All news, insights and events
All news, insights and events
All news, insights and events

Student-founded heat storage startup earns spot at MIT Entrepreneurial Competition!

Fresh off their 2nd place win at the exciting battle royal finale of EIT InnoEnergy’s Battle of Green Talent, a group of students prepare to launch their start-up idea! The team known as Enersoul, since their inception last year at the Siemens Energy Challenge, has been testing out their innovative idea in hot competitions around the world. With the 5K they’ve just won in EIT InnoEnergy incubation services, they are ready to hit the ground running with their start-up!



The idea is to develop a high-temperature, sand-based heat storage system that recovers waste heat from the exhaust gases of heavy industries and allows the reuse of that heat. Whether in the industry itself or other systems, such as district heating. Team spokesperson Alex Berezhnoy shares, “The amount of wasted heat (above 500°C) in Europe is over 150 TWh. Companies want to become more sustainable and less dependent on fossil fuels – and our technology would support that!” Team members Jeremy Sintong, José Malhó, Achraf Bechara and Rajkaushik Borgohain are currently doing their master’s thesis on developing the MVP for our Idea, a prototype, so we can have it ready to patent this Fall. He adds, “Enersoul is attracting both early adopters and investors, so at this point, we aim to strengthen our start-up-investor-industry-academic ecosystem. We want to provide a simple, cost-effective high-temperature energy storage unit tailored to our customers’ needs. We want the heat to become a commodity.”

The heat of competition

EIT InnoEnergy Master School knows the benefits of embedding real-life challenges into their innovative master’s programmes, so students can get out there and sharpen their skills while gaining valuable experience. Team Enersoul has seen this first-hand: “We were founded at the Siemens Energy Challenge – hosted by Siemens Energy, EIT InnoEnergy, and their partner university, the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT). From there, we simultaneously competed in the MIT Climate & Energy Prize and the Battle of Green Talent (BoGT) – which has been wild! Both have offered unique perspectives to finetune our idea, and the BoGT has even grown the team by two new members – me and Yusuf Gürkan!”

MIT takeaway

Although they didn’t win, the team really enjoyed competing in Boston at MIT. The MIT Climate & Energy Prize competition is an annual event that invites students and entrepreneurs worldwide to present innovative projects addressing climate change and energy sustainability. Participants have the opportunity to showcase their ideas, receive mentorship, and access a network of experts and potential partners to accelerate the development of their solutions.


“The competition was amazing! We loved the mentorship and the possibility to link with like-minded people from Europe and the USA, and the international networking made possible by this event. The semi-finals in Paris at Station F were exhilarating – and then we reached the finals on 13 April and pitched at “The Engine” (MIT’s venture firm investing in the next generation of Tough Tech), which was a crazy opportunity. Being one of the best 8 teams out of the initial 125 participating and making it to the final at such a renowned competition… it was surreal but motivating to push our idea further!”


2nd place at BoGT

“BoGT was our most intense experience so far. The huge audience, the dark room, and the fear of the red lights when your time is up… absolutely thrilling. We got important feedback from Advisors to refine our Pitch Deck and streamline our research. And the contact-making and feedback were priceless. The BoGT is great as you get both investor and entrepreneur perspectives simultaneously. The competitive environment, considering market evaluations, really pushed our team forward to be better and better. Winning first place would have been the cherry on top – but honestly, our focus was to win the highly coveted EIT InnoEnergy incubation services to put us on the right path for the POC/MVP realisation. It’s an enormous boost to continue our work!”


As the EIT InnoEnergy Masters in Energy Technologies and Renewable Energy students continue their exciting path to get the company going, Alex has some final thoughts to share with those thinking about joining a programme, “EIT InnoEnergy took the seed that was inside us, to start our own business, and has given the right atmosphere to grow it. They’ve provided the opportunity to compete in challenges that catalyse the development of our start-up idea and give us the confidence to grow. They provide exposure to investors and the possibility to find mentors and new team members if needed. We want to thank EIT InnoEnergy for exposing us to this start-up environment and allowing us to leverage the opportunities to grow. It’s been an exciting time, and we have much more to look forward to!”


What idea seed do you have inside you? Maybe it’s time to put it in the right atmosphere to grow – check out our EIT InnoEnergy Master School programmes here!