The Catalan start-up AEInnova wins the ACCIO 2017 Investment Forum Award


  • This startup –awarded out of 21 finalists– has developed a technology that takes advantage of residual heat generated by industry to turn it into electric energy that can go back to the system. 
  • The finalist startups that participated in the last seven editions of ACCIÓ’s Investment Forum have captured over 160 million euros in funding from private investors and venture capital funds. 
  • During the event, with over 900 attendees, more than 400 networking meeting were held between entrepreneurs, private investors and venture capital funds.

Barcelona, July 6, 2017.- The Catalan start-up AEInnova (Alternativa Energy Innovations) won this Thursday the ACCIÓ Investment Forum Award 2017 for its viability, business potential, innovation and internationalization. It was selected out of 21 emerging companies that presented their projects before the attending public in the auditorium and a jury of 24 Catalan and international investors in the 22nd edition of this event, which was held at the AXA Auditorium in Barcelona with over 900 attendees. 

The AEInnova co-founder, Raül Aragonés, presented this Catalan start-up project to the public, based on the use of residual heat generated by industry due to energy inefficiencies. On one hand, the company has developed a technology called WHRU that converts this residual heat into electrical energy that can be returned to the system and, on the other, it has created the Indu-eye device, which monitors any parameter, such as the temperature, carbon dioxide (CO2), humidity or atmospheric pressure in the facilities where it is located. The device works on an Internet of Things (IoT) principle and is powered by the residual heat generated by the industrial activity of the company, meaning it doesn’t need wiring or batteries. Founded in 2014 in Barcelona, AEInnova currently has a team of 10 workers. 

During the inauguration of the event, the Minister of Business and Knowledge, Santi Vila, assured that "the entrepreneurial spirit is essential to generate new business activity and to create sustainable wealth", and stressed the importance of doing so "with a global mindset, acting from Catalonia but thinking globally, with a commitment to innovation and making an intensive use of technology." 

Alongside the presentations and voting, more than 400 networking meetings were held between entrepreneurs and private investors, venture capital funds and company executives throughout the day with the aim of presenting their projects, finding partners and accessing financing In this sense, Vila underlined that "the ACCIÓ Investment Forum is the meeting point for the type of companies and entrepreneurs that meet the requirements of what we want Catalonia to be: people who take risks, who want to grow, who are committed to innovation, who create quality jobs and with a specific agenda that also works for the common good." The event, he explained, is able to connect "entrepreneurs and investors; that is, the boldness of the idea and what it needs to become possible, investment capacity." 

The Minister stressed that "in recent years we have seen how many companies grew, innovated and reinforced their global vision through alternative financing." In this regard, he announced that "in 2017 we will maintain and strengthen alternative financing instruments to support companies and entrepreneurs and increase their competitiveness." The Minister of Business and Knowledge gave examples such as ACCIÓ’s initiative, the Network of Private Investors (XIP), the equity crowdfunding platforms or collective investment financing, the Alternative Financing Catalogue and accreditation of alternative financing entities.

The 21 startups that participated in the Investment Forum –divided into three sectoral areas, health, ICT and others– were selected from among over 100 proposals received (here you can consult the Company Catalogue that compiles the best business projects of this year). These 21 companies were given a minute to pitch their business projects, the audience in the auditorium then selected the 9 finalists and these finalists had five more minutes to face the jury's questions. The prize consists of 120 hours of consulting from one of the global Office of Commerce and Investment of the Catalan Government, a free work space in this office and a 1,500 euros grant to undergo a trade mission abroad. 

The ACCIÓ Investment Forum has become one of the key events in Catalonia in this field. In fact, startups that have participated in the last seven editions – since 2009 – have obtained more than 160 million euros of financing from private investors and venture capital funds. In previous editions, the winners of the Investment Forum award were companies such as Nektria, Red Points or Hall Street Barcelona. During the ceremony, there was a speech given by Yoram Wijngaarde, the Dealroom founder, the largest database of venture capital operations in Europe, which reflected on the venture capital ecosystem in Europe and the world. 

In the framework of the Investment Forum, the Entrepreneurial Career Achievement Award was awarded to Rakuten TV. This award is given to entrepreneurs of companies that have been operating for a maximum of 10 years and that have shown a recognized growth path. The award was collected by Jacinto Roca and Josep Mitjà, who founded Wuaki TV – now called Rakuten TV – in 2009. Since 2012, it has been part of the Japanese group Rakuten, and currently has more than 5 million users in 12 European countries of its on-demand video service. 

In previous editions, the award has been given to Lucas Carné and J. Manuel Villanueva, founders of Privalia; Miguel Vicente, founder of Letsbonus; Jordi Carrera and Rafel Bru, founders of the company STAT-Diagnostica; and Joaquim Domingo and Àlex Ollé, founders of Galenicum.