MEMBER NEWS: Net Zero Technology Centre launches COP26 Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle

September 20, 2021
MEMBER NEWS: Net Zero Technology Centre launches COP26 Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle

The Net Zero Technology Centre has today (September 20) launched the first round of its global Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle, hosted by the Centre’s award-winning TechX team.

29 technology start-ups developing clean energy solutions have submitted pitches which are now live on the centre’s website and open for a public vote. 10 finalists will be given the chance to pitch their technologies at the final event in Glasgow during the centre’s COP26 programme – ‘The Road to Glasgow: Destination Net Zero’. The start-up crowned winner will receive prizes including expert mentoring and pitching opportunities for investment.

The start-ups are developing a range of clean energy technologies; from solutions that utilise green and blue hydrogen, CCUS and digitisation, to those that offer alternative energy storage and seek to decarbonise offshore operations. More than 50% of the pitching companies are represented by gender-diverse teams, further backing TechX’s call to see more entrepreneurial diversity in the energy industry.

Participating start-ups were nominated by the Net Zero Technology Centre and the Pitch Battle’s supporters: bp ventures, Greenbackers Investment Capital, Hydrogen Accelerator, ion Houston, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, Repsol and Scottish Development International.

Mark Anderson, the centre’s TechX director, commented on the Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle: ‘’This November, world leaders and government negotiators will attend COP26 in Glasgow. This is an opportunity for innovators to embrace the challenge of climate change, for start-ups developing clean energy technologies to take to the stage and pitch their innovations to make a difference.

During COP26, TechX is bringing together some of the most exciting start-ups from around the world to take part in a Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle, which will shine a light on 29 early-stage technology companies. Each one has the potential to drive significant emission reductions, accelerating the transition to net zero. The Pitch Battle is an opportunity for investors, industry players and policy-makers to show support for some of the most innovative companies on the planet.”

Nick Kendall, investment associate at bp ventures said: “bp ventures is delighted to be a supporter of the Net Zero Technology Centre’s COP26 Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle. We are pleased to see entries from our bp ventures portfolio companies and bp’s incubation program, among others, all with the shared goal of achieving net zero. I look forward to watching and voting on the start-up pitch videos over the coming weeks and wish all the start-ups the very best of luck.”

Andrew Smith, partner at Greenbackers Investment Capital said: “Greenbackers is delighted to be supporting partners for the Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle. There are 1bn seconds until 2050 – innovative technology has a vital role to play in achieving decarbonisation targets in time and this initiative by the Net Zero Technology Centre is an excellent use of the lens of COP26 to focus investor interest on the thorny issue of getting early stage, clean technology businesses funded.”

Dr. Sneh L. Jain, operations manager at the Hydrogen Accelerator said: “The Hydrogen Accelerator is pleased to support the Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle, a platform that can help showcase start-ups that are developing hydrogen technologies. These technologies will play a crucial role in the transition to net zero while creating economic growth.

“We are delighted to be able to support industry-academia collaborations that lead to innovative solutions and facilitate the deployment of technologies that will help pave the way in decarbonisation.”

Jan E. Odegard, executive director at Ion Houston said: “The Ion is proud the Net Zero Technology Energy Centre invited us to partner with them to showcase start-ups at The COP26 Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle, where the Ion’s nominated start-ups can compete among the world’s most innovative and promising companies.

“We live in a globally connected community. At The Ion, here in the world energy capital, we see our responsibility to accelerate innovation and connect communities as the key to creating a more resilient economy.”

Alex Louden, senior technology acceleration manager at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult said: “Offshore renewable energy is at the heart of the UK’s push towards net zero, and without innovative start-ups delivering next-generation technologies, we will not meet the ambitious targets set. ORE Catapult is delighted to support this pitch battle, which is raising the profile of some of the best and brightest companies pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in our journey to a decarbonised economy.”

Sandra Blázquez Borrás, senior investment associate at Repsol said: “In Repsol, we believe that technological innovation will play a key role in the energy transition and on the road to zero net emissions by 2050.

“Through our corporate venturing fund, we are focused on finding solutions to business challenges through investing in disruptive start-ups. For that reason, we are proud to take part in the Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle. This will be a great opportunity for the industry to support new business models to address net zero emissions challenges”

Scottish Development International’s head of global energy David Rennie said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for companies at the beginning of their growth journey to showcase an array of solutions in clean technology from infrastructure, integrated energy use, to hydrogen, carbon capture and reducing emissions.

“I look forward to seeing these innovative pitches from up and coming companies and encourage people to vote for the winner who will receive tailored support from Scottish Enterprise to scale up the solutions for our clean energy future as we work towards net zero targets and capitalise on Scotland’s tech talent.”

The Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle public vote is open until October 18, with the final Pitch Battle taking place on November 2. View all the start-ups’ pitches, explore their technologies and cast your vote here:

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise