April 10, 2024

Why we no longer need large-scale science and engineering breakthroughs to solve the energy transition. In conversation with Till Stenzel, SET Ventures.

Hot on the heels of Invest-NL's €10 million investment in SET Ventures and before he joins us at the HackSummit in June, we caught up with Till Stenzel to learn how they are accelerating the energy transition

SET Ventures at a glance:

- Fund size: 200M EUR
- Geography:
- Check size:
€2-5 million
- Stage you invest:
Late Seed / Series A
- Industry verticals:
Digital technologies for a carbon-free energy system
- Portfolio co’s include:
Fuchs & Eule, e-mobilio, Sensorfact, Instagrid

Before becoming an investor Till Stenzel got to know the energy sector from all sides of the table, seeing it as a start-up founder, a policy advisor, an industry executive and then as an investor. 

The knowledge he gained from these experiences, provided him with a holistic view of the stakeholders involved in the energy transition, which is a big advantage when it comes to establishing relevant connections.

Fast forward to today and Till is a Partner at SET Ventures, one of Europe's leading energy VCs. He’ll be joining us at the HackSummit in Lausanne, this June 13-14th. 

Before joining us on stage, we caught up with him to hear what’s top of mind, his advice for founders and how to get on their radar.

What’s one strong conviction you hold as an investor?

Till told us “I firmly believe that we no longer need large-scale science and engineering breakthroughs to solve the energy transition. We have all the technology needed today to go carbon-free, what we need now are smart, data-driven business models and effective customer journeys that better integrate today’s technologies (like renewables, batteries and smart grids) into our energy mix.”

Which areas of ClimateTech are you most excited about?

- Real estate energy consumption: this is a massively underserved segment that contributes a vast quantity of co2 to the atmosphere and is in urgent need of solutions that will help decarbonise or lower the consumption of energy. 

- Industrial energy optimisation and electrification: industrial companies are increasingly compelled to secure their own energy generation capabilities (via things like solar panels, battery systems and more) due to unreliable grid capacities and mounting cost pressures.

What’s your value-add or USP as a VC firm?

SET Ventures has a 17 year track record in the sector and brings a vast network to the table. Till tells us they are “one of the few VCs in the world that have specialised in the field of data-driven energy solutions. Giving us a perspective that is completely unique.”

...And as for advice to Fundraising Founders

Till notes that “there is huge demand for climate solutions, and while other sectors of tech are seeing a decrease in funding, CimateTech is continuing to grow. 

So, in sum, don’t wait. 

Find the VC that thinks about the problem of climate change the same way you do and go after them.”

How can startups get on SET Ventures’ radar? 

Till told us, “We always want to hear from founders – find us on LinkedIn or contact us through our website. And the best way to get our attention is to be very clear in your proposition. Build your story line around what problem you are solving, how, for what specific customers and markets and end it with what makes you unique from the rest? If you tell this well VCs will listen.”

Next up, you’ll find Till on stage at the HackSummit, this June 13-14, on a panel dedicated to accelerating the energy transition, where he’ll dive into the challenges and opportunities to back emerging talen.t

Come and meet Till alongside 1,500 founders, funders and operators in Climate in Lausanne. Use code NEWS20 to save 20% off your pass.