The race for efficient, implementable alternative energy solutions was evident this week at EnergyVest, the startup competition which took place during the Eilat Eilot Renewable and Clean Energy conference, in Eilat November 28th. The event was organized by Israel NewTech, Capital Nature and the Israel Export Institute. Winners of the first prize, an all expenses paid trip to the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, went to Electroad, which is developing a solution for the large scale adoption of pure electric buses.
The keynote speaker at EnergyVest was Dr. Philip Ulbrich, Vice President Innovation Scouting and Co-Investments at E.ON SE in Germany. “The two days in Eilat provided me with a profound view into the Israeli cleantech start-up world. I was amazed by the number of both customer and innovation driven proposals and even more by the many founders I met personally to exchange openly and trustfully on perspectives for further collaboration. I will definitely come back as this was one of the most effective visits I made so far,” says Ulbrich.
“It was an honor to have Dr. Ulbrich take an active part in EnergyVest, he is a world leader in the effort to drive alternative energy innovation,” says Moran Buganim-Gold, head of the energy arena at Israel NewTech. “We also received great feedback from the attendees and the panel of international judges, who arrived from Japan, Europe, the U.S.….all around the world.”
“The fact that two major European utilities had opened innovation hubs in Israel this year, proves the Israeli industry has a lot to contribute to the global energy transition, and not only in ‘traditional’ energy fields but also in new energy arenas such as big data and cyber security,” adds Buganim-Gold.
Following EnergyVest, we spoke with Electroad Founder Oren Ezer: “When Hanan Rumbak and I founded Electroad our motivation was help rehabilitate our planet, and bring it back to the state it was before emissions had such a harmful effect on our environment,” explains Ezer. “The technological solution is based on an air core transformer, which is an old concept invented years ago. However, using this concept for powering an electric vehicle on the move was never tried before. Making it implementable and financially viable is a challenge that only a handful of companies in the world are trying to address. We are solving this infrastructure challenge and already in 2017 we will be conducting a working pilot in a major city in Israel.”
The international panel of judges at EnergyVest was impressed with Electroad’s solution. The Israeli government has also been very supportive, providing grants through the Office of the Chief Scientist and other avenues, according to Ezer.
“Electroad’s solution stood out, both because of the potential it has to make a major positive impact on the environment, but also because of their concrete and advanced business plan,” says Oded Distel, Head of Israel NewTech, at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry. “Overall the 10 companies which pitched at EnergyVest included a very nice variety of arenas and technologies, including transport, grid management, solar power and more. It was great to see promising Israeli startups active in so many arenas of renewable and clean energy.”
“We’re confident that the connections made for Israeli startups at EnergyVest with international and Israeli investors will be fruitful, and we will continue to broker such cooperation in our ongoing work on behalf of Israel’s clean energy arena,” concludes Oded Distel.
Click here for the EnergyVest 2016 catalog of companies.