Eneco learns from innovative powers: Experiences of an Entrepreneur in Residence

Eneco learns from innovative powers: Experiences of an Entrepreneur in Residence

13-Jul-2015 by Anneke van Kollenburg

More and more people produce their own energy. The business model of providing energy to consumers is slowly changing into a model based on providing energy services. That’s a big change for an energy provider like Eneco. It’s not easy to transform such a big company but innovation has never been more important. We like to learn from startups to accelerate that transformation, because that’s where the people work who know how to innovate extremely fast.

Entrepreneur in Residence
To learn from the innovative powers of startups Eneco joined a partnership with Startupbootcamp. Over the last 3 months I had the opportunity to join the Smart City and Living program as an Entrepreneur in Residence. It was great to feel the entrepreneurial spirit of 11 great startups and I really enjoyed their enthusiasm, focus and perseverance. These 3 months have gone by so fast!

Feeling proud of the startups achievements
Last week was Demo Day, the climax of 3 months of hard work and dedication. It all came together in these 11 pitches. After working closely with the teams and getting to know their struggles it was amazing to see them perform on stage. I felt so proud of what they all achieved. They share the same dream of being extremely successful with their businesses. The teams worked day and night and have grown exponentially over a very short period of time. It was very special to experience this process from within. The frustration of a bad meeting with an investor, the relief of a successful pivot and the joy of scoring the first launching customer.

3 partnerships with Eneco
I was able to help the teams with my knowledge and by opening my extensive network to them. This led to valuable experiences for the teams, but also for a great number of my colleagues who all contributed to the teams with their own specific experience. I was even able to set up partnerships with 3 of the startups in the program. Eneco will run a pilot with Comfy on the Toon platform and explore user cases with trakkies. Eneco even bought the very first Sustainer. Those announcements on Demo Day made me feel very proud.

Lean startup, disrupting markets and Business Model Canvas
I also learnt a lot myself. Everybody talks about lean startup, disrupting markets, business model canvas and working agile. During the program I learnt how to apply these theories in the real world. How making assumptions, setting up experiments, evaluating the results and adjusting your strategy leads to accelerating your business. I learnt the importance of failure (don’t worry, failure is just an outcome you didn’t expect). I learnt how you can achieve maximum results with minimal resources in the shortest amount of time. I’ll bring all this knowledge and experience to Eneco to help accelerate the transformation of my company. I can’t wait!

Follow @avankollenburg on twitter.