Scotland’s Net Zero Technology Centre has launched the first round of a clean energy startup ‘pitch battle’ to help budding companies in the sector develop new products and services.

The Aberdeen-based centre’s TechX team will support 29 firms developing clean energy solutions in the run-up to Cop26 – the global climate change summit in Glasgow in November.

The companies have submitted their pitches via the centre’s website and members of the public are encouraged to vote – with 10 finalists going through to the final at Cop26.

They will be included in the 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, said: ‘’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 one billion 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.”