Hamburg's Suena start-up raises EUR 1.2 million

Company's AI-based autopilot to optimise renewable energy storage and accelerate energy transition
03 August 2022
Wind turbines

The Hamburg-based start-up Suena raised EUR 1.2 million in a pre-seed funding round led by the innovation fund EIT Innoenergy and other investors including Vireo Ventures and Raakwark Kaptaal in July. The company aims to optimize energy storage and renewable energy operations for different applications, users and markets with AI-based software. This would allow operators to identify market dynamics and grid bottlenecks in real time. Alternative sources of power and energy storage could then be expanded and accelerate the phase-out of harmful power generation.

AI software to potentially accelerate energy transition

Founded only in 2021 by Dr Lennard Wilkening, Miguel Wesselmann and Tom Witter, Suena received an EXIST start-up grant and InnoRampUp funding from Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB). The trio are graduates of the Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH) and developed the sustainable energy applications business model backed by the TUs start-up centre, Startup Dock and beyourpilot. The latter is a start-up platform by Hamburg's universities and the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY).

Founders of Suena
© Suena
Tom Witter, Dr. Lennard Wilkening and Miguel Wesselmann (f. l. to r.)

Accelerating energy transition

Wilkening pointed out: "Intelligently equipped large-scale energy storage systems are crucial to making the energy transition possible. Unlike coal-fired power plants, renewable energy sources are reliant on weather and their yields are difficult to predict." Suena has developed an operating system for large-scale battery systems including control and AI autopilot to optimise the operation and trade of energy storage in combination with renewable energy.

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Startup Dock, beyourpilot and Startup Port

Startup Dock at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and the university networks beyourpilot and Startup Port offer students, researchers and graduates interested in founding a company all kinds of early phase support. beyourpilot is funded by Hamburg's Ministry of Economics and offers potential entrepreneurs advice, online resources and workshops. The Startup Port network, which is funded by the German Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, offers start-ups with sustainable business ideas an incubator as well as plenty of opportunities to link up with companies and other means of finding joint founders. All the services are free of charge.

 

InnoRampUp

The InnoRampUp scheme, run by the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB), backs start-ups with highly innovative business models such as artificial intelligence, life sciences, digital health care or industrial technology i.e., electric vehicles, 3D printing, biotech, drones, aviation.  Applicants must have brought the idea and concept to fruition and then avail of EUR 150,000 in grants. More than 140 teams have received grants of more than EUR 19 million since 2013.