• Applications close 31st March ABB Electrification Startup Challenge, awarding three winners $30K for innovative proof-of-concept projects that solve energy, emissions and climate challenges, plus longer-term opportunities with ABB, SynerLeap and Microsoft
  • Conviction News speaks with Anton Kotov, Chief Strategy & Digital Officer at ABB Electrification and a previous winner on how the Startups Challenge enables industry collaboration and accelerates startup growth
  • Tim Meanock, CEO of Tallarna, winner of 2nd annual Startup Challenge: ‘‘ABB Electrification Startup Challenge enabled us to extend our platform’s capabilities into the industrial space” and much more

Weekend plans? Urgent deadline alert for digital startups, 31st March if you’ve not already applied to ABB Electrification Startup Challenge. ABB’s third annual Startup Challenge will award three winners $30,000 and the opportunity to work with ABB, SynerLeap and Microsoft on digital solutions that fight climate change, reduce emissions and increase energy resilience.

Conviction News spoke with Anton Kotov, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Digital Officer at ABB Electrification to better understand the opportunity, ABB's business objectives and climate innovation. We also interviewed, Tallarna’s CEO of Tim Meanock to get a snapshot of what the competition has done for one winning startup a year on.

Watch next week for Conviction’s Q&A with Tallarna and read on for more about the Startup Challenge, including our interview with ABB.

ABB Startup Challenge

Digital solutions in the fight against climate change

Image credit: ABB

ABB’s Electrification Startup Challenge brings its global reach, sector-expertise and industry partnerships together to find innovative startups and digital solutions to tackle climate challenges. Unlocking ‘disruptive thinking,’ the Startup Challenge offers unprecedented access to startups and long-term opportunities for collaboration that can accelerate growth.

There are three categories this year, each with a winning proof-of-concept project from the startups shortlisted after applications close.

  1. Tackling one of the biggest sources of emissions - the built environment - the first category is for digital tools that 'nudge' people toward choices that reduce emissions and encourage better use of electricity in homes and offices.
  2. The second category is looking for engineers to develop an online simulation tool that enables the design of sustainable behind-the-meter electrical systems in commercial facilities with a virtual “energy blueprint.”
  3. The final category aims to provide hospitals, utilities and data centres tools that enable these critical services to cope with increasing complexity and rising demand for electricity.

Speaking with Conviction News, the CEO of previous winner Tallarna said ABB has enhanced the startup’s capabilities in the last year.

Tim Meanock, CEO of Tallarna:

‘‘ABB Electrification Startup Challenge enabled us to extend our platform’s capabilities into the industrial space.


After applications close 31st March, the pre-selection process happens online 4th May before nine finalists are invited to Germany for the competition, pitching for a prize 13th May. Every finalist will get an invitation to network with ABB executives at the Formula E-Prix in Berlin.

As for the top three startups, winners will be named for each category’s best proof-of-concept project for three $30,000 prize pots. But the opportunity is more than monetary.

Tim Meanock, CEO of Tallarna:

“We are now integrated with the ABB Ability Energy Manager platform, supporting customers in benchmarking their energy usage and understanding achievable savings in kWh, CO2, and euros.”

ABB speaks with Conviction

Interview with Anton Kotov, ABB Electrification

Image credit: ABB

Here's what ABB's Anton Kotov had to say about the competition.

How does the ABB Electrification Startup Challenge align with business objectives and the corporate mission to achieve a more productive, sustainable future?

Sustainability is not only important to our customers, it’s also important to the partners we work with and the employees that we attract and retain. The ABB Electrification Startup Challenge is about creating a pipeline of innovative digital solutions that help our customers to become more sustainable by reducing emissions, cutting energy usage and integrating with renewable energy sources. Collaborating with startups gives us just that - access to new ideas and ways of thinking that, when combined with our technology leadership and wide customer reach, helps to accelerate the delivery of the digital solutions of the future, today.

What are the sustainability priorities for the SynerLeap accelerator programme?

SynerLeap is ABB’s growth hub, which allows us to identify and work with the brightest startups in the industry. It’s a two-way process, giving us the opportunity to collaborate with young businesses while giving entrepreneurs the chance to work alongside our partners, R&D teams and scientists to pilot their ideas and bring them to the marketplace. It’s not just about winning a competition, it’s about collaborating longer-term to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the world’s energy crisis. By bringing startups, ABB, industrial partners and our customers together through SynerLeap, we ignite innovation across industries, ranging from industrial automation and robotics to grid technologies, smart cities, buildings and transportation technologies. So far we have created more than 170 collaborations, together with our 120 startup members from 21 countries.

As one of Europe's leading tech businesses, where does ABB see the biggest opportunities for digital tools to enable sustainability?

This year, we are focusing on open innovation for billions of better decisions. It’s about giving our customers the knowledge and insight they need to make informed decisions to reduce emissions, stop wasting energy and integrate more renewables. Digital solutions are transforming our lives, from the way we communicate and socialize to the way we work. Similarly, digitalization and the move to industry 4.0 is shifting the way that businesses think about sustainability. By harnessing the power of this data, we will give customers the tools to make smarter decisions about their energy usage and emissions 24/7.

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