The event consists of the investors panel and startups pitching.

During the investors panel we discussed with
Freerk Bisschop, Director Energy, Rockstart,
Ernst Sack, Partner, Blue Bear Capital,
Robert Neivert, Venture Partner, 500 Startups,
Marc Sabas, Principal, Centrica Ventures,
Fernando Sandoval, Manager Enel Innovation Hub Europe, Enel,
Girish Gopal lyer, Digital & Analytics at Shell, Shell,
Alexander Starchenko, Managing Partner, FirstImagine! VC, Tomas Kemtys, Partner at Contrarian Ventures, Konstantinos Maramenos, Origination Manager, Brookstreet Equity Partners, Temple Fennell, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Clean Energy Ventures.

Moderator: Christopher Gentle, Senior advisor, New Business Ventures, World Energy Council.

the following topics:

  • impact of Covid in climate change and energy startups
  • rethinking portfolio companies priorities: cash runway vs. product advancement vs. sales
  • corporate VC vs Financial VC: what Covid has surfaced having them in startup's cap table.
  • successful pivoting with current portfolio companies.
  • startups side: Israel versus Europe versus USA versus China.
  • In the pitching session, we will listen to carefully selected startups and investors will give their feedback to each startup.
during pitching session, investors listened to carefully selected startups and will give their feedback to each startup


Tomas Kemtys, Partner, Contrarian Ventures
Tomas is responsible for overall fund strategy including fundraising, deal sourcing and execution, structuring, investment process and thesis building as well as recruiting, amongst others. Tomas sits on a number of Boards of Contrarian Ventures portfolio companies. Prior to Contrarian Ventures, he was an investment banker with Centerview Partners, a leading independent New York based investment banking and advisory firm.

Contrarian Ventures is an early-stage European Venture Capital fund focusing on a major transition in energy sector. Contrarian Ventures is building the firm that defines this new energy category in Europe, where Seed and Series A funding gap is the most acute in the energy and electric mobility Sectors. The fund has already invested in 15 companies across the globe including the UK, Norway, France, the USA, Lithuania, Estonia and Israel.

Freerk Bisschop, Director Energy, Rockstart
Freerk has been engaged in building innovations and enabling growth in sustainable energy since the 1980s. In material science, utility strategy and business development, corporate and government consultancy, green electricity entrepreneurship, rapid international scaling, business restructuring, private equity and project financing, informal investment, crowdfunding and community initiatives.

Ernst Sack, Partner, Blue Bear Capital
Ernst is a Partner at Blue Bear Capital, a VC investor for AI-related technologies in the energy industry. Blue Bear investments accelerate the profitable deployment of wind, solar, and energy storage, while making conventional operations more intelligent.
Ernst has participated on the Boards of Directors of over a dozen energy companies, including Shoreline, Mission Secure, Omnidian, and Element Analytics. Before Blue Bear, Ernst spent nine years at Riverstone, the world's leading energy private equity firm with over $35 billion in assets under management. He previously worked in M&A covering energy and transportation.

Robert Neivert, Venture Partner, 500 Startups
Robert is presently a Venture Partner at 500 Startups and a CEO of a startup. Previously he was an executive for startups having founded or worked at eight companies with four exits and four companies still operating. He was CEO for the last two venture-funded start-ups. He also maintains a broad domain of expertise, having held leadership positions in products, marketing, and operations. He is a 500 startups Venture Partner, a mentor/advisor for Cardinal Ventures, Stanford iFarm, and Stanford's Treehacks program as well as an executive advisor for over 15 funded startups, and previously held the position of Executive in Residence at Quest Venture Partners.

Marc Sabas, Principal, Centrica Innovations
Marc is investment principal at Centrica Innovations, the corporate venture capital unit of energy and services company Centrica, where he leads the European team sourcing opportunities in the energy startup space. He has led three investments including Minut and Mixergy.
Previously he spent five years at Telefónica where he co-founded an innovation unit called Internet para todos. He identified and partnered with technology companies disrupting the telecommunications space to provide mobile internet in remote areas, partnering with companies such as Project Loon (GoogleX) and Facebook Connectivity.

In parallel, Marc was an investment adviser at venture capital fund Mundi Ventures. He helped structure and launch its fund management firm as well as raise two separate early stage venture capital funds. He was also an executive advisor to Mundi Lab, an insurtech startup programme sponsored by (reinsurer) Munich Re, which selected 20 startups across two batches.

Fernando Sandoval, Manager, Enel Innovation Hub Europe
Since 2008 Fernando has been involved in different activities within the Innovation Areas of Group Enel and Endesa, with focus since 2012 on the scouting and collaboration with startups and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, having been appointed manager of Enel Innovation Hub Europe in July 2017. This Hub is member of the network of ten spaces Group Enel has opened around the world in order to develop its relationship with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and identify those startups able to solve the innovation challenges of its divisions. Previously to Endesa, which he joined in 2001, Fernando worked for 8 years in managerial positions in the areas of Customer Operations and Marketing in the Telecommunications and Food & Beverage Mass Consumption industries. Fernando holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de los Andes (1991) and an MBA degree from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (1996).

Enel, Girish Gopal lyer, Digital & Analytics at Shell, Shell

Alexander Starchenko, Managing Partner, FirstImagine! VC
Alexander Starchenko is a renowned expert in the energy, power and utilities industry innovations, strong leader with the wealth of experience in investment banking, business strategy, corporate finance, digital grid transformation and capital project & infrastructure management and optimization.

Konstantinos Maramenos, Origination Manager, Brookstreet Equity Partners
He serves as a BoD Member (NED) at Brookstreet's current portfolio companies. He previously worked at Kantor Management Consultants, the leading Greek advisory house (formerly a Booz & Co. affiliate), where he focused on corporate restructurings and business optimization projects as well as on privatizations for the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED). Konstantinos started his career in Nestle engaging in business controlling and supply chain activities. He is an alumnus of the University of Piraeus, GR (MBA) and the London Business School, UK (Masters in Finance) and was further trained at the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA).

Temple Fennell, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Clean Energy Ventures
Investor and advisor for companies at the intersection of technology and sustainability, Temple Fennell brings more than 20 years of experience investing in clean energy and sustainable innovations. Temple is a member of the CREO Syndicate, a group of family offices committed to making clean energy and climate investments. He is also the co-founder and co-director of the World Economic Forum/Harvard education program "Impact Investing for the Next Generation" at the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership. The program educates family office members on how to consider impact investments as part of their direct investment strategy. Temple also helps lead MIT's "Visionary Investing" workshops, conducted in China, England and the U.S., and is a member of MIT's Sustainable Finance Group.