Are you ready to become the Battle of Green Talent's next winning Entrepreneur or Investor? Read all about last year's winners experience in an exclusive double interview. Here are some insights from Laura, Operations Director of (last years winning team) ReLi and Felix Hübner, the 2021 winning investor!
Laura Laringe: Operations Director of ReLi, winning venture of the Battle of Green Talent 2020-2021
Hi Laura, could you tell us, how has ReLi fared after the Battle of Green Talent 2021 and what are the next steps?
After the Battle of Green Talent we developed the venture further and entered different contests and business challenges taking home a couple of wins along the way. The prototype of our product is expected to be ready by the end of October '21, and we have found a partner for a pilot project starting in December. So exciting times for ReLi coming up!
How did the BOGT help ReLi develop?
The basic idea for ReLi was developed during the ESADE business school that I participated in as an EIT InnoEnergy student. But the Battle really allowed us to redefine the business idea and finetune it. We got so much out of the feedback and we have learned a lot throughout the competition. I should also give a big shout-out to our advisor from Engie, who helped solve some key technical questions.
What advice would you give the entrepreneurs or talents of the next edition?
To just go for it, as you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Even if you don’t have a detailed business idea yet, you can still shape your idea and meet other talented people who can help throughout the competition. In the previous edition, we merged with another venture in order to leverage the talents of both teams. And even if you’re not in it for the win, there’s so much to gain in terms of feedback, validating your idea, developing the skills needed in your career etc.
Felix Hübner, winning investor of the Battle of Green Talent 2020-2021
Felix, did the participating ventures meet your expectations?
More than that, they exceeded my expectations. I was positively surprised that ReLi and a couple of other ventures were of a surprisingly high level and had a really compelling story to tell. They also had a good team composition and had a good understanding of the market, which are key components for successful ventures.
How did the Battle differ from what you were offered in your MBA studies?
The most important difference is that of perspective. Instead of preparing my own business plan, I got to evaluate ideas. I was sitting at the other side of the table, and that different perspective helped tremendously to improve my entrepreneurial skills. And then of course there’s the fact that in the Battle you have to apply everything you learned in university in a close to real-life setting.
How did the competition help you to advance your career and what is next for you?
Currently I work as an independent consultant for several ventures and the Battle of Green talent helped me to strengthen my skills in various domains, for example how to assess the composition of the founders or to evaluate the market potential of a venture. I am also excited to participate in the Business Booster 2021 event and to meet plenty of promising start-ups. I will certainly explore there the potential to collaborate with high potential ventures if there is the right fit.
Why should people participate in the Battle?
Other than the journey of validating your idea and getting feedback, what’s really valuable is the network you get access to. You come into contact with so many skilled people, whether they are team members or external advisors. That network participants will build is a major advantage because it will help them in their future career. So don’t hesitate to participate in the Battle of Green Talent, you won’t regret it!
Let’s just conclude with that last remark: don’t hesitate to participate in the Battle of Green Talent, you won’t regret it!
EIT InnoEnergy’s student start-up, ReLi, wins the first edition of the Battle of Green Talent!
Since November 2020, 250 students from EIT InnoEnergy Master School and partner business schools have been competing in the Battle of Green Talent, an online entrepreneurial game which came to a conclusion on April 8th 2021. The goal of the Battle of Green Talent was to immerse students in a world of entrepreneurial, innovative thinking, assisted by virtual investors and experienced advisors.
This resulted in 25 sustainable start-ups, created by EIT InnoEnergy Master’s students competing for a spot in the final and the main prize to receive real cash funding of €10 000 and a chance to enter the EIT InnoEnergy student incubator services with a starting fee of €5 000. The winning investor, a role played by MBA students from ESADE Business School, London Business School, Grenoble École de Management and Nyenrode Business Universiteit, took home a prize of €10 000 in cash and a €5 000 travel and expense budget for The Business Booster, EIT InnoEnergy’s yearly state-of-the-art business event.
On April 8th 2021, during the online final event, 6 finalist teams got a chance to show their start-up pitch video and participate in a short Q&A with the audience. After careful deliberation by the EIT InnoEnergy jury, the winning team and the winning investor were chosen and revealed. Also, during the event, the audience could vote for their favourite team, which took home an original public’s favourite award!
The winning start-up of the 2021 edition of the Battle of Green Talent is team ReLi. They plan to manufacture sustainable and affordable energy storage solutions for solar PV homeowners by upcycling retired EV batteries. The team consists of Laura Laringe (Master’s in Smart Electrical Networks and Systems), Krishna Kumar Rathinam (Master’s in Smart Electrical Networks and Systems), Emilia Chojkiewicz (Master’s in Smart Electrical Networks and Systems), Ashish Baskar (Master’s in Sustainable Energy Systems), Mateusz Sierakowski (Master’s in Energy Storage) and Wojciech Godlewski (Master’s in Energy Storage).
The winning investor for this pilot edition is Felix Hübner, MBA student at Grenoble École de Management.
Congratulations to all winners and participating students and advisors! You made this first Battle of Green Talent a success!
A special thank you to this year’s Battle of Green Talent sponsor, Engie, as well as partners Venture Spirit and ASEM and the external advisors.