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#SET19 Award 

Hey there innovator! Thanks for choosing to apply to the SET Award 2019. We are excited to see what you have to offer and which energy transition challenge you are looking to solve. Below you will find the category descriptions, along with the general criteria and rules for this competition. We kindly ask that you take the time to read through everything thoroughly, and in case you have any further questions, please write to


Please find the complete category descriptions below. 

Category 1: Low-Carbon Energy Production  

Category 2: Intelligent Grids, Platforms & Cyber Security  

Category 3: Energy Efficiency, Smart Devices & Storage

Category 4: Innovative Mobility

Category 5: Special Prize: Quality Access & SDG-7

Perks & Prizes

For all Participants: join the global platform of innovation leaders; see your views represented in the Energy Innovators Issues Monitor; Inform and influence policies that will boost innovation. 

For the #SET100 2019 (includes Finalist & Winners): the Top 100-ranked applicants will be offered the opportunity to participate and showcase at the 24th World Energy Congress 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Sponsored by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, this incredible opportunity includes travel and accommodation expenses, and a showcase space for invitees. 

For all Finalists: return-flight to Berlin, and accommodation for 2 representatives of the start-up or innovation project to attend the Tech Festival; Pitch coaching; Meet-and-greet with high-level jury, Individual booth at Tech Festival; Live pitches at Tech Festival; Investor-matchmaking; Tickets to the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD); Content creation: interviews and branding in all communication material. In addition, start-ups will have the opportunity to attend the World Energy Leaders’ Summits.

Winners of each category: maximum 10.000 Euros prize money; Participation on the winners’ panel at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD), Profile of start-up celebrated across the World Energy Council’ s global energy network in 99 countries. 

Participation Criteria  

1. Applicants may only apply to one category. All subsequent applications to other categories will be disqualified. This also applies to the Special Prize: Quality Access & SDG-7.

2. The start-up or innovation project must not have been founded longer than ten years ago. In other words, the date of foundation cannot exceed 2008

3. The application, including any attached documents and pitch decks, must be in English

4. The applicant must be able to present a legal framework, proof of concept or a client, and/or an industrial/corporate/institutional partner. 

5. The applicant must fill out the entire form. Partially completed applications will not be accepted.

6. High-resolution company logo (300 dpi) as a .jpg or .png file for publication on the SET website and in the competition documents.

Selection Process & Timeline

October 10th, 2018 – January 31st, 2019: Application phase 

February 1st – February 15th, 2019: Analysts of our partner EarlyMetrics, to rank and evaluate applications 

Mid-February – March 1st, 2019: Qualitative evaluations by Jury 

Early March, 2019: Top 15 announced and invited to Berlin

March 2019: SET 100 2019 announced, start-ups invited to the 24th World Energy Congress, Abu Dhabi

April 8-10th, 2019: pitch coaching, high-level jury meeting & finalist pitching in Berlin at Tech Festival. Announcement of winners at BETD-hosted Award Ceremony

What happens if you’re a finalist?

In early March, you will receive an e-mail informing you that you have been one of the three finalists chosen in your respective category. 

The SET team will arrange your travel and accommodations. During the high-level jury meeting, (which will decide the winners of each category unless there is a tie (see below)), you will be brought in and asked questions by the high-level jury. Please note that if you are selected as a finalist but are unable to attend the Tech Festival and Award Ceremony in April, your spot will be given to the runner-up

Weighting and grade allocation 

Please note that all grading decisions will be made based on the application and pitch-deck provided in the application, with the exception of a finalist tie in one or more of the categories. In the event of a tie, 10% of the grade will be allocated to the live pitches at the Tech Festival. 


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With an ever-growing need and worldwide emphasis on low-carbon energies  and solutions, we are looking for start-ups that push the envelope by  designing game-changing technologies which move us further away from  carbon-reliant energy. Which low-carbon fuels and generation  technologies can best advance the energy transition? Do you have an  innovative product or service that can support the development,  operation and maintenance of low-carbon energy? Do you have a brilliant  idea which ensures stability in supply, is low-cost, and reduces  GHG-emissions? On top of all, can your business model compete with  rising stars in the industry? Whether you are in the solar or wind  industry, developing hydrogen or biofuel technologies, supporting  heating and cooling systems or creating low-cost maintenance solutions,  we want to see what you have to offer! 

Key Words (not limited to): solar panels, wind  turbines, hydrogen, power-to-gas, biofuels, heating, cooling, sector  coupling, weather forecast, carbon capture & storage, and low-cost  maintenance solutions. 

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Smart this. Smart that. We need smart grids that are capable of linking the increasing amount of renewable energy sources. There have been significant changes in the transmission and distribution of energy as traditional grid management becomes increasingly complex and decentralization intensifies. Innovative solutions such as predictive supply chain management, digital twinning, and traffic & congestion management through big data-led processes will help improve performance, resilience and ultimately, the resource footprint of existing systems. We are looking for start-ups which hold the key to balancing the grid, reducing physical and virtual distances and creating new marketplaces. How can we better and more efficiently use the existing infrastructure we have with the help of platforms? Who can explore and incorporate big data into their platforms in the cleverest of ways, while keeping it safe from events such as cyber-attacks? How can we further automatize operations and prevent failures? We are looking for the brightest innovators in areas such as smartgrids with decentralized (democratized) energy access, peer-to-peer, blockchain-based solutions and last-mile channels that can bring our energy systems, (and us), closer together. 

Key words (not limited to): off- grid, microgrid, smartgrid, peer-to-peer, blockchain, financial platforms, mobile platforms, last-mile distribution channel, ancillary services, virtual power plants, data management, data & cyber security, predictive supply chain management, digital twinning, and traffic & congestion management. 

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The energy transition is strongly about energy efficiency. We want to see which ideas can help us do more with less. More and more energy consumers are seeking solutions and products to help them manage their energy usage. How can solutions such as smart appliances, internet of things and storage help us do this? Which ideas aide industries, buildings and households to track, manage, reduce or adapt their energy consumption. We want to see who holds the right technologies that allow us to bridge the gap between accessible storage and harnessing fluctuating energy generation levels. We invite all entrepreneurs to show us their smart meters, blockchain-based solutions for energy efficiency and storage, life-cycle assessment software’s, machine- learning technologies and more.

Key words (not limited to): smart metering, demand side management, software as a service, digitalization, machine learning, blockchain, life-cycle assessment, insulation, heat recover, and storage (excluding EV batteries).  

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We know that the transport sector is a key element to decarbonization. More and more cities are implementing policies that aim at reducing pollution and GHG-emissions, meaning that the era of alternative drive systems in transport is not far off. So how will you contribute? Which technologies and business models are out there that support us in adopting greener practices and boosting electrification in transport? We want to see who has the best charging infrastructure, alternative fuels, or innovative battery systems. Whether in urban or rural regions, who is able to unlock the potential of this market and make clean transportation the new normal for individuals and companies? Who knows, maybe we will find the next Tesla…

Key words (not limited to): electrification, electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, e-fuels, alternative drive systems, mobility-to-grid, car batteries, logistics, and supply chain. 

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To achieve a global energy transition, we cannot ignore the matter of energy poverty. UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 is all about “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. While action is needed from the side of policymakers to maintain the Energy Trilemma balance, the entrepreneurial community has a role to play in ensuring access to energy for all – in a sustainable way. Who are the start-ups out there finding new business models for all parts of the energy supply chain, while improving conditions for underrepresented individuals and areas around the world? Which start-ups are able to provide sustainable solutions for energy, use less, and mitigate competition between key resources such as the energy, water and food agendas? We are looking for start-ups that have the potential to make the biggest dent in ensuring access to affordable energy for all, in an equitable way. We are looking for diverse solutions for technology, financing, awareness, capacity building (to name a few), that can reach far and wide, have a very clear social drive and most of all, will make a large impact.

Key words (not limited to): SDG-7, ‘the Energy Trilemma’, equity, affordability, access, reliability, environmental sustainability, resource management, water management, desalination, social entrepreneurship, and social drive. 

Start Up Energy Transition