Energy in the future and entrepreneurship – EIT Digital Summer School

Under the heading “Smart Energy Systems & Entrepreneurship,” the international summer school of the EIT Digital took place from July 27 to August 7, 2015 in cooperation with the KIT Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation (EnTechnon). The goal of the summer school was to promote innovations in the energy sector. Around 40 participants from around the world participated in the two-week summer school in Karlsruhe.

Through expert lectures and workshops, master students, scientists, and young professionals dealt with the energy systems of the future and potential business ideas in this segment such as new energy systems, e-mobility, or storage systems. One highlight of the summer school was the excursion to juwi in Wörrstadt. In addition to a guided tour of the company grounds and a tour of the wind facilities, Matthias Willenbacher, co-founder of juwi, was available to answer participants’ questions at the founder’s talk.


The focus of the first week of the summer school was on energy-relevant topics. During the second week, potential business ideas were created in various workshops. These ideas were then developed in small groups lead by mentors. At the end of the summer school, the teams presented their developed business ideas during a seven-minute pitch to an expert jury. After long consultation, the jury named the ‘Multi-Family Homes Flexibility Monetization’ team the winner. Participants were also able to rank each other. In this ranking, the ‘Power Check Plug’ team received the most votes. The final pitch ended with satisfied teams and enthused jury members.


Looking back, the participants draw a very positive verdict. Anca Solacolu of the KTH Stockholm explained, “After my Bachelor’s degree, I thought that I would never be able to build a company – because I lacked the entrepreneurial skills. My Master’s degree at KIC Inno Energy and the summer school helped me a lot in developing these skills.” She valued the cultural and information technological exchange during the summer school and was able to gather valuable experiences. Simon Salis of University of Brighton also sees the summer school as a positive experience and responded to the question of whether he would recommend the program straightforward with, “Just two words: Yes, 100 percent!”

Energy startup “Easy Smart Grid” convinces at EIC ICT Labs IDEA CHALLENGE

As part of the energy turnaround, energy startups are growing increasingly important. At the IDEA CHALLENGE 2014, innovative ideas from the energy sector were also asked. The competition was held by the European Institute for Technology (EIT) within the framework of the Europe-wide EIT ICT Lab. Several teams from all over Europe competed against each other in the category “Smart Energy Systems”.  Apart from monetary prizes, the winning teams will also receive support from EIT ICT Labs Business Development Accelerator. The ten best teams out of all submissions presented their ideas on October 31st in front of an expert jury comprised of industry representatives, investors, and entrepreneurs in Berlin – the award-winners in all eight categories were awarded a prize.

ESG_Logo_RGB_150The startup Easy Smart Grid GmbH was among the happy winners and was awarded the third place in the category “Smart Energy Systems”. The team convinced with a technology for the cost-efficient integration of renewable energies into electrical networks. “We are happy that an independent expert jury has awarded our technology, with which electrical networks become receptive for renewable energies in a simple, safe and cost-oriented way,” said Dr. Thomas Walter, KIT alumni and founder of Easy Smart Grid. Apart from a monetary prize of 15,000 euro, the startup can also look forward to expert support.

SEC Easy Smart Grid (7) EIT ICT Lab_600

Picture Source: EIT ICT Labs

We congratulate Dr. Thomas Walter and his team for the award and wish them a lot of success for the further development!