The purpose of the PowerUp initiative! is to find the most innovative startups, companies in the expansion phase and small and medium-sized enterprises from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This year, 362 companies from 24 countries took part in the challenge. In Slovenia, three selected candidates, Troia, SmartLPG and Geteco, competed for the title of the best energy startup in the country.
The winner – Troia – was chosen by a jury consisting of Next Move Energy director and carbon neutrality expert Nina Bračko Colja, IT expert and CEO of the Žejn Group and PartIT, Ernest Žejn, prof. dr. Matej Zajc from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, and EIT InnoEnergy representative Szymon Kwiatkowski.
The winner of the Slovenian final of the InnoEnergy PowerUp challenge will also represent our country at the international grand final.
This year’s Slovenian competition took place online on Earth Day – Wednesday, April 22, 2020. “We decided whether to continue the program despite strict pan-European measures to contain the new coronavirus,” said Jakub Miler, Central Europe Director at InnoEnergy. “And that’s why we decided to continue – albeit with online implementation in a safe and responsible way. We want to continue to support innovative companies and thus help them survive, develop and operate successfully at a time when economic forecasts are rather pessimistic. Right now, when many of the channels and resources on the market may dry up for them, we will continue to support innovative entrepreneurs with financial resources, knowledge and valuable partnerships, with the help of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. “
Troia, the winner of the Slovenian PowerUp! Competition, is already successfully penetrating markets around the world with its advanced technological knowledge and innovative thinking. With the help of AR glasses, tablets or phones, the Troia AR platform displays computer-generated key data in real time, thus enabling outstanding improvements in terms of operational excellence and quality at work. It offers endless possibilities and business opportunities for all industries and organizations.
“We are extremely happy with the victory, as we competed against really innovative and good solutions. For us, it represents a confirmation of good and hard work, and above all a confirmation of the quality of our solution. The award will help to further develop our own solutions. We believe that the cooperation with EIT InnoEnergy will bring us additional new opportunities, new contacts and greater visibility, with the help of which we will be able to show our solutions to the wider world public, “said Primož Sevčnikar.
At the PowerUp! Slovenia startup SparkLPG presented itself, which is already launching its own product this autumn – LPG system for newer vehicles by injecting the liquid phase of LPG and achieving the highest engine efficiency, safety and savings. It is the result of long development and intellectual property, achieved by an international business team of Simon Štrancar, Thomas van Veen and Darko Obretan.
Among the three Slovenian startups in the PowerUp! There was also Geteco. The company solves the environmental problem of mixed waste plastics, which is not interesting for recycling for utility companies and concessionaires or processing into new innovative products
“We are pleased that the competition was carried out so successfully in such demanding conditions. We presented three startups with really interesting and ‘scalable’ solutions or products. The teams are realistic, with clear goals and, above all, a strong technological basis. Any of the startups can become a serious player in the international market. Slovenian knowledge and entrepreneurship with a partner such as Innoenergy, which brings a strong network of partners and customers, is the reason for our pride and joy that Slovenians will be global players. Globality may seem a bit more remote in these particular times, but we believe startups will be able to do that. As ABC Accelerator, we believe that the region is suitable for great companies and their growth, ” said Bernard Grum, InnoEnergy’s hub manager for Slovenia.
The winners of the national competitions will compete for the main prizes at the international grand final: cash prizes worth up to € 65,000, the CEE startup title of the year and rich incentives from leading partners such as Amazon Web Services, Revolut and SpeedUp Group. The initiative also offers a way to secure millions in investment and to integrate into EIT’s InnoEnergy network, which provides resources, expertise and a wide network of trusted partners that can help companies thrive and achieve global success. A decision on the exact date and venue of the international grand final will be made later and will depend on the easing of government regulations in the region.