The ENECHANGE Insight Ventures 2021 scouting period has kicked off, and we are currently accepting applications from start-ups through 15 April 2021. Our programme gives start-ups the chance to break into the Japanese market through introductions to our Subscribers, who are established players in the Japanese energy industry.
Interested in applying, but wondering whether you’d be the right fit? We’ve identified several target areas based on the interest from our Subscribers as well as target areas that the Japanese government have identified as needing investment under their Green Growth Strategy. The Japanese government has structured these under three categories, Energy, Industry & Transport, and Built Environment, with 14 target areas identified under these labels. We selected nine of them, splitting out energy storage and electric vehicles for a total of 10.
These are guidelines, so if your company does not quite fit the segments outlined below and you are interested in participating, please still reach out to us.
Offshore wind (including offshore wind operations and management (O&M))
With Japan having set a target to produce 45 gigawatts through offshore wind by 2040, our Subscribers are interested to learn from those who are currently committed to this segment.
Solutions related to renewable fuels, including hydrogen and ammonia. Regarding hydrogen, this includes hydrogen power generation, fuel cell (FC) trucks and water electrolysers. Japan is aiming to make hydrogen a major power source by 2030, and is said to be investing up to 2 trillion yen to do so.
Industry & Transport
We are looking for strong solutions for energy storage: this includes next generation batteries in particular, as well as hydrogen storage. The Japanese government has set a target of reducing prices of battery storage to 10,000 yen or less per kilowatt hour by 2030.
Electric Vehicles (EV)
Promoting EV usage is specifically of interest. For automobiles, we are looking for services that will accelerate the spread of electric vehicles and products that will transform the way we use cars. Examples of alumni in this space include 2019 winners Connected Energy, who received investment from Sumitomo and ENGIE, and EVBox.
We have broadened this category for this edition, and are looking for a variety of solutions that make use of big data, AI/ML, IoT, etc. This includes solutions for green data centres.
Solutions for smart transport and green logistics. That includes electrified and automated transport and low CO2 emission transport systems and services. The aim is for all new vehicles sold in Japan from mid-2030s to be hybrid or electric, phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles.
The Japanese government is making carbon recycling a key component of their 2050 net-zero strategy. Hence, we are keen on solutions for carbon recycling in industrial activities, including carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).
Home & Office Building
A broad area and one popular with our Subscribers. OhmConnect, one of the winners of the 2020 edition, is included in this category. We are aiming for solutions for residential and office buildings, including energy management and control solutions for EVs, batteries, HVAC, and more.
Solutions for sustainable local communities, to help further sustainable businesses and the phasing out of fossil fuels. This includes resource recycling, with a focus on biomass and biogas, as well as waste power generation and heat use.
There is keen interest to develop decarbonised businesses, slowly weaning us off our reliance on carbon-heavy businesses. Hence, we’re looking for solutions to promote decarbonised business in the region. Think:
- total management of housing and mobility, ensuring flexibility through this
- proposing eco-friendly lifestyles based on behavioural science and AI
- networking of housing and buildings
- creating a J-credit trading market using blockchain
- EV and battery sharing and their antecedents
- evaluation and reporting tools
Prerequisites for applying
Although there are no set criteria in terms of company size and funding, we typically look for those who are Series B ($5M USD or greater) or later, with 25+ team members. You should be an incorporated energy or sustainability sector company or a company with a product relevant to the sectors, that is generally commercialised and set to expand.