Technology services company Cofely, a subsidiary of energy giant Engie, announced yesterday that it’s going to collaborate with a number of actors in the Dutch startup ecosystem to foster open innovation and to bridge the gap between interesting ideas and pressing real life sustainability concerns.
Cofely aims to achieve this goal by partnering with Rockstart in Amsterdam, Eindhoven University and the Delft-based incubator YES!Delft.
Ralph van Moorsel, project manager innovation and business development at Cofely, said in a telephone interview with StartupJuncture that the vision and dedicated programs of these organizations on creating a sustainable future make them the right partners for Cofely.
The Smart Energy program of Rockstart, launched in 2013, sparked the interest of the technology company resulting in Cofely becoming a shareholder of Rockstart June 15. As a result Cofely is, albeit indirectly, now also shareholder of the startups that enter the accelerator’s program. Besides learning from innovative startups the idea of the deal is that some of the Smart Energy program startups might be interesting for future partnerships or the portfolio of the company.
The collaboration with Eindhoven University involves students, professors and others from the university helping a dedicated Cofely team of 4 to 5 five people to get the ‘Energy Navigator’ solution off the ground and out in the market. Energy Navigator is a tool that provides a quick scan of the sustainability of buildings and how one can take appropriate measures to combat inefficiencies. Van Moorsel: “The Energy Navigator is provided to our existing client base. We think more people can benefit. The objective of the program is ramp up the go-to market strategy of the Energy Navigator so it suits better the ideas and needs of a larger group of future clients”
By sponsoring YES!Delft the company becomes a ‘premium’ partner of the incubator and as such attains close access to its startups. Cofely also sponsors as a main partner the ‘Port Innovation Lab’ program which is run by YES!Delft and the Port of Rotterdam. The Port Innovation Lab program attracts and accelerates new and relevant port-related ideas into start-ups. Van Moorsel: “YES!Delft and the Port Innovation Lab program focus on how we are going to make our industries more sustainable. That exactly what we at Cofely are pushing for.”