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Our industry thrives when we embrace disruption

Innovation and innovators (and disruptors) have a fundamentally important role as enablers of the energy transition. However, the current energy crisis is having a profound impact on many of our efforts to switch to a low-carbon, secure, affordable energy system, creating unexpected challenges, but also opportunities across various sectors, including the innovation sector.

Customers drive the most important change caused by this crisis,” says Freerk Bisschop, Venture Partner at Inven Capital. “High energy bills and the ambition to be less dependent on hostile suppliers of fossil fuels are augmenting the already existing preferences for sustainable solutions.

What the energy crisis has done is put into sharp relief that the time for talking is over and now concrete action is required. This sense of urgency (not panic) is a powerful force and may well be part of underpinning the emerging trend of the growing interest in investing in energy deeptech (often hard tech) ventures, particularly from the VC community.

Our Purpose Freerk Bisschop      Our Purpose Pia Dorfinger

'We are now having that big push to implement innovation to reach net zero,” says Pia Dorfinger, Director, Start-ups Ecosystem at Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena).

There is a strong appetite in the market for new technologies and innovative ways to tackle the energy transition. However, according to Dorfinger and Bisschop, the main focus should be on scalability: “It’s important to look at the solutions that we already have there and scale them because there’s so much already at our fingertips that is ready to be implemented and deployed. We just need to accelerate scaling it,” says Dorfinger.

The emphasis lies on immediate scalability, a clear path to profitability and open protocols. Even long-horizon innovations maintain traction or accelerate (nuclear specifically),” says Bisschop.

When it comes to investments, the perspective is also positive. A recent analysis of deeptech investment showed that European deeptech start-ups are tracking to raise more in 2022 than they did in the previous year. And out of the top 10 fundraisers in 2022, 3 went to companies focusing on tackling climate change.

We are witnessing that many companies are sharing a common ‘deeptech’ approach that makes investments more likely to be performed,” says Raimondo Pili, Corporate Partnership and Investor Relations, Plug and Play Tech Center.

They combine breakthrough science with new approaches in machine learning, data science, and cloud computing to speed up innovation when it comes tackling climate change.”

Our Purpose Raimondo Pili        Our Purpose Doerte Hirschberg

In addition to technologies, innovations and investments, start-ups have what it seems to be a secret sauce: their people. The combination of technical knowledge and accurate entrepreneurship skills is a key success factor for start-ups.

We are focusing on hiring professional talent with a technical background in many areas including artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer processing and architecture innovations, computer vision and speech algorithms, electronic systems, power electronics, material engineering, and more,” says Pili.

In a recent interview with Enlit, Doerte Hirschberg, General Partner at Climentum Capital, emphasized that the team they have is the main differentiator between it and other VCs. “We really are diverse and we know how to evaluate technical solutions,” says Hirschberg. “We believe that you cannot solve the climate problem only with software, so you need to go deeper.

Cleantech or climate tech start-ups also have the ability to attract young talent. A recent study showed that young people are actively looking for careers that have a positive impact on society, with many being attracted to the energy sector for this reason.

Our Purpose Initiate ProgrammeThe Initiate programme at Enlit Europe is THE platform that connects innovative clean tech start-ups with VCs and corporates operating in the clean energy space.

At the Initiate Hub, you will meet with start-ups that are bringing top-notch solutions to the market and applying the latest technology to innovations that are tackling the climate crisis. Grab a seat at the table for the fun Four Ds Pitching Festival and stay tuned for the announcement of the winners of the EIT InnoEnergy Career Impact Challenge, as part of Initiate’s Future Energy Leaders programme.

Over 300 students from the most renowned universities in Europe will attend the Future Energy Leaders programme, keep your eyes open and you may even find your next hire in Frankfurt!





At Enlit we are breaking down the silos and bringing industries together. Join industry thought leaders at Enlit Europe this November and discover how, through successful cross-sector collaborations, Europe can speed up the energy transition and achieve energy security.

Let’s meet up in Frankfurt and build on the future of energy together.



Diamond Partner

  • Schneider Electric


Platinum Partner

  • Siemens AG


Gold Partners

  • Baker Hughes
  • Energy Web Foundation
  • Energynest
  • Ericsson
  • Gridspertise
  • Palantir
  • SAP
  • Siemens Energy
  • Solar Turbines
  • Wartsila

Silver Partners

  • Alfen
  • Babcock & Wilcox
  • Capgemini
  • G&E
  • IFS
  • Italgas
  • Landis+Gyr
  • Meters and More
  • Microsoft
  • PRIME Alliance


Knowledge Partner

  • Enel Foundation


Legal & Regulatory Partner

  • Pinsent Masons


Utility Partner

  • Dtek Grids
  • Enel Grids
  • RTE



  • ABS Group
  • AC Boilers
  • Accenture
  • Bergen Engines
  • Cisco
  • Cleanwatts
  • Driivz
  • Efacec
  • EnergyDome
  • Greencom Networks
  • Hive Power
  • Hiven Energy
  • Itron
  • Kaluza
  • Kigen
  • Kore Wireless
  • Kraken Technologies
  • Last Energy
  • Minsait
  • Mytilineos
  • Start Up Energy Transition
  • Oracle Energy and Water
  • Ormazabal
  • Piclo
  • Pietro Fiorentini
  • ProEnergy Services
  • PSM, a Hanwha company
  • Sentient Energy
  • SLM Solutions
  • Sungrow
  • Trilliant Networks
  • Uniper
  • Waterfall Security Solutions


Initiate Partners

  • EIT InnoEnergy
  • Enel Innovation Hubs
  • IMI
  • Rockstart
  • Siemens Energy
  • Start Up Energy Transition
  • TotalEnergies


Industry Partners

  • ANIE Federazione
  • ANIMA Confindustria
  • Avere
  • CHARGE Energy Branding
  • CO2 Value
  • COGEN Europe
  • currENT
  • dena
  • DERlab
  • E.DSO
  • EASE
  • Elettricità Futura
  • Energia Media
  • ETN
  • Eurelectric
  • Eurogas
  • Euroheat & Power
  • European Biogas Association
  • European Energy Retailers (EER)
  • Flow Batteries Europe
  • Generazione Distribuita (Distributed Generation)
  • Hydrogen Europe
  • IEC - International Electrotechnical Commission
  • IPPF
  • Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster (LE2C)
  • OSGP
  • Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico - RSE SpA
  • SmartEn
  • Start Up Energy Transition (SET)
  • T&D Europe
  • VDMA
  • VGBE Energy