2:00 – Why start your own company?
7:29 – Winning Investor’s Choice at Energy Startup Day
12:15 – How to stand out from competition
28:24 – Closing a funding round
33:23 – Choosing between Germany, Switzerland and Austria
Liliane Ableitner is the co-founder and CEO of Exnaton, a software provider for energy communities, allowing neighbors to trade renewable energy amongst each other. Before starting Exnaton, Liliane was a Doctoral Researcher at the Bits of Energy Lab at ETH Zurich. She met her two co-founders, Arne Meeuw and Anselma Würner, during her work on the research project “Quartierstrom“, funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. The project resonated well with all stakeholders involved and the three PhD students decided to spin it out into an independent company in 2019. Since then, Exnaton has signed 2 pilot customers and is currently fundraising. In December 2020, they won the Investor’s Choice award at Energy Startup Days, which helped the company to gain exposure amongst relevant stakeholders. Contrary to some of their competitors, Exnaton doesn’t sell their software to end consumers. Rather, they cooperate with local utility companies and allow them to white label their solution and distribute it to their customers. Exnaton is greatly benefiting from the liberalization of European energy markets because it has been driving competition for innovative products between utility companies. They are hoping to further benefit from an opening of the Swiss market, which has traditionally been very protected.
“If you’re in a market with 0 competition, then you’re in the wrong market, because either you’re on a completely wrong track or you’re way too early.”