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December 19, 2014


2015 Winners Announced

On the 17 December at a ceremony in Stockholm, the winners of Zennström Green Mentorship Award were announced: Swedish Algae Factory, Watty, Bioptech and Playback Energy. The award was presented by Niklas Zennström along with the Swedish Minister for Financial Markets Per Bolund and Stina Billinger from the Ministry of Enterprise  Energy and Communications.  The four winners will each receive one year of mentorship, access to business development services and coaching to develop their businesses. The overall winner, Sofie Allert and Linnea Wikman from Swedish Algae Factory will also receive project support from Vinnova totalling 1 million SEK – and Niklas Zennstrom as their personal mentor

Sofie Allerts and Linnea Wikmans business plan impressed the jury, we see that renewable energy will play a huge role in our future. Swedish Algae Factory is an early stage enterprise and we believe that this award can play a crucial role in the company, and hence for the development of the biofuel industry” says Joachim Karlsson from VINNOVA.

Swedish Algae Factory uses a cold water strain of algae to not only produce biofuels but also in an innovative process that helps remove phosphorus and nitrogen from waste water. In doing so they look to help address the massive excess nutrient problem currently facing the Baltic Sea but helping to improve the efficacy of waste water treatment plants.

Sofie Allert and Linnea Wikman receiving their award

“I’m excited about the future of this group’s possibilities, two of the companies are working on the next generation technology allowing the clean web trend to develop and two are working on water quality issues addressing serious eutrophication and water quality issues in the Baltic Sea and beyond.. We are looking for innovative companies with talented people who could fundamentally change their sectors rather than just make incremental change”, says Niklas Zennström.

Bioptech, have developed a phosphorous filter material called Polonite, used in the purification of water. The product helps to solve the problem of eutrophication of lakes and streams. Unlike other chemical filters Polonite does not need electricity and is more cost effective. Once a filter has become saturated, it can be used as fertiliser. The product thus contributes to a natural cycle of phosphorus.

Anders Norén from Bioptech receiving his award

Watty offers tailor-made energy savings to everyone, both businesses and private individuals. Watty’s meter breaks down the energy use of a building so that the customer can see the individual cost of each appliance. By comparing with similar households Watty can then give accurate advice on the smartest improvements, both to save energy and money. Thus contributing to a more energy-smart world.

Hjalmar Nilsonne from Watty receiving his award

Playback Energy collects information through its Energy Cloud and delivers this energy data with new technology and new concepts. It utilises an infrastructure that allows other companies to build new energy services by being the best at digging up and make available measurements. The goal is that more energy companies will see the benefits of available energy data in future smart grids.

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Magnus Luttkens from Playback Energy his award

Each of the companies will receive a business mentor, go-to-market advice from Serendipity Innovations, business plan and pitching support from Venture Cup, business support from PwC and have access to Cleantech Inn’s industrial programme. The overall winner receives a 1MSEK prize from Vinnova. By bringing different actors together to work with these four clean tech companies we are creating an ecosystem that will support these companies innovations to scale in the future.

“Sweden has potential to become a greenhouse for cleantech companies with a strong capacity to address global environmental challenges and compete in international markets. We are looking forward to develop business together with the winners”, says Richard Englund, director, Cleantech Inn