Energy Spin, one of the Vaasa EnergyWeek events, filled the Vaasa University of Applied Sciences festive hall on March 19. The event brought together talented energy startups, investors and executives and offered them a chance for networking and matchmaking.
Chairman and VNT Management partner Jarmo Saaranen listed the leading principles for investment considerations. According to him, the biggest problem in Finland is to get growth financing for young businesses when they are growing. Reijo Kangas, director (growth financing) at Tekes reminded the audience of how important it is to recognize competition, and also of the ongoing application periods for Digital solutions and Sustainable growth. He also advised us to keep our eyes open: any business can be global and big!
Paulo Andrez, President Emeritus of EBAN taught the attentive audience what business angels do and what their goals are. He gave valuable advice for startups from a business angel’s point of view and urged everyone to remember the power of crowdfunding when considering various financing possibilities. He said that startup entrepreneurs always like to talk about potential but when it comes to investment decisions, he sees that the reality is more important.
No one will come and save us
How many of us have thought what the climate change costs for the world economies? We were shown figures by the U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck who, after his strong speech on climate change that made the audience silent, gave a strategy for successfull companies: S.T.A.I.R – speed, transformation, adaptation, imagination and resilience. Some companies in the building business have already partly realized this. The remaining big problem is that we talk about sustainable development without knowing what it means.
Tero Hottinen, General Manager (Business Innovation) at Wärtsilä gave some insights of startup collaboration from a corporate point of view, startups being more agile than the large companies. The challenge of this long-cycle conservative industry is that it takes a long lead-time to cash flow, which makes it difficult to find interested investors.
Enthusiasm and broad competence
Vaasa Entrepreneurship Society had compiled a top 30 list of most promising energy startups in Europe and presented some of them. The most lively part of the event was when a number of startups gave their pitch speeches for the audience: Soil Scout, Hyko, Plantui Smart Garden, Ecois.me, Ekorent, AC2SG, Delektre, Quantum Electric and Lumine Lighting Solutions Oy. A group of startup companies also presented their business ideas for corporate expert representatives.
One of the excellent pitches was that of Jonathan Skelly, CEO of Soil Scout.
Mika Niskanen, Senior Advisor at Tekes, was positively surprised of the companies’ surprising and innovative approaches:
– The examples we’ve heard today all tell about energy saving with pedagogical and even radical solutions and are close to the consumer. EnergyWeek is a splendid and deep event for professionals where people seek partners: there are large value chains and large money going around here.
VASEK’s Marko Koski, main responsible for organizing the event was content with the event and excited about the networking possibilities.
– We had a great combination of investors and startups here today. EnergySpin aims to be a part of a larger EnergySpin-network that combines energy growth companies, investors and corporations to work together during other times as well to support the growth and success of the region.