EY Start-up Academy – successful round of financing for Frankfurt-based start-up

  • Consortium comprising High-Tech Gründerfonds and lenders from Business Angels FrankfurtRheinMain e.V. invest more than EUR 775,000 in node.energy
  • EY Start-up Academy sets the stage for the round of financing
  • Hessen’s economics minister, Tarek Al-Wazir: Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region has the highest FinTech growth in Germany

The young Frankfurt-based company node.energy, a provider of digital solutions for managing microgrids, secures itself EUR 775,000 in growth capital. This was announced yesterday by the investors, comprising High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and lenders from Business Angels FrankfurtRheinMain e.V. The investors and node.energy met through the EY Start-up Academy, a three-month program for Tech and FinTech start-ups. The EY Start-up Academy’s closing event, which is staged in cooperation with Deutsche Börse and TechQuartier (TQ), took place on Tuesday at TQ in the West of the city, close to the Frankfurt exhibition center.

Frankfurt establishes itself as a Start-up Tech hub

The fact that node.energy successfully managed to raise this amount of investment capital at the EY Start-up Academy is testimony to Frankfurt establishing itself as a Start-up hub for Tech companies, says Christopher Schmitz, partner at EY and curator of the initiative. The Hessen economics minister, Tarek Al-Wazir, who helped set up TechQuartier and brings it political support, referred to the TQ on its 1st anniversary as “a place where people network.” The Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region exhibits, for example, the highest growth in FinTech companies across Germany. node.energy is a start-up of founders Matthias Karger (35) and Lars Manuel Rinn (30) that specializes in the commercial optimization of local energy supply concepts. The company focuses on housing companies as well as industrial and commercial customers. “The fact that node.energy was able to convince both our Business Angels and HTGF is testimony to the quality of start-ups in Frankfurt. A practicable innovation and an experienced team of founders have come together. The fact that it is a product for improving energy use and making it more efficient pleases us greatly as we are focusing keenly on this sector,” says Dr. Burkhard Bonsels, Managing Director of Business Angels FrankfurtRheinMain e.V., who was also personally involved in the financing round. The fresh capital is to be invested in expanding the team as well as enhancing the platform and financing the market entry in Germany.

Contact with around 40 investors established

Seven selected start-ups – Asteria, Creditlinks, EVANA AG, F ECTIVE AG, MES & DAK, StudySmarter and node.energy – participated in the EY Start-up Academy. They have met various investors, representatives from banks, experienced founders and other start-up experts at approximately 30 events over the past few weeks. At the evening event on Tuesday, seven companies gave a closing presentation and received the EY Start-up Academy Award. “This seal of quality should help the participants on their continued growth course and assist them in dealing with lenders and regulators as well as tax and legal advisors,” comments Christopher Schmitz. “During the EY Start-up Academy we have established many valuable contacts and significantly improved both our business plan and our investment pitch,” explains Tilo Kraus, Co-Founder of CreditLinks, just one example from the founders taking part. Overall, contacts with approximately 40 investors were established during workshops and one-on-ones, some of the participants are currently in negotiations and due diligence phases for further potential seed financing rounds.

Promote the start-up ecosystem

The EY Start-up Academy will be continued in 2018, and potentially expanded to include other hives of founding activity in Germany. “Our aim is to help create highly attractive conditions for Tech and FinTech startups,” explains Christopher Schmitz. “Frankfurt’s contribution to the Germany-wide start-up ecosystem is enormously important.” FinTech expert Schmitz names four agenda points on which cooperation partners from the private, public and educational sector should focus: promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit, cut bureaucracy, bring about a business-friendly tax system and ensure the improved availability of risk capital.