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Rethinking Energy Executive Round Table Insights – Corporate Venture Capital (CVC)

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On the 11th of may, we brought together some of the brightest minds that are rethinking the future of energy. At this event, we hosted 6 roundtables where topic experts could meet and share their thoughts on a specific topic. 

One of the Rethinking Energy Roundtables was about Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) and how CVC can supercharge the Energy Transition and create value for all stakeholders. Arno Nijhof (TNW) moderated the session where Freerk Bisschop (Inven Capital) was the attending expert. These were the top takeaways: 

1. Striking the right balance between the corporate and startup is crucial to maximizing both the startup’s potential and the financial returns for the corporate investor. 

Investments made by CVCs should align with its corporate’s strategic targets, either by transforming the business model or gaining a competitive advantage. At the same time, if a startup becomes too heavily influenced by the corporate entity, it may impede its ability to grow and provide value to a broader client base. 

2. Nr 1 is even more important for CVCs and Startups in the energy transition business 

This tension between pursuing corporate strategic gains and ensuring startup success is a well-known challenge for corporate venture capitalists. However, in the context of energy transition solutions, it becomes even more critical to facilitate the large-scale growth of promising startups, thereby maximizing their environmental impact. 

3. The energy transition requires CVCs to adopt a different perspective on investment horizons 

Typically, venture capitalists prefer easily scalable solutions, such as software companies, that can generate rapid growth and high returns. Yet, in the pursuit of sustainability, there is a pressing need for transformative, asset-heavy solutions. Hardware innovations often require a substantial upfront investment, a longer production lead time, and a different approach to achieve widespread adoption and scalability. Venture capitalists need to adopt a different perspective and extend their investment horizons to accommodate these transformative solutions. 

4. No company has discovered the perfect formula for corporate investments, but the sharing of experiences and collaboration is definitely an important ingredient 

It is through this space for disruption and innovation that true impact can be achieved. The participants emphasized the importance of fostering knowledge sharing and collaboration across the entire energy transition ecosystem to effectively accelerate the transition and drive meaningful change. 

At Rethinking energy we believe that CVC can play a crucial role in accelerating the energy transition, if it is used smartly in supercharging collaborations with emerging solution providers. When investing in the emerging player while scaling their solutions, both organizations will benefit from the value created.