Just weeks into the US landing programme and Ramon Molera, CEO of the InnoEnergy supported start-up Nnergix, says that it has been a career- and life-changing experience. ‘The US is the place to be for start-ups, investment and innovation.’ says Molera: ‘But you have to be ready for it’!
Nnergix is the first company to be placed on the InnoEnergy US landing programme. The programme uses the strategic alliance between InnoEnergy and The Incubatenergy Network, a consortium of 15 clean energy-focused independent incubators across the US. The InnoEnergy US Landing programme matched the business needs of Nnergix with the capabilities and offerings of Powerhouse and ended with a tailormade program for the startup.
Nnergix was seen as an ideal candidate for this intensive stay with Powerhouse. With a strong European presence, Nnergix’s products, the renewable energy forecast solution and the extreme weather alerts platform called Sentinel, are highly relevant to the US market. ‘We want to expand our industry network in US – both because of a sales focus but also for investment purposes,’ says Molera. ‘But it is not easy! You can’t do this alone.’
Powerhouse, is a key player in the clean energy transition, originating as an incubator for solar and related technology startups. Nnergix has gained access to extensive programming and activities and the cutting-edge resources required to scale and deploy US activities, including access to mentorship and feedback, funding opportunities and introductions to complementary SME’s and strategic corporate partners.
A key aim of the InnoEnergy US landing programme is to support European start-ups to bridge the differing commercial and regulatory landscapes in Europe and the US. At Powerhouse, Nnergix has already received legal advice on the process for setting up a US subsidiary. The opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the US and other international entrepreneurs and start-ups on the Powerhouse programme has also been hugely beneficial, ‘the entrepreneurship ecosystem here is incredible,’ says Molera.
InnoEnergy extensively prepares and offers continual support to its companies on the US landing programme, enabling them to make the most of their experience and forge long-term relationships.
‘We are new both in the Bay Area and the US market and it is very important to stay connected with relevant people in the energy industry,’ says Molera. Through Powerhouse, Molera has even had the opportunity to meet Dick Swanson, founder of the famous American Solar PV company SunPower!
‘Being at Powerhouse is a great opportunity to grow and move forward. They are helping us a lot with networking, introductions as well as product feedback,’ says Molera.
Opportunities can arise quickly: that’s why Powerhouse requires all accelerator companies to create an up-to-date investor-ready pitch deck. There is a strong emphasis on 90-second pitches, key to making the point quickly and effectively to potential customers or investors.
The US landing programme also offers access to EPRI, an Incubatenergy Network partner that conducts electric power industry research, development and demonstration projects and can provide entrepreneurs with strategies and potential collaborators and customers. EPRI members represent 90% of the electric utility revenue in the US and has participation from 35 countries.
And in under a month, the future is looking bright for Nnergix: ‘We are currently launching a beta here in the US with the aim of releasing a first commercial version of the product beginning next year.’ says Molera.
‘We have just been accepted by another American accelerator/investor focused on the energy industry. Without the InnoEnergy US landing programme that brought us here, we might not have even been seriously considered for the Elemental Excelerator – that first step to the US has been critical”
Elemental Excelerator accelerates and invests in just 12 companies per year, and in 2018 Nnergix will be one of them.
For more information on the US Landing Programme, contact Cheryl Fragiadakis