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Discussions to better understand the role of various cleantech players

Energy Communities
09/12/2015

Through a partnership with the AFIC and in the symbolic setting of the Palais Brongniart, ENGIE New Ventures, the Group’s venture capital fund, held a conference on Venture Capital (VC) in the cleantech sector on December 3rd with representatives of financial funds, corporate funds and startups in which the Group has invested..

The conference was intended to put the positions of the various actors into perspective:

• Financial funds that are looking for "nuggets" that can generate significant financial returns,
• Corporate funds that aim to combine financial success and alignment with the strategy of their group,
• Startups seeking shareholders who are flexible and committed to their projects.

"This event gave us the opportunity to meet with the startups we invest in, but also with financial and corporate venture capital funds," said Gérard Mestrallet, ENGIE Chairman and CEO, who also reaffirmed the importance of ENGIE New Ventures, which which enables the Group to be "a partner of the inventors and entrepreneurs who stimulate our institution."

Several people from the financial sector spoke: Nancy Pfund (DBL Investors), Véronique Jacq (BPI), Dominique Rencurel (Orkos Capital), Eric Marty (Emerson Management), and Meier Ukeles (ICV). They stressed the importance of projects’ financial success of projects and how they affect startups’ economic development. Many discussions focused on the relationship between financial funds and corporate funds in the management boards of startups, an area in which each actor has to play its role with great finesse.
Nancy Pfund has also noted that energy will experience a revolution similar to the one that transformed other industries (telecoms, automotive) and focused on two promising areas: micro-networks and storage.

Corporate funds were represented by Sébastien Paillat (Aliad-Air Liquide), Ralph Schnell (Siemens Venture Capital), Francois Badoual (Total Energy Ventures), Hendrik Van Asbroeck (ENGIE New Ventures). They emphasized the complexity of their role: firstly in a financial sense, in measuring startups’ success, but also in ensuring they contribute economically to the development of their group. They must also ensure that two very different cultures (horizontal culture in startups and vertical ones in large groups) get along and agree.

Lastly, several startups supported by ENGIE were also present, with Susan Kennedy (AMS), Philippe Andreucci (APIX), Yoav Zingher (KiWi), Olivier Pireaux (Powerdale), Ludovic Le Moan (SigFox), and Adrian Tuck (Tendril), who presented their work and met with different funds in a marketplace event after the conference.