Enel bags 2019 championship awards for partnerships with startups


Italian multinational utility Enel has received two awards for its leadership role in promoting innovation within the utility industry through partnerships with startups.

The utility received the 2019 Corporate Startup Stars Award as the most active company in Open Innovation in Europe.

This means Enel is leading the Top 12 SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars, a ranking of strategically structured companies that produce concrete results in terms of collaboration with startups.

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More than 50 European companies were evaluated for their works with startups.

Enel has also received the 2019 Corporate Startup Procurement Award for outstanding relationships with the most innovative startups. 

Works with startups conducted by Enel include:

  1. Creating 10 innovation hubs in Brazil, Chile, Israel, Italy, Russia, Spain and the US to promote early-stage startups.
  2. Enel has received 10,000 collaboration proposals of which 6,500 are from startups as part of its Open Innovation initiative. Some 650 projects were implemented, including 250 with startups since 2015.
  3. Scaled up 50 startups up to a global level.
  4. Worked with startups in the areas of energy storage, big data, energy management, smart home, electric mobility, IoT, predictive maintenance, AI, smart technologies and robotics.

The awards are given to companies that have established the most successful, mutually-beneficial partnerships with startups through procurement, licensing, partnerships, accelerators, direct investment, acquisitions or other dedicated programmes.

Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel, said: “These awards once again confirm our innovation leadership.

“Back in 2015, we defined our open innovation approach, coupling Innovation and Sustainability in what at that time seemed like quite an odd combination. The result was a phenomenal synergic effect that has created value for us and our stakeholders, including startups and the communities around us. Looking ahead, we will increase our open innovation efforts to turn Enel into a fully digital, platform-based company with the final aim to maximise the value generated by the energy transition and electrification of end uses.”

SEP Scaleup Summits are organised by Mind the Bridge and hosted by European Stock Exchanges.

Alberto Onetti, Chairman of Mind the Bridge and Coordinator of SEP, said: “The Judging Committee really appreciated the substantial impact Enel is producing on global startup ecosystems and in Europe specifically. Enel is concretely helping several international startups grow dimensionally and access international markets. Our research confirms that startups need good business partners to turn into scaleups. As we often say: one euro of procurement is worth more than hundreds of euros of funding.”