energy2050: Startups for the Energy Future – Eologix wins the VERBUND Startup Pitch


The VERBUND Startup Pitch was the highlight of the second day of energy2050, the VERBUND energy conference: Five energy-related startups faced an audience vote, and the winner of the € 25,000 grand prize is Eologix, a startup from Graz that supplies sensor solutions for wind turbine rotor blades.

In summer 2015, VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity company, conducted a pan-European search for start-ups in fields concerned with renewable energy production, energy efficiency and management, control solutions for the Smart Home, energy-related services for private or commercial customers, or e-mobility. Around 60 start-ups from all over Europe entered the competition, and the five best candidates faced an audience vote in the context of the VERBUND energy conference energy2050.

"Digitalisation allows for revolutionary changes in the energy sector," asserted VERBUND Chairman of the Board Wolfgang Anzengruber. "Established energy providers have energy-industry savvy and enjoy the trust of their customers, but we need young, innovative enterprises in order to shape the future of the energy market together!" VERBUND Chairman of the Board Wolfgang Anzengruber elaborated. "All the start-ups that presented here today were excellent and have introduced important business models for the energy future. The winning start-up convinced us with its simple but highly efficient solution!"

Winning Start-up Eologix from Graz
With almost 50% of the vote, Eologix, a startup founded in Graz in 2014, was the clear winner of the VERBUND Startup Pitch and, with that, the € 25,000 grand prize. Eologix supplies flexible, adhesive sensors for monitoring surface conditions of wind turbines' rotor blades. "Through precise measurement – are the rotor blades dry or wet, or even icy? – downtime can be significantly reduced, up to € 20,000 per year saved, and facility wear avoided," explained Thomas Schlegl of Eologix. Between 70,000 and 100,000 wind turbines worldwide are affected by icy conditions and are thus potential Eologix customers.

The 4 other startups:

BitFlux from Munich stands for "Efficient Energy Transformation," presenting a software solution that regulates electric motors and motor sensors.  Through the deployment of the BitFlux microcontroller AIM +, motors are rendered less expensive, more efficient, and more resistant to failure. "Using a need-based control system allows for an average energy savings of 15%," stated Sascha Kühl from BitFlux.
was founded in 2013 and describes itself as "SAP for Electric Charging Stations." They offer a software solution with expanded accounting functionality for the management of charging stations. "Electromobility is already too complicated to be successful!" Martin Klässner underlines the current complexity of the accounting system. The business concept is thus cloud-based accounting for major operators of e-charging stations. The startup has signed contracts with 2000 charging stations in the last three years.

"Renewable energy has to get sexy!" This is the motto of Smartflower, a startup founded in Güssing in 2010. "The all-in-one Solarsystem with sun-tracker is a mobile solar power station that directs itself toward the sun with the help of sensor controls and thus takes optimal advantage of the sun's energy. This yields up to 40% more energy," explains Thomas Daubek. Smartflower offers different versions for private and commercial customers and is also used in humanitarian efforts.

Sunfire focuses on generating fuel out of CO2, water and solar energy. The company, founded in Dresden in 2010, offers systems for producing renewable, synthetic fuels as well as high-temperature fuel cells for generating electricity and heat from various liquid- and gas-based fuels. "All our activities promote the use of renewable energy sources," emphasised Nils Aldag.

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