ABB Energy Efficiency Startup Challenge

ABB Energy Efficiency Startup Challenge seeks digital start-ups to solve the world’s most pressing energy challenges.

As the global demand for energy continues to increase at pace, coupled with the need to accelerate the shift to renewables as the primary energy source to help mitigate climate change, the need for tech solutions to help businesses and individual citizens to measure their energy use and emissions, and take action to reduce both, has never been higher.

ABB’s Startup Challenges, in collaboration with Microsoft and SynerLeap, highlight perfectly how collaboration between large organizations and agile and entrepreneurial tech startups is a highly valuable way to address and solve these real commercial and societal issues and generate the widespread shift needed, in the way we generate, distribute, manage and consume energy.

Now in its third year, the next Challenge, for which applications close on 18 September, is inviting digital startups from around the world to work with ABB, its innovation growth hub SynerLeap, and Microsoft to solve one of two tangible industrial challenges.

The first category in this next Startup Challenge is to create a digital tool to calculate, record, display and report the sustainability-related benefits of using ABB solutions – such as CO2 emission savings from energy management systems, the benefits of retrofitting installations to the circular economy, or the savings that can be reaped through other virtual and collaborative services. ABB sees this type of tool as a powerful way to demonstrate the real value of energy efficiency and sustainability in a repeatable, reliable and quantifiable way to its customers and shareholders.  

The second category is a B2B electric motion solutions gamification startup search to help make achieving energy efficiency easier and more fun. While saving energy is a serious issue, gamification can be a great way of inspiring and motivating people to adopt and embrace these types of issues. The opportunity to apply these concepts to help make industrial applications, that use electric motors, generators and drives, as energy efficient as possible will also support customer efforts to reach their sustainability targets.   

ABB Motion’s Digital Lead, Mari E. Haapala, lays out the challenge: “We are constantly searching for ways to help our customers reach energy efficiency goals for their electric motion solutions. Putting our heads together with startups gives us a better chance to encourage customer adoption, and this time we are looking for solutions that apply game elements, making it easy and fun. This will be an exciting journey which supports our own and our partners’ pledges to the Energy Efficiency Movement.”

Following the application closing date of 18 September, submissions will be short-listed, and the startups selected will undertake two weeks of intensive work alongside mentors from ABB, Microsoft and SynerLeap to fine tune their proposals, before pitching their innovations virtually on 10 November. Six selected finalists, three from each of the two challenge categories, will then go on to compete live at the finale in Lisbon on 23-25 November this year.

The final two winners, one from each challenge category, will win a collaboration project with ABB Electrification and ABB Motion worth $30,000 each, to jointly develop and bring their innovative ideas to market.

“Open innovation, and in particular collaborations and partnerships with startups, provide us access to new ideas and ways of thinking. When combined with our technology leadership and global customer reach, this helps us to discover the digital solutions of the future, today,” explains Anton Kotov, ABB Electrification’s Chief Strategy Officer. “It’s not just about winning a competition. It’s about collaborating long-term to jointly create and bring solutions to market to tackle the world’s sustainability and energy efficiency challenges.”

To take part in the final Startup Challenge of 2022 and bring your ideas to market, visit Official | ABB Energy Efficiency Startup Challenge (