The Business Booster: where big business and start-ups invent tomorrow’s energy

July 15, 2020

Interview with Elena Bou, Innovation Director, EIT InnoEnergy as originally appeared in French in Maddyness, TBB media partner 2020


For the eighth consecutive year, EIT InnoEnergy is organising The Business Booster, a major networking event for energy innovators. Eagerly awaited by start-ups and major companies alike, the event acts as the nexus for high-powered business relations.


The adventure began in a Barcelona hotel in 2013. That year, 25 energy sector start-ups came to the Catalan capital to present their products and services to industry leaders. It also gave the opportunity for everyone involved to reflect on the possible synergies that could be carved out. It was the inaugural manifestation of The Business Booster, organised by EIT InnoEnergy. “TBB.” – as it is affectionately called by its aficionados – has since expanded. Last year in Paris, no fewer than 155 innovative companies exhibited while 1,200 visitors roamed the aisles of the French capital’s Palais des Congrès. Over the years, the visitors have become more diverse. EIT InnoEnergy’s partners remain a firm fixture but they are now joined by all actors in the value chain of the energy ecosystem.

This year will be no exception, despite the great disruption wreaked by the coronavirus. In Berlin, participants will contemplate “the new industrial revolution”. According to Elena Bou, EIT InnoEnergy’s Innovation Director: “The Business Booster 2020 will take a step back and look at the bigger picture of the new industrial revolution; it will explore the economic, political, environmental and social context that comes with the overhaul of sustainability, electrification and digitalisation. History shows that the discovery of new technologies can spur disruptive innovations with decisive effects on the economic development and social fabric of a region, country or even an entire society. The energy transition has implied a change of paradigms, a change in the way we frame the energy system, its actors and the technology used. With this it is bringing economic and social change.”


Goal: open innovation

Just as in previous years, the event will combine inspiring speeches on the future of the energy sector with exhibitions of start-ups, providing the impetus for networking among the sector’s companies. “Getting access to the market for a start-up is always challenging,” Elena Bou affirmed, “The Business Booster was initially conceived with the idea to offer a ground for innovative companies to start ‘conversations’ with potential customers and partners and then, bridging and accelerating new innovations to market.”

Last year, 2,500 business meetings took place over the two days of The Business Booster. Jean-Michel Reynaud, Head of start-up relations at Engie, praised the quality of the start-up selections, adding, “some projects are riskier than others but the quality shines through at the meeting.”


Interactions with all sector actors

The Business Booster offers energy leaders an ideal opportunity to take a look at the latest innovations in the sector and, if a technology piques their interest, enter into a close working arrangement with the ingenious start-up. As Elena Bou explained, “corporate innovation departments need to launch new solutions onto the market very quickly and apply new business models. In order to accelerate this process, start-ups are great allies. The Business Booster offers a common ground to start the ideal partnership and start working together. It’s a win-win situation.”

Participants also find it easier to find what they are looking for since all players in the energy sector are at the event: from the start-ups to thematic investment funds and the energy heavy-weights. Jean-Michel Reynard enthused: “For innovation departments, it’s a singular opportunity to carry out sourcing or find specialist funds. The ecosystem is right there.”


The unmissable networking event takes place this year in Berlin from 4 to 5 November. Until 31 July, you can register risk-free with a 30% discount.