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Open Innovation in the Energy Sector​

by Anna-Maria Strässner, Energy Startup Day

How startups and utilities can create win-win situations in the energy sector.

The energy sector is essential to our everyday life and is also not spared from the pressure to innovate: The rapid development of renewable energies combined with increasing competition and new actors in the same is forcing large companies and SMEs to be even more innovative and agile. However, since this is often not the nature of large and established corporations, they are increasingly seeking strategic partnerships with energy startups who live and embody these qualities on a daily basis. Startups generate new, innovative ideas and concepts, but they often lack in-depth industry knowledge and the years of customer experience necessary to reach their target audience.

This was also the case for the Chur- and St.Gallen-based startup Eturnity, which developed a professional consulting platform for the sale of energy systems. Thanks to the cooperation with CKW, one of the largest producers and distributors of electricity in Switzerland, the startup was able to develop the first Swiss solar storage calculator together with CKW.

"A strong relationship does not necessarily mean huge capital investments, but it can also be a partnership with win-win scenarios" – Andreas Uthmann, CKW

The two companies initially met at the Energy Startup Day in 2016 and found the potential to collaborate. "We started customizing with CKW, and just two months later, we went life with one of the most innovative products for solar power consultation on the market", Matthias Wiget, Co-Founder of Eturnity, says. He is convinced that "collaboration between startups and utilities makes sense, because startups are the ones who bring in new ideas, while at the same time utilities know the realities of their business and end customers. If we bring these two strengths together, we can create great products". Andreas Uthmann, Senior Manager New Business at CKW, confirms: "A strong relationship does not necessarily mean huge capital investments, but it can also be a partnership with win-win scenarios".

Find out more about the collaboration story between Eturnity and CKW in this video. The next Energy Startup Day will take place on 29 November 2018 at Kraftwerk. The event aims at linking startups, incumbents and new players from the energy sector to identify joint innovation and cooperation potentials. If you want to get to know up-and-coming startups and exciting companies from the energy sector, make valuable contacts and exchange ideas with committed people from the energy sector, sign up now!

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