On 20 August, 2015, KIC InnoEnergy Benelux invited all its partners and colleagues for an inspiring Business Community Day, followed by dinner and a ceremony on the “Belem”, a sailing ship at the nautical event ‘SAIL’ in Amsterdam.
Facilitated by Frank Steggink, the day was kicked off by KIC InnoEnergy Benelux’ CEO Klaas Schuring who explained about the common ground for the current activities of KIC InnoEnergy. The roughly ninetish crowd gathered at Park Plaza Airport Hotel saw a mix of policy insights and a look into the strategy of the Benelux office, with Javier Castillejos-Alsina (EU Commission) and Ed Buddenbaum (Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs) addressing the former and our own Guy Vekemans and Johan Driesen providing an overview of the latter. As such, the conference part of the event was an excellent opportunity for the Benelux sustainable energy community to catch up with current and future affairs influencing the field.
Apart from these speaker sessions, some of the attendees were invited to pitch their products, for which KIC InnoEnergy Benelux introduced a Challenge Trophy. Each member of the audience had a hundred thousand KIC InnoEnergy Coins to distribute as investments among the presenting teams. As a result, the competition was fierce with quite a few solid performances both in terms of the project content as well as presentation quality. However, in the end there could be only one winner. The one to emerge on top of the others was the venture Elestor BV, presented by Wiebrand Kout.
On June 1, 2015, Guido Dalessi (53) joined the Management Team of Elestor BV, in the position of Chief Business Development Officer. With this step, Elestor BV expands its Management Team in anticipation of business creation and commercial introduction of its flow battery technology.
Originally graduated in Physics, Guido joined in 1996 a Dutch high-tech start-up, OMP BV, which had just reached the prototype phase of their so-called mastering system (i.e. capital equipment for professional optical disc production). The fast success of this company did not remain unnoticed, and within 6 years the company was acquired by the German public listed Singulus Technologies AG.
Guido served the last 7 years of his career as CEO of the new daughter company, Singulus Mastering BV. The company grew to an annual turnover of around 50 M€, 120 FTEs, and gained recognition as the global market- and technology-leader. Now, returning to his real passion – developing high-tech startups – Guido accepted the offer to join the Management Team of Elestor BV.
In his words: “I am impressed with Elestor’s unique technology approach, enabling the supply of electricity storage systems at an unrivaled low cost-level. By doing so, Elestor anticipates the fast growing demand for economic medium and large scale electricity storage solutions. At this moment, the first prototypes are operational and field tests will start soon on a number of locations. Therefore, this is exactly the right time for me to join the company and start working on ramping up its business. It leaves no doubt that Elestor’s proposition for electricity storage contains all essential preconditions to become a great success, commercially as well as ecologically“.
Autodesk, a leader in 3D design and engineering software, has selected Elestor to become a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program. Under the agreement Elestor has free use of Autodesk software for a period of three years. Autodesk products that Elestor now uses include: Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate, Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Simulation CFD Motion.
“Clean tech companies like Elestor are adressing some of the most important challenges facing our world today, “ said Catherine Doyle, global lead of Autodesk’s Clean Tech Initiative. “We are proud to support their growth and success through the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program.”
Elestor founder Wiebrand Kout commented: “We are really gratefull that Autodesk allows us to use their world-class CAD and engineering software. I have fifteen years of experience in 3D CAD design, and I am impressed by the quality and efficiency of the latest Autodesk products. The software allows us to do a lot of prototyping in the virtual world, resulting in a much faster development process.”
2 Autodesk, Autodesk Fusion 360, Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate and Autodesk Simulation CFD Motion are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO has awarded a R&D grant to Elestor under its MIT feasibility programme.
The GROVE project (Dutch: Goedkope, Robuuste Opslag Van Elektriciteit) will investigate the technical and economic opportunities for large scale implementation of Megawatt-scale Elestor flow batteries in smart grids. A second research topic is the possible integration with thermal storage.
The project will be completed before May 2015.
Elestor BV (Ltd.) is now formally registered at the chamber of commerce in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
KIC InnoEnergy Benelux played an important role in the creation of the company, and supported Elestor in many ways. A thorough analysis of the business model, which included asking the advice of the extensive pan-European partner network, resulted in a clear strategy and market entry channels. This process was guided by an experienced business coach, Jan Caris, who has extensive experience in the overall general management of high-tech industrial operations. Training, market research and funding for prototypes and patents were also provided by KIC InnoEnergy as part of the InnoEnergy Highway programme.