12.03.2015 | News & Interviews

Start-up and established player form powerful alliance


Innovative software vendor AutoGrid and energy giant E.ON are both benefiting from a new strategic collaboration – a prime example of the business models of tomorrow.

With its six million customers, E.ON is one of Germany’s leading electricity suppliers. The group is systematically focusing on innovative distribution and energy technologies and novel business models with its ‘Cleaner & Better Energy’ strategy. As part of this, it is forging strategic partnerships with innovative technology companies, one of which is the start-up AutoGrid – a former winner of the EY-sponsored CODE_n Business Innovation Prize.

The Californian technology company specializes in Big Data and cloud computing solutions that optimize the entire energy value chain, from generation and distribution through to using energy. This is good news not only for electric power generators, electricity supply companies, network operators and customers, but also for the environment.

“The strategic partnership between E.ON and AutoGrid is a classic win-win situation,” says Susana Quintana-Plaza, Senior Vice President Technology and Innovation at E.ON. “Our customers and shareholders benefit from the best new energy technologies and business models offered in the market, and young companies like AutoGrid benefit from our expertise and from the market access they gain through cooperation with us.”

What’s more, the partnership is a prime example of the forward-looking business strategies and models that arise when small, agile businesses and large corporations with extensive market experience get together. Collaboration of this kind unleashes innovative potential, opening up new opportunities for both parties.

“This is one of the reasons we promote innovation initiatives and forums like CODE_n,” explains EY Marketing Director Stephan Küster from Zurich. “In this way, we give young start-ups like AutoGrid the opportunity not only to present their pioneering technologies but also to meet investors and established companies with whom they can tackle new growth opportunities.”

In 2014, AutoGrid’s product won the start-up the CODE_n Business Innovation Prize, which is sponsored by EY. “The fact that E.ON has entered into a strategic partnership with our winner is particularly gratifying for us,” says Stephan Küster.

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