Dutch clean energy conglomerate Koolen Industries has become a shareholder in EIT InnoEnergy, Europe's sustainable energy innovation engine, to accelerate the commercialisation of clean energy start-ups
By joining forces, these major industry players will combine sectoral expertise and broad industry contacts to support technology start-ups that focus on sustainability solutions.
Entrepreneur Kees Koolen, an early investor in Uber and former CEO of booking.com, founded Koolen Industries in early 2019 with the ambition to make clean energy accessible and affordable. Since then, Koolen Industries has invested in a number of projects, such as lithium battery company Super B and smart charging company Floading, to increase the positive impact they can have on the environment.
“Koolen Industries appreciates the value we add to the start-up landscape. By welcoming them as a shareholder, we can achieve synergies,” said Jacob Ruiter, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy Benelux.
“Kees Koolen’s entrepreneurial flare and extensive global network will invigorate our offering and take our existing start-up portfolio to the next level. The investment will help us jointly deepen our engagements with sustainability companies, at a time when the climate crisis continues to intensify. This coming together of two powerful forces will help us speed up the transition to a low carbon future.”
EIT InnoEnergy provides funding and helps start-ups reduce the involved risk and shorten the time to market. In addition to direct involvement, EIT InnoEnergy runs a flagship competition – Global Call for Start-ups – where the very best innovations within the cleantech space can win a seat in one of the support programmes and even a cash prize to support their developments in sustainable energy fields such as renewable energy, mobility and smart cities.
“EIT InnoEnergy first caught my attention when I attended their Global Call for Start-ups finals in 2019, and I was impressed,” said Kees Koolen, CEO, Koolen Industries.
"Our paths have also overlapped on start-ups. We’re both investors in Hardt Hyperloop and Elestor, which is a clear indication that we have the same eye for success. The access gained by becoming a shareholder in EIT InnoEnergy will allow us to invest early in crucial innovations and maximise value as the start-ups we support speed up their journey to commercial success.”
EIT InnoEnergy supports more than 30 start-ups and innovations in the Benelux region and a further 200 across Europe. The business has invested more than €500 million since it was founded in 2010.
Jacob Ruiter (CEO, EIT InnoEnergy Benelux) and Kees Koolen (Chairman and CEO, Koolen Industries)
About EIT InnoEnergy
EIT InnoEnergy is the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe.
We support and invest in innovation at every stage of the journey – from classroom to end-customer. With our network of partners, we build connections across Europe, bringing together inventors and industry, graduates and employers, researchers and entrepreneurs, businesses and markets.
We work in three essential areas of the innovation mix:
Bringing these disciplines together maximises the impact of each, accelerates the development of market-ready solutions, and creates a fertile environment in which we can sell the innovative results of our work.
InnoEnergy was established in 2010 and is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
About Koolen Industries
The mission of Koolen Industries is to enable everyone to contribute to the energy transition. Generating clean energy from wind and the sun, and developing solutions that store, transport and deliver this energy, we provide consumers with an autonomous life, independent of the grid.
Koolen Industries invests in and builds a group of companies that together will make sure renewable energy will always be available, whenever and wherever it is needed. Reliable and safe. Made possible by ingenious software.
In 2019, Koolen Industries announced investments in Super B (lithium batteries), Floading Energy (charging infrastructure), Skoon Energy (cloud platform for renting mobile energy storage and mobile energy storage containers), Elestor (flow batteries), Hardt Hyperloop (hyperloop technology), BonGo Solar (solar panel installations) and Proton Ventures (clean energy storage in ammonia).
So far this year, Koolen Industries has invested in Aziobot, a robotics startup developing a cleaning robot with revolutionary autonomous AI software.