Leveraging our long-term relationship to lead the way in sustainability and innovation

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Leveraging our long-term relationship to lead the way in sustainability and innovation

Eneco is a large Dutch utility, working together with customers and partners on their “Everyone’s sustainable energy” mission, so people can take control of their own energy. Thanks to their consistent strategy, they lead the way in the field of sustainability and innovation. Venture IQ supports Eneco for over five years in identifying and assessing innovative technology companies, which helps Eneco in realizing their sustainable mission. Venture IQ is servicing both the innovation department as well as the venturing team.

Over the past few years, Eneco and Venture IQ have developed an efficient way of collaborating. Eneco’s experts define the scope and criteria and get input from diverse stakeholders. The scope is further defined together with Venture IQ at the start of every project. Venture IQ uses their proactive, data-driven scouting methodology to identify and assess innovative technology companies that match Eneco’s scope and criteria. Catalist allows the two companies to collaborate efficiently in an agile way: real time, with direct feedback loops and with automated data gathering and analyses. The relationship has resulted in a series of successful projects, among which a project to identify smart district heating solutions. 

Mapping the market for smart district heating solutions

One of the projects we worked on for Eneco had the goal to identify best-in-class smart district heating solutions. Eneco continuously optimizes their district heating networks, and believes they still have a lot to win in the energy efficiency of the networks. Eneco had started a project to add a digital layer to the metering, simulation, analysis and optimization of the heat distribution in the networks. They collaborate with existing suppliers to do pilots in their current networks, and in parallel started a technology search with Venture IQ to identify innovative digital solutions that might be complementary to their existing solutions. 

In this project, Venture IQ identified 49 smart district heating software players in Europe, that offer peakshaving functionality, which helps district heating operators to reduce heat loss in the network and decrease the return temperature. The identified players included startups, but also more established players and consortia of companies. In order to assess fit, a comparison was made on the type of analytics the players provide (real time, historical and predictive), and which part of the value chain is addressed (production plant, substation level or behind the meter). In addition, the extent to which the solutions integrate with external solutions through APIs was reviewed. Lastly, Venture IQ compared company characteristics such as company stage, size and client references to understand which companies would best fit Eneco’s criteria. Jointly, ten companies were selected for further analysis, of which Venture IQ interviewed four to gain deeper insights for Eneco.

In using Venture IQ’s software and services, Eneco was able to save time and get access to better information, thereby making partnering decisions with more confidence. 

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