In the midst of such a shockingly abnormal winter as this, which I cannot help but connect with a certain inconvenient truth, I find peace of mind in seeing a list of the 25 best Nordic cleantech startups out there. Their contributions towards a greener way of life are sometimes domestically practical and in some cases largely industrial, but most of all they show us how cleantech can make a crucial difference in the quality of our future.
The list is a result of the third edition of the Nordic Cleantech Open competition in which 107 cleantech companies from the Nordic region were evaluated by a jury of 50 members from influential multinational companies and VCâ€™s.
The requirements for applying to the competition are fairly simple; participants havenâ€™t raised more than â‚¬700 000 in external capital (excluding VC or other equity investors and loans), works in the field of cleantech and is based in one of the Nordic countries.
Region-wise this year was an exception as Estonia was invited to participate. From the 11 Estonian companies that took part in the competition two made it to the top 25, whereas Sweden who, like the previous years, had the largest number of contestants also had the largest slice of the top 25 under its nationality.
â€We see an ever increasing flow of brilliant, innovative companies coming out of the Nordic and Estonian innovation systems. This is whatâ€™s next! It is a great display of what the future holds. Trends that we see is that they are increasingly innovative, solves real industry problems and are driven by younger and more hungry teams.This bodes well for the futureâ€, says Magnus AgerstrÃ¶m, Managing Director of Cleantech Scandinavia â€“ organisers of the Nordic Cleantech Open.
Among the selected 25 there are design innovators just as much there are chemistry enthusiasts, all of whom offer new visions and perspectives in their own respective fields.
Hereâ€™s a list of the selected cleantech companies:
Because we at Arcticstartup are completely qualified for this, we chose five companies from the top 25 which sounded particularly interesting and wacky.
CorPower Ocean aims to to bring a new type of compact wave energy converters to the market. Their concept includes unique mechanical design inspired by the pumping principles of the human heart. Active phase control by latching enables three to four times increase in power absorption compared to conventional passive wave power buoys. The future wind energy turbines could turn into wave energy absorbers in the sea!
DWT has done all the homework possible there is when it comes to wood. Their technology could potentially revolutionize the impregnation process of wood, which could hold great financial attraction. While impregnation is a word you wouldnâ€™t expect associated with wood, itâ€™s a common term among botanists and it means the introduction of chemical substances into wood in order to improve its characteristics and impart new properties, or in other words, artificially improve wood qualities. DWT promises significant prolongation of a treeâ€™s lifespan with less or non-toxic impregnation agents and special sequenced pressure technology.
CrayoNano is going sound a little complicated, but they're in our list thanks to their development of optoelectronic devices, which could have significant impacts in the efficiency of microelectronics. Theyâ€™ve devised an elaborate graphene connected epiwafer than is thin, lightweight and can produce large amounts of energy from extremely small areas using less material than conventional technologies. In short, they do the same job as existing and necessary components but even better!
Orbital Systems has developed a disruptive water recycling technology in the form of the worldâ€™s most efficient shower unit. The most amazing thing is that the system manages to save up to 90% of the water and 80% of the energy used for a shower. Talk about a smart way to feel less bad because of long showers.
The last in the list is the Stigo electric scooter, mostly because after reading about it it made me really wanna own one of my own. Its the practical personal vehicle for daily urban commuting and its one of a kind thanks to its compact engineering that allows you to fold the scooter in less than three seconds and carry it on public transportation like luggage on the wheels. Portable eco-scooter, Iâ€™m sold.
The selection of top 25 is just the beginning for these companies. An intensive program lies ahead. On the 8-9th of March the international jury and the companies will meet for a weekend at Nordic Camp at Trolleholm Castle. In April a group of the companies will go to Paris to meet with European investors and industrials at the Nordic Cleantech Showcase.The winners will be announced at the final event in Stockholm, May 19th.