A regional partnership between Germany’s leading provider of international cooperation services Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) has launched New Energy Nexus Southeast Asia (Nexus SEA), a “smart energy” startup support initiative aimed at investing and connecting local incubators to facilitate the creation of smart energy startups. Nexus SEA is currently funded by GIZ and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
“By bringing together ideas, startups, implementation partners and funders onto a single region-wide platform, Nexus SEA aims to accelerate the growth of a regional smart energy startup ecosystem,” says Hendrik Tiesinga, Program Director New Energy Nexus at CalCEF.
According to the International Energy Agency, Southeast Asia is a “new heavyweight” player in the energy ecosystem servicing the energy needs of 640 million people, which is forecasted to grow by two-thirds from now to 2040. As the energy demand grows, fossil fuel consumption will continue to rise unless smart energy solutions are deployed faster and more efficiently. Nexus SEA seeks to accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies and mitigate climate change by supporting the next generation of smart energy entrepreneurs.
Smart is Better
While smart energy technologies are already being tested and deployed around the world, the market for deploying these technologies is still nascent in Southeast Asia. Often the energy sector is plagued by centralized and slow-moving management structures that are not sufficiently conducive to enabling new and innovative solutions such as demand response models, energy trading platforms on the blockchain, solar optimization software, smart grids, vehicle-to-grid technologies, etc. These digital innovations are required to deploy effective clean energy technologies at scale.
By joining forces with local incubators in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines and leveraging its global network of energy players and experience in building smart energy ecosystems, Nexus SEA aims to catalyze entrepreneurship in this sector by providing business, technology, energy expertise and financial support to new ideas and local enterprises across the energy value chain.
Full Speed Ahead
“After three months of scoping and due diligence, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with two leading startup incubators in Thailand and Indonesia. Both are operating existing startup programs and have a shared vision of building smart energy startups,” says Thomas Chrometzka, Director Renewable Energy with GIZ in Thailand.
In Thailand, KX Made was selected as the local Nexus SEA incubator partner for its unique approach to help entrepreneurs, government, business leaders and universities become innovation leaders. KX Made is located at the Knowledge Exchange Innovation Center in Bangkok with 20 floors and more than 28,000 sqm of co-working and innovation space and is supported by King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT).
“Changes in technology, policies and business models provide a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs, startups and investors in the smart energy and cleantech field. New Energy Nexus South East Asia will further stimulate this trend and kick-start the energy revolution in Thailand and Southeast Asia.” – Kris Chinosorn, CEO, KX Made
In Indonesia, Digitaraya was selected to be the Nexus SEA incubator partner for their diverse startup programming and ecosystem-building experience. Digitaraya runs programs such as 1000 Digital Startups, Google Development Group (GDG) and FemaleDev and works closely with Google, Universitas of Gadjah Mada, Bank Bukopin, Telkomsel and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
“At Digitaraya we are focused on supporting Indonesia’s next generation of entrepreneurs, who are passionate about building innovative solutions to Indonesia’s most pressing challenges. As the largest and most diverse market and greatest energy resource in SEA, Indonesia is well positioned to be the regional leader in smart energy solutions.” – Nicole Yap, VP of Strategy and Business Development, Digitaraya
Nexus SEA Incubator Partners will execute a three-phased approach that will integrate key stakeholders from the startup community, energy experts, corporate sponsors and government to build smart energy startups that will tackle real energy challenges in the region.
New Energy Nexus Southeast Asia is an initiative with a two- to four-year implementation period. It is designed to enable incubator partners in the region to build and scale smart energy startups. By 2020, Nexus SEA aims to engage 1000 entrepreneurs, incubate 100 teams, partner with 10 incubators and make Southeast Asia a region for the world to follow. Interested incubators and funding partners can learn more at www.nexusea.co.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
GIZ is Germany’s leading provider of international cooperation services. GIZ is a federal enterprise that supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. Building a smart energy ecosystem in Southeast Asia that spawns solutions for the energy transition while creating local value in the region is fully in line with GIZ’s agenda. GIZ kick-funded this strategic initiative with the aim of providing opportunities to like-minded organisations to become funding partners and grow the initiative further. More information at www.giz.de/en.
California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF)
CalCEF has been investing in, and accelerating clean energy innovation and startup ecosystems for over a decade. CalCEF is a nonprofit, tightly integrated in a web of clean energy research institutions, startup accelerators, and investors. CalCEF manages over $30 million of current investments into clean energy in California and in 2016 convened New Energy Nexus as a global network of clean energy incubators and accelerators. The network has 74 members around the world and many more affiliates. It focuses on knowledge and best practice sharing between accelerators, investors and startups building the energy system of the future. More information at www.calcef.org.
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, founded in 1964, works with partners around the world to improve the lives of children, families, and communities – and to restore and protect our planet. More information at www.packard.org.
KX Made (Thailand)
KX Knowledge Exchange for Innovation is Southeast Asia’s largest Innovation Center for facilitating the exchanges of knowledge, technology, and innovation capability between academic allies, startups, investors, SMEs, and public organizations, to elevate Thailand’s technological and innovation competency. More information at www.ismade.org.
Digitaraya is a hub that connects people, place, and program with a mission to bring Indonesia to become the leading player in the global tech ecosystem. It develops knowledge in order to facilitate and push for collaboration between the current tech-for-good movements in Indonesia. Digitaraya nurtures quality IT talents to become leaders in Indonesia’s tech scene, as well as help Indonesia’s entrepreneurs bridge the gap between ideas and businesses. More information at www.digitaraya.com.