Rockstart, the global Startup machine, today announced a partnership between Rockstart’s Smart Energy Accelerator and Czech utility company CEZ. Over the next three years, CEZ will invest in the Smart Energy Accelerator fund and act as a sponsor of the program, providing experience and market knowledge to Smart Energy startups and, more importantly, where appropriate, help startups with expansion to CEZ’s market or provide direct involvement in piloting or testing new products.
Headquartered in the Czech Republic, CEZ is an established, integrated energy group with operations in a number of Central and Southeastern European countries and Turkey. Ranking among Europe’s top 10 largest utility companies, CEZ’s core business is the generation, distribution, trade in and sales of electricity and heat, trade in and sales of natural gas, and coal extraction. Today CEZ has several initiatives focused on startups including investments in energy startups via CEZ’s corporate VC fund INVEN CAPITAL. In addition, CEZ supports the CZECH ICT Alliance export association, which sends 5 startups to Silicon Valley for 3 months every year.
CEZ’s global head of Innovation, Ladislav Barta explains, “Rockstart concentrates a large number of ideas. As a company operating in dynamic energy markets, we are always seeking new ways to keep up with the latest trends and technologies and believe Rockstart is the place where they are born. We want to be present at the very moment these ideas are being shaped, tested and launched.”
Freerk Bisschop, Program Director of Rockstart Smart Energy adds, “The addition of CEZ to our roster of Smart Energy partners is a huge win for the program. CEZ’s desire to look at the future trends of the energy business while immersing themselves in startup culture shows they’re serious about pursuing innovation at every level. We hope some of our Smart Energy entrepreneurs will find their way to CEZ’s markets and be investment targets for their VC fund INVEN CAPITAL.”
Rockstart’s Smart Energy Accelerator launches 17 February 2016.
Click here to learn more about the program.