view on which startups are working in these fields was really enriching.

At the SET Tech festival, which brings together start-ups and outstanding entrepreneurs in the field of energy solutions, in addition to innovation-driven corporates, investors, and public organizations leading the energy transition, the three most promising start-ups in each category pitched their business ideas. Of course, there were also other speakers on stage. Personally, I really liked the speech of Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa, on how start-ups can contribute to the long term energy industry innovation. As well as the panel discussion on smart cities, where Martin Roemheld, head of e-mobility services at Volkswagen AG, explained how the mobility and electricity sectors are growing closer to each other and that there are several opportunities and challenges in this interlinkage.


Furthermore, I also got the opportunity to do some speed dating with the startups of my interest and to walk through the exhibition with several booth of startups, accelerators and investors. As the SET Tech festival is really focusing on companies that are supporting the energy transition, the amount of interesting and valuable interactions was quite high. There was often a match between the startup and one of the on-going or future innovative projects, which the Group Innovation team of course takes action upon later on. For example, the startup Gridmind, which I met for the first time in Berlin, might be selected for the Elia Group Open Innovation Challenge.


As responsible for the start-up interaction at Elia Group, I have been to several start-up events already, but I have to say that the SET Tech festival surprised me by the quality and maturity of the startups and other organizations I have met there. So, congratulations to the organization team and to the award-winning startups of 2019. I will be happy to participate again next year!