Start Up Energy Transition (SET), powered by the German Energy Agency (dena) in cooperation with the World Energy Council
Description/achievement of initiative

SET is a leading international platform supporting innovation in energy transition. The SET Award is an annual international competition for young companies who are working on ideas affecting global energy transition and climate change. Powered by the German Energy Agency in cooperation with the World Energy Council, the objective is for SET to support innovators in making an impact on energy systems. The award allows for the systematic identification of the most promising global innovation ventures and ensures that the scope, time frame and success factors to deliver key innovation areas are part of the global energy and climate dialogue.

Implementation methodologies

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

While the SET initiative does not provide capacity-building and technology transfer in the traditional sense, it does support innovators from all around the world to get connected to mentors, investors, organizations, financing and more. For the finalists of our award competition, we provide pitch coaching and feedback from a leading industry corporate. In addition, they will receive feedback from our highly-experienced jury members, who include During the Tech Festival, we match start-ups with interested investors and organizations, so that they can explore projects and cooperation opportunities. We also publish a Top 100 start-up list annually, and distribute it to international policymakers, corporates, investors and more, to raise awareness and support for these innovators. Throughout the year, we seek opportunities for the innovators in our network to ensure they get the recognition they deserve. The SET initiative runs annually, from the Fall to the Spring.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The SET initiative was first launched in 2016 by the German Energy Agency (dena), lead by the CEO Andreas Kuhlmann and a small team at the core. The initiative is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and the German Federal Foreign Office. At the same time, SET relies almost entirely on sponsorship and in-kind donations from its corporate partners who are interested in the transition to clean energy. After the success of the first year of SET, dena welcomed the World Energy Council on board as a strategic partner, and the Government of Canada as a country partner. The SET team and WEC team work closely to execute the start-up competition, create meaningful partnerships for innovators and identify innovation trends and gaps in the energy field.


German Energy Agency (dena)
Progress reports
Goal 7
April 2018
SET Tech Festival - 100 start-ups present minimum, 10 meaningful partnerships made minimum
August 2018
Top 100 start-ups list 2018
Jan 2018
SET Award Competition - 400 applications from minimum 30 countries annually
Staff / Technical expertise
Analysis and communication support from the experts at the World Energy Council; technical expertise from voluntary jury members from 35 countries
Staff / Technical expertise
Analysis and knowledge from a pool of 200 energy-related experts at the German Energy Agency
Other, please specify
Financial support from the German ministries and sponsorship from leading players in energy
In-kind contribution
Pitch training and feedback for finalist start-ups

Basic information
Time-frame: Nov 2017 - April 2018
German Energy Agency (dena)
Contact information
Alexandra Khripko, Expert, Start-ups, khripko@dena.de
United Nations