February 15, 2023 15:56
Startup Advisory: How Green Brother Can Move Your Business Forward
Startup advisors help businesses gain visibility, make smarter business decisions, and meet investors. Startups in their early days can especially benefit from advisors, given the numerous challenges and decisions that need to be made in the beginning.
Green Brother is an extensive network and investment advisory service that helps innovative and sustainable businesses reach foreign/international markets, get further investments, and create valuable connections to further scale their company.
Learn more about why startup advisory is important for your business and how Green Brother can help you access the European market and create a more sustainable business.
The Role of Startups in Sustainable Innovation
Sustainability is rapidly becoming a must-follow trend for businesses. Ten years ago, the implementation of eco-friendly solutions for energy efficiency was only desirable. Today, it’s a must.
New climate tech companies and startups change how businesses approach sustainability. Startups move boldly and quickly. In a survey of 320 companies by Capgemini and MIT Initiative, 44% of companies believe startups will be one of the top three innovation sources by 2025, compared to only 10% that reported this is already true. The results suggest that industry leaders believe startups have more potential to develop sustainable and innovative products and services.
Couple with this fact that sustainable investment strategies have grown rapidly in the past few years, and you have a favourable environment for startups with a clear goal towards eco-friendly solutions (decarbonizing industry, mobility, battery, circular economy, renewables, energy efficiency, hydrogen).
Startups simultaneously create a disturbance in the market and provide economic growth incentives. This combination is the holy grain for every modern-day business:
- They have a sustainability-first vision that makes them stand out from the competitors, especially existing companies.
- They focus on growing a distinct company culture and investing in a talented workforce.
- They are agile in their risk capital approach. They know results don’t happen in a day.
- They are flexible with their operating models.
A successful startup in 2023 also needs to have the following:
- Quality product with a strong value proposition. The products the company delivers should centre on the customer and add additional value compared to existing solutions.
- Go-to-market strategy for product launching. Market analysis, prospective customer insight, the definition of roles and responsibilities, key milestone roadmap, and user feedback plans should all be part of a go-to-market strategy.
- Flexibility to reshape its product via user or customer feedback and needs.
- A strong marketing and branding plan.
- Outstanding customer experience. 39% of CEOs say customer experience is the most effective way of gaining an advantage over competitors.
- Business partnerships based on complementary competencies.
The Benefits of Startup Advisors
CEOs and company presidents have endless to-do lists before launching their businesses. These people are accountable for everything that goes right and wrong in the business. Feeling lonely at the top is a common characteristic of many startup owners.
A startup advisor can turn this around. When you hire a startup advisor, you get a reputable, trusted resource from which you can seek advice. These individuals have already sold their successful startups or have otherwise obtained deep industry knowledge.
Working with a startup advisor means having access to that professional’s skills, connections, expertise, and investors. It also means making fewer mistakes and feeling more confident about your business decisions.
A good advisor can help CEOs, managers, and decision-makers find solutions to problems, offer realistic feedback, and help implement new ideas.
When choosing an advisor, it’s important to consider their skill set. If you need help identifying the target audience for a carbon-neutral, vegan, and gluten-free product, you’ll want an advisor who’s a marketing expert.
A good advisor should have proven industry knowledge, outstanding coaching skills, a passion for your business niche, an excellent reputation, and great networking talent.
Also, make sure the meeting format works for both parties. Maybe the advisor that meets your needs lives in another country. The advisor should be comfortable meeting online or offline whenever needed.
Startup advisors earn from 0.25% to 1% of the company shares, depending on the size of the startup.
But where can you find advisors for your new business? There are usually two places where you can look:
- Companies that hire specialists, including advisors
- Freelance advisors
You can look through online groups, search LinkedIn, visit forums or profile events, or ask Google. Always compare ratings, experiences, and reviews to make sure you find a reputable advisor.
Green Brother: Create an Impact That Matters
Startups, innovation, and environmentally friendly business models go hand in hand. Green Brother has the network and know-how to help new businesses grow and find investors while focusing on green technology, energy efficiency, and environmental protection.
The Green Brother is Budapest-based and works internationally since 2020, and its purpose is to help Europe become the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.
Green Brother is an innovative start-up advisor that helps new businesses by:
- Allowing access to credible industrial networks for scaling up their business.
- Helping reach the domestic and international markets.
- Bringing them closer to investments.
The advisory cooperates with leading cities and corporates in Europe and has strong networking experience with some of the continent’s top-tier investors.
The innovation environment of Green Brother includes:
- Conducting Technical, Organisational and Business model assessments
- Financial assessment and planning.
- Creating investment packages, investor introductions, supporting negotiations, contracting
- Business support training
- Strategic partnerships
- Mentoring and coaching
- Preparation of innovative startups to make an entry into the market
Advisory for Startups
Green Brother is representative of two bodies of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Hungary:
- EIT InnoEnergy aims to create a sustainable energy future for the EU.
- EIT Urban Mobility aims to create more livable urban spaces.
These frameworks offer a reliable, reputable background for startup founders to scale their businesses. The projects are powered by the European Union and focus on connecting and empowering businesses to create a more sustainable feature.
About EIT InnoEnergy
Some of the EIT InnoEnergy objectives include:
- Security and safety of energy supply
- Reducing energy value chain costs
- Reducing CO2 emissions, decarbonising the industry
- Boosting competitiveness in the EU market
- Eliminating business innovation barriers
- Creating jobs
Numerous activities make these objectives possible:
- Incubation – early-stage startup investment
- Innovation – product development investment
- Human capital – professional education and master programs
- Industrial value chain setup with European Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance, European Battery Alliance, and European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center
The EIT InnoEnergy has offices across Europe and the US, works with over 500 partners and has 27 shareholders at the time of writing.
About EIT Urban Mobility
EIT Urban Mobility adds value to Hungarian startups and innovations in numerous ways:
- A partnership network for building value chains.
- A city club for supporting the implementation of mobility solutions in cities.
- A Business Creation Center for startups.
- Calls for innovation and pilot project proposals to reach markets.
- A marketplace for finding ideal customers.
- An academy to provide additional knowledge.
EIT Urban Mobility has five innovation hubs in Munich, Prague, Copenhagen, Barcelona, and Helmond.
Green Brother is an invaluable platform for everyone who wants to learn about running a business, legal aspects, pitching, markets, finance and investment, organization, and more. This regional platform offers all the necessary learning material for startups working in the cleantech field.
Green Brother’s network focuses on Central European countries, including Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, and Slovakia. However, our initiatives can provide access to the entire EU market.
Companies That Work With Green Brother
HeatVentors is a company that develops thermal energy storage tanks in Budapest, Hungary. The company bases the business on its phase change technology called HeatTANK. Founded in 2017, the HeatVentors startup has used Green Brother and InnoEnergy services to scale its business, grow investment opportunities, and make an entry into the European market.
What started as a university research project now has a serious product that saves up to 40% of energy, stores up to 600 degrees C of heat, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. Best of all, their product achieves all these results with a maximum of a three-year return on investment.
Cooperation with Green Brother and InnoEnergy helped the Hungarian-based company appear on the Portuguese market. They now have a new distributor partner, one of the country’s largest energy system equipment installation companies, Pinto & Cruz.
Rising.eco was founded in the fall of 2021 to create a hardware-software platform that automatically distributes and stores renewable energy among members of the energy community to help maintain below-market energy prices.
Rising.eco was founded after the Council of Europe adopted a winter energy package in 2019, one of the elements of which concerns energy communities. The EU formulated significant commitments, for example, that by 2050, 65 per cent of energy consumption must be covered by the energy produced by energy communities, which represents a very significant share.
The energy community is considered a new idea almost everywhere in the European Union. A lot of individuals have some kind of alternative power source installed on their property (solar cells on rooftops, solar power plants), and each year the number of installed alternative power sources is growing. But what if they produce more electricity than the household can consume? Here comes the idea of an energy community. They can store it in batteries or share (or both solutions) the electricity with other members of the community.
With the software-enabled hardware solution of rising.eco, the energy use of community members becomes transparent, furthermore, investments and returns can be monitored.
- With the help of Eco.box, the use and production of energy can be measured. Their hardware solution works with all known brands and types of inverters, batteries and panels, and is easy to install.
- By using the software, costs and revenues can be tracked automatically. The application controls and monitors the system from anywhere, and efficiently stores and distributes energy.
The founders of rising.eco targeted the European market with their developments.
Green Brother helped rising.eco providing several advisory stuff:
- coaching and mentoring
- shaping their business model
- go-to-market strategy
- preparation for the next round of investment (assessment and road mapping)
- get clients and potential business partners (still doing this)
- get investment from the market (still doing this) and
- investment from InnoEnergy (still doing this).
Green Brother Accelerator Program
Accelerator programs allow startups to accelerate their growth. These programs are usually mentor-based and come with intensive support, guidance, and a special structure. An accelerator program runs for at least three months and offers invaluable insights, resources, and knowledge to startup owners.
Green Brother has a dedicated accelerator program that helps European startups build businesses from scratch. The platform includes a mixture of e-learning materials and workshops and is suitable for brand-new startups and those with a good market share.
The platform offers different types of courses:
- Organization (334 minutes)
- Business and market (238 minutes)
- Legal (58 minutes)
- Finance and investment (27 minutes)
- Pitching (123 minutes)
The courses include pre-recorded video lectures, articles, quiz tests, and downloadable resources. Each course has different milestones for students to accomplish.
Businesses can get access to numerous support training activities, companies that work together with Green Brother, but also meet with mobility and energy investors from the industry. Beyond the e-learning courses, Green Brother offers numerous possibilities in its business development training:
- In-person and online workshops
- Numerous regional networking possibilities: matchmaking with international business partners
Once you get accepted into the Accelerator program, the Green Brother team tailors the program to the maturity level of your company. Green Brother accepts applications starting at the stage of innovation right before market entry.
Here’s the timeline of the program to give you a better idea of the whole process:
- Eligibility assessment
- Support creating partnerships
As a participant, you’ll work on numerous aspects:
- Validate the international market fit for your product.
- Improve a go-to-market strategy.
- Understand your customers, their needs, and their behaviours.
- Create a financial expansion strategy.
- Enhance marketing and sales strategy.
- Build your team and business.
Events and Opportunities for Startups
Startup owners and entrepreneurs make crucial relationships and networking efforts when they get out of the office. Attending events for startups can give a major boost to their businesses.
There are numerous reasons why you should attend such events as a startup owner:
- Invest in reputation marketing and build credibility
- Boost customer acquisition and network with important decision-makers
- Combine team building with business discovery
- Increase visibility to the investors
- Raise funds for future ventures
- Explore the competitors
You can attend various types of events:
- Startup events
- Pitching competitions
- Community meetups, and networking
- Accelerators – Green Brother and similar accelerator programs
- Green Brother has numerous events planned for 2023.
In February, we host an info-sharing event about EIT UM opportunities for startups. Throughout the rest of the year, there will be numerous open doors, mini expo
s, matchmaking events, and workshops for stakeholders.
Startups can also benefit from our open calls for innovation that launches in April, addressing mobility and energy, sustainable city logistics, and prospects.
Finally, the RAPTOR Agile Innovation Call is permanently open for three years. The program will have one cut-off date per year. The competition takes place in different cities each year and addresses their challenges. Startups can address urban mobility challenges from their niche, and there will be 10 competitions in total. The estimated project budget is up to 40,000 euros per startup.
2022 was filled with events as well. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Hydrogen Technology in the transportation of the future cities conference and matchmaking
- INNspiration Urban Mobility startup pitch event
- EIT Urban Mobility community event
- INNspiration Gulyas networking event
Startup Advisory by Green Brother – A Perfect Combination for Quick Startup Upscaling
Startups often need help to grow in a global ecosystem. Implementing your objectives as a business owner is easier with a startup advisory. Green Brother is an excellent example of a network that offers opportunities for new businesses to find a startup advisor, meet new investors, and promote their business, all while making the Earth a healthier place.