Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut

Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
2018      English Version
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
Editors and Project Realization
Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (Borderstep Institut für Innovation und Nachhaltigkeit gGmbH)
German Startups Association (Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V.)

Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter
Dr. Yasmin Olteanu

Financial Support
German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt)

loveto GmbH, Agentur für Markenentwicklung und Design

Picture Credits
Cover Title © Adobe Stock/stockpics, p. 2 © BMU/Sascha Hilgers, p. 3 © Bundesregierung/Kugler,
p. 5 © Unsplash/Lindsay Henwood, p. 12 © Adobe Stock/typomaniac, p. 13 © Adobe Stock/Worawut,
p. 15 © Adobe Stock/AntonioDiaz, p. 16 © Adobe Stock/Kenishirotie, p. 22 © Rolf Schulten/Borderstep,
p. 26 © Adobe Stock/Petair, p. 29 © Unsplash/rawpixel, p. 36 © Adobe Stock/Coloures-Pic,
p. 37 © Unsplash/Hello I’m Nick, p. 39 © Adobe Stock/elbear, p. 43 © Adobe Stock/christianchan,
p. 46 © Adobe Stock/tomertu, p. 50 © Adobe Stock/stockpics, p.59 © Adobe Stock/Paylessimages


Please cite this publication as follows:
Fichter, K. & Olteanu, Y. (2019). Green Startup Monitor 2018. Berlin: Borderstep Institute, German Startups Association

Our sincere thanks go to the German Federal Environmental Foundation
(Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt) for their financial support, to our partners and to all participants.
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut

    Greeting Federal Minister for the Environment Schulze
    Greeting Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Altmaier
                                                               p. 2
                                                               p. 3
                                                                           3   To what extent do green and
                                                                               non-green startups differ?                                        p. 26

    Foreword by the initiators                                 p. 4
                                                                               StartGreen and the Green Startups Platform:
                                                                               Support for green entrepreneurs                                   p. 36
    Ten key facts of the GSM 2018                              p. 7
    Zehn wichtige Fakten aus dem GSM 2018                      p. 9
                                                                               Green Deals: The top 10 of the years 2017 & 2018                  p. 38
    Green startups introduce themselves                       p. 10

1   Classification of green startups in the
    German startup scene                                      p. 12
                                                                           4   What challenges do green startups face and what do
                                                                               they expect from politics?                                        p. 39

2   How relevant are green startups in the
    German startup scene?                                     p. 16
                                                                           5   Recommendations for action for
                                                                               policy and startup ecosystem                                      p. 46

    StartGreen Award: The national premium award for
    green startups in Germany                                 p. 22
                                                                           6   Research design                                                   p. 50

                                                                               Bibliography                                                      p. 54
                                                                               Editors and authors                                               p. 55
                                                                               Contact                                                           p. 58

                                                                                                                             Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                 Seite 3
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
Greeting by the
Federal Minister for the
Environment Schulze

                                                                                                                                                         © BMU/Sascha Hilgers
Dear Readers,
The best recipe for success concerning innova-      achieve the solutions of the future with selec-    fact makes me particularly optimistic about                              is encouraged. This is an issue not only within
tion is to combine ecological and social prog-      tive optimizations. Here, we need sustainable      the results of the Green Startup Monitor: The                            the Federal Government, but also on the EU
ress. “Green” products, processes and services      startups: Around two-thirds of all “green” ba-     fact that green startups are especially interest-                        level. After all, Europe and Germany are facing
are a prime example of this: They contribute        sic innovations can be traced back to startup      ed in internationalization – far more so than                            comprehensive structural change. If we want
to climate and environmental protection, and        companies. Without the relevant green busi-        non-green startups.                                                      to shape this change proactively, we must
they improve the living conditions of the peo-      ness formations, for example, the renewable                                                                                 promote sustainable startups and sustainable
ple who use them. Therefore, the demand for         energy sector in power generation would not        The precondition for the success of sustain-                             innovations in a more directed manner.
environmental technologies will determine           have developed in this way! And in other areas,    able business ideas, however, is not only the
the markets of the future. The global Green-        such as mobility or the plastic pollution in the   innovative ability but also the right framework                          Only in this way can Germany remain a mod-
Tech market is already growing rapidly. Ro-         oceans, the pressure for change is becoming        conditions – a level playing field for sustain-                          ern, successful industrial country.
land Berger forecasts that the global market        ever clearer.                                      able innovations. The Green Startup Monitor
volume for environmental technology and re-                                                            provides important information on how we
source efficiency will increase from more than      At the same time, global competition in the        can help sustainable innovations achieve mar-
3,200 billion euros in 2016 to over 5,900 billion   technology markets continues to increase.          ket breakthroughs.
euros by 2025.                                      Others have also recognized how attractive
                                                    this market is. Only with sustainable, funda-      Financial market players should increasing-
If one wants to keep pace in these markets,         mentally new solutions can German suppliers        ly take sustainability aspects into account in                           Svenja Schulze
one has to rethink many business models             continue to benefit from the growing global        their decisions so that more investment in sus-                          Federal Minister for the Environment,
and value-added networks; we can no longer          demand for GreenTech. Therefore, one certain       tainable technologies, products and services                             Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

Greeting by the Federal Minister for the Environment Schulze                                                                                                                                         Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                  Page 2
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
Greeting by the
Federal Minister for
Economic Affairs Altmaier

                                                                                                                                                           © Federal Government/Kugler
Dear Readers,
Our social market economy thrives on the          That is why Germany needs a new entrepre-             economic knowledge and entrepreneurial                                           tainability is a cross-cutting objective. Sec-
fact that there are people who are willing to     neurial spirit and more people who can put            thinking. In the spirit of a new startup culture                                 ondly, through the High-Tech Startup Fund,
take their fate into their own hands and put      their ideas, creativity and skills into practice in   and a strengthened entrepreneurial spirit, we                                    – which is largely financed by the Federal Min-
all their eggs in one basket in order to become   their own startups. With the “GO!” startup of-        will above all motivate more young, qualified                                    istry of Economic Affairs and Energy – numer-
founders. They help to ensure that economic       fensive launched by me, we are supporting the         people to further develop their own ideas and                                    ous cleantech startups, more than two-thirds
development moves ahead and that Germany          step into self-employment. The decisive factor        implement them entrepreneurially. On the po-                                     of which are classified as “green” in the Green
retains its leading position in the world.        is that we use customized instruments to pro-         litical side, we need to reduce administrative                                   Startup Monitor, have already received funding.
                                                  vide targeted support to courageous foun-             hurdles and bureaucratic effort and speed up
The Green Startup Monitor, an unprecedented       ders so that they can make a successful start         digital processes.                                                               I would like to thank the authors very much for
concept, classifies more than a quarter of the    in entrepreneurial independence. After all, the                                                                                        the Green Startup Monitor. I am sure that it will
innovative startups as “green”. With resource-    startup scene is diverse and heterogeneous.           Finally, the Federal Government's sustainabili-                                  make its contribution to the further develop-
and environment-friendly products, innovative     The Green Startup Monitor is, in any case, an         ty strategy is a guiding principle for all funding                               ment of “green” startups in Germany.
processes and new business models, they pro-      excellent instrument that can be used to shed         programs of the Federal Ministry of Economic
vide impulses for a continuous renewal of our     more light on the “green” startup scene in Ger-       Affairs and Energy. Just to name two exam-
economy. At the same time, they prove that        many and to make it more visible overall.             ples: In the “EXIST – Existenzgründungen aus
ecology and entrepreneurial solutions do not                                                            der Wissenschaft” (“startups out of the science
have to be opposites; they can work together      Furthermore, I am also keen on the social             sector”) funding program, which we increased                                     Peter Altmaier
to promote our country.                           and political appreciation of entrepreneur-           significantly this year and which is co-financed                                 Federal Minister for Economic Affairs
                                                  ial independence and the communication of             by the European Social Fund, ecological sus-                                     and Energy

Greeting by the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Altmaier                                                                                                                                                Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                   Page 3
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
by the Initiators

                                                                                                   “Green Startups” are not only innovative and       Green startups have also become a central
                                                                                                   growth-oriented but also sustainable. With         economic factor. As studies by the Borderstep
                             Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter                                               their products and services, they make an          Institute show, they have created well over a
                             Founder and Director                                                  important contribution to meeting the ma-          million new jobs in Germany over the past ten
                             Borderstep Institute for                                              jor sustainability challenges of our time in an    years. They are not only active in the energy
                             Innovation and Sustainability                                         effective and entrepreneurial way, whether         industry, the mobility sector and classic envi-
                             Image: Joerg Frank/Borderstep                                         it is turning energy systems around, climate       ronmental technology markets but can also
                                                                                                   protection, avoiding plastics in the oceans or     be found in all sectors: From agriculture to
                                                                                                   implementing a sustainable circular-flow econ-     the financial sector. In order to better connect
                                                                                                   omy. However, the term “green” does not only       the innovative founders in the cross-sectional
                                                                                                   cover ecologically sustainable products and        sector “Green Economy”, the German Start-
                                                                                                   services but also a broad spectrum of diverse      ups Association launched the "Green Startups
                                                                                                   sustainable solutions to social challenges – for   Platform" in 2017. With its diverse networking
                                                                                                   example, in the areas of education, nutrition      activities, it has since provided green startups
                                                                                                   or health. The innovative solutions offered        with greater visibility and a voice among politi-
                                                                                                   by green startups thus cover the entire range      cians, investors and established companies.
                                                                                                   of the Sustainable Development Goals: The
                                                       Florian Nöll                                global goals of the United Nations to secure       Green startups also play a key role in pro-
                                                       Chairman                                    sustainable development that came into force       moting structural change. While established
                                                       German Startups Association                 in 2016.                                           companies generally have their strengths in
                                                       Foto: Bundesverband Deutsche Startups                                                          improvement innovations, it is startups that

Foreword by the Initiators                                                                                                                                                 Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                               Page 4
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
introduce fundamental environmental innova-      sustainable potential of green startups can be
tions to the market as pioneers. In the trans-   better utilized.
formation bringing us towards a climate-neu-
tral economy, the innovative startup teams are   In view of the economic and ecological impor-
the main drivers of change. As the results of    tance of green startups, it is essential to have
the Green Startup Monitor (GSM) show, green      a monitoring instrument available that makes
startups predominantly rely on digital busi-     the share of this type of startup in the start-
ness models. In other words, they are making     up scene, special characteristics and achieve-
particular use of the opportunities offered by   ments and also specific challenges visible in
digitalization to implement new sustainable      politics and startup promotion programs as
solutions.                                       well as to investors and established compa-
                                                 nies. We are, therefore, pleased that the Green
The Green Startup Monitor also shows that        Startup Monitor – published by the Borderstep
green startups have to struggle with partic-     Institute for Innovation and Sustainability and
ularly high barriers in many markets and are     the German Startups Association – provides
often not rewarded for their outstanding sus-    us with a sound factual basis for the policy
tainability performance. In some cases, they     debate on the respective economic and en-
are even disadvantaged in regard to startup      vironmental aspects. We would like to thank
promotion programs. The GSM, therefore,          the German Federal Environmental Founda-
makes suggestions on how this imbalance          tion (DBU) for its financial support of the Green
can be remedied and how the economic and         Startup Monitor.
                                                                                                     Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter          Florian Nöll
                                                                                                     Director, Borderstep Institute   Chairman, German Startups Association

Foreword by the Initiators                                                                                                                               Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                Page 5
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
The Green
Startup Monitor                                                                                                                                      Startups are younger than
                                                                                                                                                           10 years and

                                                                Demonstrating the importance
                                                                of green startups in the
                                                                German startup scene and as             are (very) innovative
                                                                drivers of innovation towards

                                                                a Green Economy

                                                                                                                                           of Green Startups

                                                                                                                              have (or plan with)

     Goals                                                                     Identifying specific
                                                                               challenges and needs
                                                                               of green startups
                                                                                                                           a significant employee/
                                                                                                                            turnover growth and

                                                                Recommending measures to improve                                                     contribute to the
                                                                the conditions and ecosystem of green                                            environmental objectives
                                                                startups in Germany
                                                                                                                                                   of a Green Economy

The Green Startup Monitor – Goals, Characteristics, Key Facts                                                                                                Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                          Page 6
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
                                                                     Key Facts of the GSM 2018

                                 Two out of three German         26% of German startups can      Green startups are planning   Green startups want both,      Green startups assess their
                                 startups strive to achieve a    be considered green because     with a similar revenue and    to be financially successful   innovativeness higher than
                                 positive social or environ-     their products, technologies    employee growth as            and to achieve a positive      non-green startups.
                                 mental impact.                  and/or services contribute to   non-green startups.           environmental and social
                                                                 the environmental goals of a                                  impact.
                                                                 Green Economy.

                                 Green startups have far         The percentage of female        Two out of three startups     Green startups are more        Particularly innovative and
                                 fewer problems recruiting       green founders is slightly      in the sectors of energy      likely to encounter            growth-oriented green
                                 IT professionals, despite the   higher than that of non-green   production, chemicals,        challenges with attracting     startups call for political
                                 general shortage of             startup founders (yet at 18%    agriculture and mobility      financing than non-green       support for exchange with
                                 specialized staff.              still low).                     are green.                    startups.                      established companies.

The Green Startup Monitor – Goals, Characteristics, Key Facts                                                                                                     Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                            Page 7
Green Startup Monitor 2018 - English Version - Borderstep Institut
Der Green
Startup Monitor                                                                                                                            Startups sind
                                                                                                                                             jünger als
                                                                                                                                           10 Jahre und

(DE)                                                  Aufzeigen der Bedeutung
                                                      grüner Startups im deutschen
                                                      Gründungsgeschehen und als
                                                      Innovationstreiber einer
                                                      Green Economy
                                                                                                   (sehr) innovativ
                                                                                                      und/oder            Merkmale grüner Startups

                                                                                                                         haben ein

       Ziele                                                          Identifikation von spezifischen
                                                                      Herausforderungen und
                                                                      Bedürfnissen grüner Startups

                                                                                                                                         leisten einen
                                                                                                                                        Beitrag zu den
                                                      Empfehlung von Maßnahmen                                                            Zielen einer
                                                      zur Verbesserung des Gründungs-                                                   Green Economy
                                                      und Marktumfelds grüner Startups
                                                      in Deutschland

Der Green Startup Monitor – Ziele, Merkmale, Fakten                                                                                       Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                Page 8
10 wichtige Fakten
                                                                   aus dem GSM 2018

                                Zwei Drittel aller befragten   26 % aller Startups können      Grüne Startups planen ein     Grüne Startups wollen             Grüne Startups schätzen ihre
                                Startups streben danach,       als grün eingestuft werden,     ähnliches Umsatz- und         sowohl betriebswirtschaft-        Innovativität höher ein als
                                eine positive gesellschaft-    weil sie mit ihren Produkten,   Mitarbeiterwachstum wie       lich erfolgreich sein, als auch   nicht-grüne Startups.
                                liche oder ökologische         Technologien und/oder           nicht-grüne Startups.         eine positive ökologische
                                Wirkung zu erzielen.           Dienstleistungen einen                                        und gesellschaftliche
                                                               Beitrag zu den ökologischen                                   Wirkung erzielen.
                                                               Zielen einer Green Economy

                                Grüne Startups haben trotz     Der Frauenanteil unter          Zwei Drittel der Startups     Grüne Startups sehen in der       Besonders innovative und
                                des allgemeinen Fachkräfte-    grünen Startup Gründern ist     in den Bereichen Energie-     Kapitalbeschaffung                wachstumsorientierte grüne
                                mangels deutlich weniger       etwas höher als bei nicht-      erzeugung, chemische          deutlich häufiger eine            Startups wünschen sich von
                                Probleme, IT-Fachkräfte        grünen Startups, mit 18 %       Erzeugnisse, Landwirtschaft   Herausforderung als               der Politik Unterstützung
                                zu rekrutieren.                jedoch trotzdem gering.         und Mobilität können als      nicht-grüne Startups.             beim Austausch mit
                                                                                               grün eingestuft werden.                                         etablierten Unternehmen.

Der Green Startup Monitor – Ziele, Merkmale, Fakten                                                                                                                Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                           Page 9
Green startups introduce themselves

Thermondo                                                                                         Coolar

 Image:                                                                      Image: Coolar

Thermondo was founded in 2012 because we realized that the energy revolution could only work      Coolar has developed an innovative, completely water-based cooling system that allows a refrig-
with tangible solutions. This includes increasing efficiency, expanding decentralized energy      erator to be operated with heat from low-emission heat sources such as solar thermal systems,
supply and switching to environmentally friendly technology.                                      district heating from cogeneration, or waste heat.

Today, we are the leading heating installer for one- and two-family homes and have already        This allows Coolar to improve energy efficiency in industrialized countries while providing the
enabled more than 15,000 homeowners to heat with less CO2 emissions. We only use efficient        most robust, reliable and sustainable solution for medical and vaccine cooling in regions without
heating technologies such as condensing boilers, solar thermal systems and domestic hot water     a reliable power grid. The use of robust thermal energy storage solutions instead of short-lived
heat pumps.                                                                                       and environmentally harmful batteries guarantees longevity and reliability.

Our customers save heating costs and at the same time make an important contribution to the       Combined with our technology, an average of 60% of CO2 emissions and 75% of operating costs
environment. With an efficient heater, they can reduce their CO2 emissions by up to 30%.          in Germany could be saved compared to when using conventional refrigerators. In addition,
                                                                                                  the system does not contain any climate-damaging refrigerants, which are currently the most
                                                                                                  important single factor in global warming.

Green startups introduce themselves                                                                                                                                      Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                              Page 10
Seedforward                                                                                            Ono

 Image: Drießen                                                                                         Image: ONO

SeedForward is an agricultural innovation startup focused on developing solutions for cli-             Delivery traffic is booming. Far more than 10 million parcels are transported daily in Germany.
mate-friendly and sustainable agriculture. Due to increasing regulatory restrictions on fertil-        The trend is rising rapidly. This is already bringing cities, their infrastructures and traffic to the
izers, pesticides and seed treatments, many farmers have limited prevention and treatment              absolute limit – not to mention the environment: 500,000 mostly diesel-powered delivery vehi-
options to achieve stable earnings.                                                                    cles are trying to cope with the volume of deliveries in Europe; this results in over 6 million tons
                                                                                                       of CO2 per day.
For this reason, the first marketable product which we developed is an organic seed treatment. It
is based on a unique composition of natural materials and has a positive effect on the resistance      ONO is more than an alternative. The revolutionary eCargobike, a hybrid of electric bicycle and
and efficiency of plants as well as on the soil ecosystem. Although this is only part of the overall   van, offers solutions: Whether they be for people and the environment, traffic and infrastructure,
solution, it allows farmers to stabilize their harvests and often reduce fertilizer use.               or in terms of efficiency and profitability for logistics companies on the “last mile”.

Green startups introduce themselves                                                                                                                                                Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                  Page 11
of green startups
in the German
startup scene

              Page 12
What is a green startup?

Startups are younger than 10 years, are (very) innovative and/or
have a (planned) significant employee/sales growth. “Green”
startups are characterized by the fact that their products,
technologies and/or services contribute to the ecological
goals of a Green Economy.

                                                                            According to the latest estimates,

                                                                            there are currently around

                                                                                                                 green startups
                                                                                                                 in Germany.

1. Classification of green startups in the German startup scene                                                         Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                  Page 13
“The sustainability megatrend has also
reached the business world, and entrepre-
neurs in particular are frequently personali-
ties who want to make a difference.”
Dr. Irina Tiemann
Business Innovation
EWE Aktiengesellschaft

“Startups” represent a subset of new business     It can be assumed that around 23,700 startups
formations of greater economic significance1      were operating in Germany in the year 2018. 3   1
and are defined here on the basis of the char-    Based on the results of this Green Startup      Startups with greater economic significance include all le-
acteristics proposed by the German Startups       Monitor, it can be assumed that around 6,000    gal entities and partnership companies. Incorporations of
Association.2 In this sense, “startups” can be    of these startups can be classified as green.   natural persons must meet specified criteria (commercial
characterized as high potentials because,                                                         register entry, craftman’s card or at least one employee) in
with their innovative products and business                                                       order to qualify (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2018, p. 545).
models, they have a special significance with                                                     2
regard to economic impact factors such as the                                                     A detailed derivation of the startup term can be found in
creation of new jobs (Kollmann, Stöckmann,                                                        the German Startup Monitor 2018 (Kollmann, Hensellek,
Hensellek, & Kensbock, 2017, p. 16), on the one                                                   Jung, & Kleine-Stegemann, 2018).
hand, but also a special potential for ecolog-                                                    3
ical aspects such as the reduction of green-                                                      For the derivation of the number of startups in Germany,
house gas emissions (Fichter & Clausen, 2013,                                                     see Chapter 6.
p. 275), on the other.

1. Classification of green startups in the German startup scene                                                                                                  Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                             Page 14
                Why are green
                startups particularly

                In order to achieve the sustainable develop-      It demands the integration of sustainability as-
                ment goals and solve key challenges such as       pects into the strategic orientation of all start-
                climate change, biodiversity loss and water       ups and respective support programs with
                scarcity, entrepreneurial approaches are in-      the aim of accelerating the transformation
                creasingly recognized as important by national    towards sustainable economic development.
                and international policies (United Nations,       The climate-relevant potential of innovative
                2015). In 2014, the European Commission pub-      technology and knowledge-based startups is
                lished the Green Action Plan for SMEs. The        particularly highlighted (Bundesministerium
                plan is designed to help startups and other       für Bildung und Forschung, 2018). Also, the
                companies take advantage of the business          new energy research program of the Feder-
                opportunities offered by the transition to a      al Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
                Green Economy (European Commission, 2014).        (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Ener-
                Germany’s new High-Tech Strategy 2025 also        gie, 2018, p. 19) emphasizes the importance
                underscores the importance of the topic and       of startups for energy system transformation
                provides new impulses.                            and has created its own “Research Network
                                                                  Startups” with the aim of integrating them into
                                                                  energy research.

1. Classification of green startups in the German startup scene                                                        Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                               Page 15
How relevant
are green startups
in the German
startup scene?

                       Green Startup Monitor 2018

             Page 16
A quarter of German
startups can be
classified as green

A good quarter of the startups participating
in the German Startup Monitor can be classi-
                                                                                                                              “Green startups are
fied as green.4 The Green Startup Monitor thus
compares the responses of 295 green startups,
founded by 728 founders and with currently
                                                                                                                         still considered a niche
(according to their own account) 3,480 employ-
ees, with the responses of 863 startups that do
not contribute to a Green Economy.
                                                                                                                       development. A mistake!“
                                                                                                                                                   Dr. Matthias Wittstock,
The participating green startups are between
                                                                                                                                                       Wittstock Consulting
0 and 10 years old. On average they are quite
                                                                                                                                     (Former Head of the Startup Department
young at 2.5 years. Three out of four (76%)
                                                                                                                                                  at the Federal Ministry for
were founded in 2015 and later. Every second
                                                                                                                                               Economic Affairs and Energy)
green startup in the data set is in the “Start-
up Stage”, meaning it has developed a mar-
ket-ready offer and is recording its first sales   4
or users. The other half of the companies are      For the demarcation between green and non-green start-
spread almost equally between the “Seed            ups, as well as between this GSM 2018 and the Green Eco-
Stage” (no sales/no users yet) and the “Growth     nomy Gründungsmonitor (GEMO), see Chapter 6.
Stage” (strong sales/user growth). Only three      1,158 startups in the data set responded to all three ques-
out of every hundred green startups are in a       tions relevant for the classification and could, therefore,
later development phase.                           be included in the analysis.

2. How relevant are green startups in the German startup scene?                                                                                 Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                             Page 17
Self-assignment of startups to the Green Economy                                 2.2
     based on responses of 1,348 startups                                             Locations and
                                                                                      startup hotspots
Our products/services can be assigned to the "Green Economy" because they
purposefully contribute to environmental protection, climate protection and
resource conservation.

   16%             17%              18%              20%            30%               Measured in absolute terms, most green start-
                                                                                      ups can be found in the federal states of North
                                                                                      Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and
  fully agree       agree           neutral          disagree    fully disagree
                                                                                      Berlin. 5 The German Startup Monitor bundles
                                                                                      various locations into five so-called “Start-
                                                                                      up Hotspots” (Kollmann, Hensellek, Jung, &
                                                                                      Kleine-Stegemann, 2018, p. 23) for an easier
     Distribution green startups / non-green startups                                 overview. As is the case for all startups, the
                                                                                      green startups hotspots are headed by Berlin
     based on responses of 1,158 startups
                                                                                      (14%), followed by the Rhine-Ruhr metropol-
         green startups             non-green startups
                                                                                      itan region (10%), Stuttgart/Karlsruhe (7%),
                                                                                      Hamburg (6%) and Munich (5%).

     26%                                                                              In four federal states, green startups account
                                                                                      for over a third of all startups: Saxony, Bran-
                                                                                      denburg, Thuringia and Schleswig-Holstein. It
                                                                                      is noticeable here that although the new feder-
                                                                                      al states Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia
                                                                                      only host a small share of the absolute num-      5
                                                                                      ber of green startups in the data set, there is   The figures on federal states and startup hotspots pre-
                                                                                      a clearly above-average trend towards green       sented here reflect the distribution of green startups in the
                                                                                      startups in these states. Looking at startup      data set. They therefore provide an interesting insight into
                                                                                      hotspots, the Stuttgart/Karlsruhe region leads    the distribution of those green startups that have been
                                                                                      with the highest proportion of green startups     invited to participate in the survey and have decided to
                                                                                      (27%), followed by Berlin (24%), the Rhine-       do so. This distribution is a trend, and it is not possible to

                                                                74%                   Ruhr metropolitan region (23%), Hamburg
                                                                                      (23%) and Munich (21%).
                                                                                                                                        draw conclusions about the exact distribution of all green

2. How relevant are green startups in the German startup scene?                                                                                                     Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                  Page 18
Distribution of green startups across federal states                                        Proportion of green startups among all startups in the
                                                                                                                 respective federal state
                     based on responses of 295 startups
                                                                                                                 based on responses of 879 non-green und 295 green startups

                                                          3%                                                                              Schleswig-Holstein

                                                                                                                                                                   23%                          27%
                                                                  6%                   2%                                                                Hamburg
                                                          Hamburg         Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
                                                5%                                                                                              27%
                                                                                              14%                                      Bremen                                           24%
                                                            9%                       Berlin

                                                   Lower Saxony                                 2%                                                         26%                                     36%
                                                                                        Brandenburg                                             Lower Saxony
                                                                                                                                                                              29%        Brandenburg

                                                                     Saxony-Anhalt                                                22%                              Saxony-Anhalt

                                     16%                                                       7%                                                                                                  38%
                      North Rhine-Westphalia
                                                                                                                 North Rhine-Westphalia
                                                                        2%             Saxony
                                                                                                                                                               Thuringia                  Saxony
                                                      4%                                                                       25%                        27%
                                   2%            Hesse                                                          Rhineland-Palatinate             Hesse

                                 1%                                                                                               30%

                                                                                                                       Saarland                                            20%
                                                                        Bavaria                                                                                 Bavaria

                                                   15%                                                                                              28%
                                     Baden-Württemberg                                                                            Baden-Württemberg

2. How relevant are green startups in the German startup scene?                                                                                                                    Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                      Page 19
2.3                                                                                                            Sector distribution and share of green startups per sector

Industries and                                                                                                 based on responses of 855 non-green and 293 green startups

technology categories
                                                                                                                                                 Sector share of all                                         Sector share of all
                                                                                                                                                 green startups                                              green startups

                                                                                                        Energy                         79% 8%                          Industrial Goods                35% 3%

                                                                                                        Electricity                    75% 1%                          Security                        33% 1%

                                                                                                        Raw Materials                  67% 1%                          Biology                         33% 1%
Every fifth green startup is active in the in-      cially growth-oriented startups, the share of

formation and communication technology              green startups in the information and commu-        Mobility                       61% 4%                          Education                       21% 3%
sector. This means they deal with intermedi-        nication technology sector increases to 27%.
ate or end products or services “that enable        Growth-oriented green startups do, therefore,       Agriculture and                                                Leisure and Sports              18% 2%
                                                                                                        Rural Development              55% 2%
information search and processing as well as        engage in this sector over proportionally.
communication between people electronically”                                                                                                                           (Online-)Gaming                 18% 1%
                                                                                                        Textile Industry               53% 5%
(Schnorr-Bäcker, 2016, p. 35). Thus, startups       Within their respective sector categories,
from the information and communications             green startups dominate in six. In the energy                                                                      Consulting and Agency           15% 2%
                                                                                                        Chemicals and
technology sector account for the majority of       and electricity sectors, almost eight out of ten    Pharmaceuticals                53% 3%
green startups. In comparison to the gener-         startups can be classified as green. This is also                                                                  Information and
                                                                                                                                                                       Communication Technology        15% 19%
al startup scene, where it is one-third of the      the case for seven out of ten startups in the       Water, Waste and Recycling     50% 1%
startups that assign themselves to this sector      raw materials sector and six out of ten in the
                                                                                                                                                                       Human Resources                 12% 2%
(Kollmann, Hensellek, et al., 2018, p. 25), the     mobility sector.                                    Tourism                        47% 3%
share is, however, notably lower.
                                                                                                                                                                       Banking and Finances            11% 1%
                                                    Green startups also make up the majority of         Food and Nutrition             45% 9%
With great distance from the information and        startups in agriculture, textiles, chemicals and
                                                                                                                                                                       Medicine and Health             11% 3%
communication technology sector follow the          pharmaceuticals, and even in the area of (on-       Cars                           42% 3%
food, energy and consumer goods sectors. The        line) gaming, around 18% classify themselves
                                                                                                                                                                       Media and Creative Industries   10% 1%
energy sector in particular, with a share of 8%,    as green. Banking, finance and insurance            Logistics                      39% 3%
is of distinctive importance for green start-       startups hardly ever focus on ecological sus-
                                                                                                                                                                       Insurance                          0% 0%
ups compared to the general startup scene in        tainability. It remains to be seen whether, for     Consumer Goods                 37% 7%
Germany, in which only 3% assign themselves         example, the European Commission's Sustain-
to it (Kollmann, Hensellek, et al., 2018, p. 25).   able Finance Initiative will have an impact on      Construction and Real Estate   37% 4%
When considering only the subgroup of espe-         this in the future.                                                                                                % green startups within industry

2. How relevant are green startups in the German startup scene?                                                                                                                                 Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                   Page 20
Regarding technology categories,7 the self-as-                                                                Share of green startups among all startups across technology categories
signment of startups shows that green start-
                                                                                                              based on responses of 661 non-green and 250 green startups
ups dominate in four categories. In the areas
of EnergyTech, ChemTech and AgriTech, seven
out of ten startups are green. This also applies
to six out of ten Future Mobility startups. The                                                          EnergyTech                                      70%       PropTech                             20%
distribution across technology categories is
thus similar to the distribution within the in-                                                          ChemTech                                        68%       LegalTech                            17%
dustries described above and hence under-
lines the importance of green startups in tech-                                                          AgriTech                                        67%       FinTech                              15%
nical and industrial areas. The innovations of
these startups thus make a major contribution                                                            Future Mobility                                 62%       SportTech                            13%
to the ecological goals of a Green Economy.
                                                                                                         TravelTech                                      35%       InsurTech                            11%
Demarcation based on the answer very important to the                                                    FoodTech                                        33%       Cyber Security                       11%
statement: Which corporate strategies are currently im-
portant for your startup? Rapid growth.                                                                  BioTech                                         30%       Digital Health                       10%
EnergyTech: Innovative processes for energy generation,                                                  EdTech                                           21%      MedTech                               0%
ChemTech: Innovative chemical products, AgriTech:
Efficiency-enhancing processes in agriculture, Future Mo-
bility: Solutions for the mobility turnaround, Tra velTech:
Technical solutions in the travel industry, Food Tech: Tech-
nical solutions for production, supply chains and distribu-
tion channels in the food industry, BioTech: Application
                                                               “Startups in the two fields of energy and mobility
                                                               typically have the more scalable business models –
of technology to living organisms, EdTech: Efficiency-en-
hancing use of technology in education, PropTech: Digital
services and technologies in the real estate industry, Le-
galTech: Technical solutions for legal work processes, Fin-
tech: Technical financial innovations, SportTech: Technical
                                                               and, in individual cases, grow to the level of world
                                                               market leaders.”
solutions for sports, InsurTech: Use of modern technolo-
gies in the insurance industry, Cyber Security: Hardware
and software solutions to prevent unauthorized access
to information, Digital Health: Digital solutions for health   Dr. Jörg Lefèvre
care, MedTech: Products, equipment and processes for the       Head of Division
prevention, diagnosis and therapy of diseases.                 German Federal Environmental Foundation

2. How relevant are green startups in the German startup scene?                                                                                                                     Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                   Page 21
StartGreen Award
The national
premium award
for green startups
in Germany

                             Page 22
The StartGreen Award bolsters    In 2018, the leading award for sustainable solu-     All applications in the category “Startup”

up founders in the Green Econ-   tions in Germany was presented for the fourth        also had the opportunity to qualify for the            The StartGreen Award 2018 was
                                 time in a row. The focus was on linking green        Cleantech Open Ideas Challenge in California.
omy. It supports innovative      startups, companies, investors, funding insti-       The international competition for cleantech
                                                                                                                                              awarded in three categories.
                                 tutions and political pioneers to promote a          companies in 2019 takes place in San Francisco
startups and exemplary start-    Green Economy.                                       (USA). The three selected winners of the Ger-
up promotion programs in the                                                          man preselection were nominated for the fi-
                                 The green startup community had the oppor-           nal. In addition to having travel costs covered,
field of Green Economy and       tunity to participate in a prior public voting to    the teams won a coaching package and men-
sustainability and makes them    determine who most deserved the award. In            toring for the preparation of the competition
                                 the final pitch in front of a jury of experts, the   as well as intensive on-site support. This prize
more visible. Patron of the      finalists competed for financial and non-finan-      was made possible by the main partner RKW
                                                                                                                                                                      Energy of the future
                                                                                                                                                                      (startup concepts,
StartGreen Award 2018 was        cial rewards worth more than 60,000 Euros. In        Kompetenzzentrum.                                  1                            startups & young
                                 addition to a prize of 5,000 Euros per category,                                                        Startup Concepts
the German Minister for the      the main partner, SDG Investments, offered           This year saw the second time that pupil com-      (not yet established)
                                                                                                                                                                      companies from
                                                                                                                                                                      0-15 years)
Environment, Svenja Schulze.     to register all finalists in the award categories    panies focusing on sustainable solutions were
                                 “Startup” and “Energy of the Future” on the          also honored (StartGreen@ School Award).
                                 SDG Investments platform (equivalent to 5,000
                                 Euros each).                                         The StartGreen Award is an initiative of the
                                                                                      Borderstep Institute. The prize has been                         2
                                                                                      awarded since 2015.                                              Startups
                                                                                                                                                       (up to 5 years)

StartGreen Award                                                                                                                                                 Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                Page 23
StartGreen Award
                                                                                       WINNER 2018

CATEGORY Startup Concept                                            CATEGORY Startup                                                  CATEGORY Energy of the Future
ME Energy                                                           Nuventura                                                         Solmove
(Berlin)                                                            (Berlin)                                                          (Potsdam, Brandenburg)
Flexible, nationwide charging infrastructure for                    The world's first medium-voltage switchgear without               Smart road surfaces for clean e-mobility
electric cars                                                       SF6 greenhouse gas
                                                                                                                                      The founding team of SOLMOVE from Potsdam (Brandenburg)
The founders from Berlin want to turn electromobility into          The startup from Berlin has developed the world’s first gas-in-   develops smart roads. The SOLMOVE “solar carpet” is an inno-
something that’s accessible for everyone. To this end, they are     sulated medium-voltage switchgear up to 36 kV. With it, the       vative road surface that generates electricity, defrosts snow
developing fast-charging columns that can be set up anywhere,       greenhouse gas SF6 can be replaced by air without sacrificing     and generates data. In this way, clean energy can be generat-
without connection to the power grid or infrastructure require-     the advantages of SF6 systems. SF6 is the strongest greenhouse    ed without consuming land and used for electric mobility. A
ments. They function independently of car types and charging        gas there is. The actual annual emissions of SF6 correspond to    further advantage is that the modules can simply be glued onto
infrastructure. This is of particular interest to people in rural   the annual CO2 emissions of about 100 million cars. Nuventura     the existing surface and transferred to the recycling process for
regions, who were previously largely excluded from switching        wants to render SF6 use unnecessary with its technology.          solar systems after undergoing wear and tear.
to e-cars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Images © Rolf Schulten/Borderstep
StartGreen Award                                                                                                                                                            Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                Page 24
German Preselection for the Cleantech Open Ideas Challenge in California                                                               StartGreen@School Award
                                     WINNER 2018                                                                                                      WINNER 2018

Paprfloor                                                          Nuventura                                                         Schmids Druck Studio
The company from Weil der Stadt (Baden-Württemberg) has de-        The startup from Berlin has developed the world's first gas-in-   Carlo-Schmid-Oberschule (Berlin)
veloped a floor covering made of recycled paper. Compared to       sulated medium-voltage switchgear up to 36 kV. With it, the
classic trade fair floors, the paper floor reduces CO2 emissions   greenhouse gas SF6 can be replaced by air without sacrificing     Schmids Druck Studio prints on sustainable textiles. Through
by up to 10kg per m2. The use of paper also saves large amounts    the advantages of SF6 systems. SF6 is the strongest greenhouse    the digital printing process, multi-color prints can also be made
of hazardous waste that are typically generated by disposing of    gas there is. The actual annual emissions of SF6 correspond to    to orders in small quantities. In addition to textile printing,
the conventional floor.                                            the annual CO2 emissions of about 100 million cars. Nuventura     cups, thermo cups and mobile phone covers are also printed.
                                                                   wants to render SF6 use unnecessary with its technology.          All textiles are fairly produced and consist of organic cotton
                                                                                                                                     and recycled yarns.
With the software from this startup from Munich (Bavaria), 3D
furniture design becomes a 2D cut pattern. Mainly corrugated
and honeycomb board is used, so that the furniture is cheap,
requires only a fraction of the energy and material to produce
compared to conventional furniture and can be produced with
highly automated processes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Images © Rolf Schulten/Borderstep
StartGreen Award                                                                                                                                                           Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                               Page 25
To what extent
do green and
startups differ?

                         Green Startup Monitor 2018

               Page 26
3.2.                                                   Three out of four green startups currently have           When asked about the challenges of recruit-
                                                                                                        employees who are not part of the founding                ing employees, difficulties emerge primarily
                                                 Green startups find it                                 team. On average, each of these green start-              in the IT sector: Every second green startup
                                                 easier to find employees                               ups has created 13 jobs.                                  reports that it is rather difficult to find person-
                                                                                                                                                                  nel in the technical IT sector (55%). Two out
                                                                                                        Three out of four (74%) of the hiring green               of three green startups (66%) have difficulties
                                                                                                        startups state that they employ between one               filling positions in the field of applied IT. Com-
                                                                                                        and nine people. Every fifth (22%) has between            pared to non-green startups, however, these
                                                                                                        ten and 49 employees. 4% of the hiring green              difficulties are less pronounced. In addition,
                                                                                                        startups even employ 50 employees or more.                significantly more green than non-green start-

                                                                                                        Over the next twelve months, 91% of the green             ups report that it is easy to find employees for
Growth of green startups                                                                                (and 87% of non-green) startups plan to hire              these areas. Green startups thus appear to be
                                                                                                        new employees. On average, green and non-                 attractive employers for sought-after occupa-
on an equal footing with                                                                                green startups are planning seven new hires.              tional groups.
other growth companies                                      of the green startups plan
                                                            to hire new employees in the
                                                            next twelve months

For the year 2018, more than half (54%) of                                                                  IT Recruitment Challenges
the startups in the dataset reported having
                                                                                                            based on responses of 645 non-green and 226 green startups,
generated sales or having expected to do so
                                                                                                            resp. 707 non-green und 235 green startups
in 2018. Generally, green startups achieve the
same turnover as non-green startups and em-
ploy the same number of employees. Both the                                                                                                                                                        green startups
green and the non-green revenue-generating                           Applied IT: rather – very easy                       18%                                                                      non-green startups
startups are planning to double their turnover                                                                    11%
on average for 2018 compared to the previous
                                                                   Technical IT: rather – very easy                        20%
This planned growth is, however, seen as far                      Applied IT: rather – very difficult                                                                     66%
less of an important challenge (36% vs. 46%)                                                                                                                                     77%
by green startups. Consequently, two thirds of
the green startups see themselves in a good,
                                                                Technical IT: rather – very difficult                                                        55%
competitive market position with their innova-
tive products and services.                                                                             0                20                 40                  60                80

3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                                                                                Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                 Page 27
Green startups see                                                Innovativeness

themselves as more                                                based on responses of 838 non-green and 288 green startups

innovative                                                           green startups      non-green startups

Green startups see themselves as more inno-
vative than non-green startups:8 Six out of ten
green startups see themselves as innovative,
14% as very innovative. This applies in partic-
ular to green startups in the start-up phase.                50

Here, about three quarters see themselves as
innovative or very innovative (vs. 64% of non-
green startups). Green startups are thus par-
ticularly frequently bringing new ideas to the               40

In the very innovative subgroup,9 all startups
in the automotive, transport, chemical and
pharmaceutical, safety, food and nutrition and               30
food sectors are green. The Greens among the
very innovative startups also dominate the
technology categories Future Mobility (89%),
ChemTech (75%) and Energy-Tech (63%).

8                                                                                                                                                               14%
Based on an index of responses to the four dimensions:
business model, technology, processes and products/          10                                                                                                          9%
9                                                                                                        5%         6%

The very innovative index category describes startups that
have classified themselves as very innovative on average
                                                                   0%       0%        0%       1%
in all four dimensions (business model, technology, pro-
                                                                    not innovative      not innovative        rather not       rather innovative   innovative    very innovative
cesses and products/services).                                           at all                               innovative

3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                                                                          Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                   Page 28
“In our experience, the green scene is very well balanced
                with a high proportion of women. It is thus a logical
                conclusion, that there is a comparably higher number
                of women here who start a green company.”
                Frank Ackermann
                SDG Investments

                                                                                            More female founders
                                                                                            in green startups

                                                                                            Female founders are clearly underrepresent-       Only about one out of ten green (as well as
                     Percentage of female startup founders                                  ed in the German startup scene (Kollmann,         non-green) startups is founded by a purely
                                                                                            Hensellek, et al., 2018; Trautwein, Fichter,      female founding team – two out of three (64%
                     based on responses of 863 non-green and 295 green startups
                                                                                            & Bergset, 2018; Metzger, 2017). This differ-     vs. 73%) by an exclusively male team. Com-
                        green startups      non-green startups
                                                                                            ence is particularly noticeable in the area of    pared to non-green startups, green start-
                                                                                            innovative and growth-oriented startups;          ups are founded more than twice as often by
                                                                                            although the number of female founders has        mixed-gender teams (26% vs. 11%).
                                                                                            risen slightly every year since 2014, (Koll-

                                                                                            mann, Stöckmann, De Cruppe, Hensellek, &
                                                                                            Kleine-Stegemann, 2018, S. 15), it currently
                                                                                            only constitutes 15% of founders for all (green
                                                                                            and non-green) startups.10 Green startups are     10
                                                                       14%                  founded more frequently by women than non-        Total share of all indicated founders
                                                                                            green startups.+11 However, at 18%, this pro-     11
                0                 5                  10                  15        20       portion is nevertheless low.                      The meaning of the symbol “+” is explained in chapter 6.3.

3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                                                                Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                        Page 29
based on responses of 290 green startups

                                                                                                               applied IT

                    stationary trade                                    10%

      other services
                                                                        business model           10%                                technical IT

                                                                            of green
                                                                            startups             10%
                                                                                                                               online sales
technology development /
   production (hardware)
                                                                        3% 4% 6%                                other services (digital)

                                       social network
                                                                                               online trading platform
                                                              sharing                                                                  digital business models
                                                                                                                                       analogous business models

  3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                       Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                              Page 30
3.5                                                Within the subgroup of particularly growth-ori-      3.6                                                           Green startups not only actively address the
                                                   ented startups, however, fewer startups are                                                                        ecological and social challenges of our time,
Green startups                                     set up analogously than the above-described
                                                                                                        Green startups see                                            but they also see additional market opportu-
mainly pursue digital                              average: Here, only 20% of green startups are        ecological challenges                                         nities in them: More than eight out of ten green
                                                   analogous (vs. 15% of non-green startups).                                                                         startups agree or fully agree with this state-
business models                                                                                         as entrepreneurial                                            ment. With their innovative and sustainable
                                                   When considering only those startups with            opportunity                                                   products and services, green startups are thus
                                                   more than ten employees, green startups pur-                                                                       penetrating new markets. These are markets
                                                   sue business models of applied IT12 (18% vs.                                                                       that have arisen, and will continue to arise, as
More than half of the monitored green startups     34%) or other digital services (9% vs. 17%) only                                                                   a result of current environmental challenges
(56%) follow a digital business model. They        half as often. Twice as frequently as non-green                                                                    such as climate change, the loss of biological
therefore use “digital technology, the Internet    startups, they are dedicated to (hardware)                                                                         diversity and water scarcity.
and/or digitally collected data (...) to create    technology development or production (23%
new offers and/or improve existing ones” (Le-      vs. 11%); three times more frequently, they are
rch, Schnabel, Meyer, & Jäger, 2007, p. 18). Ev-   dedicated to online sales (9% vs. 3%).
ery third green startup (34%) acts analogously,
e.g. in the production of material goods, prod-
ucts, the provision of non-digital services or
                                                                                                              “Environmental or social challenges open up additional market opportunities.”
the operation of stationary trade.
                                                                                                              based on responses of 764 non-green and 267 green startups
There is a clear difference to non-green start-    12                                                            green startups           non-green startups
ups, of which only one in five (20%) has an        Development and improvement of computer-based
analogous business model.                          solutions for everyday life and science.

                                                                                                                        fully agree                                                                   44%

                   56%                                                                                                       agree

           of the green startups operate
           with a digital business model                       84%                                                         neutral                             13%
                                                               of the green startups see market                           disagree            3%
                                                               opportunities in our environmental                                                                    18%
                                                               and social challenges.
                                                                                                                     fully disagree       1%

                                                                                                                                      0               10             20          30            40            50

3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                                                                                   Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                    Page 31
3.7                                              More than two-thirds of all green and non-           the other hand, is very important to only 4%            growth-oriented green startups, this per-
                                                 green startups in the data set stated that           of the surveyed green founders. Product de-             centage increases to 86% (vs. 66%). For the
Same company goals and                           achieving a positive social or ecological impact     velopment is a very important task for almost           concrete (further) internationalization in the
tasks, but additional                            is important to them. Pursuing not only finan-       half. Almost one third name organizational              coming twelve months,13 almost all of the
                                                 cial profit but also social or environmental         development, the strengthening of corporate             green startups name the EU. Disproportion-
positive ecological impact                       added value is therefore an integral part of the     culture and the motivation and promotion of             ately often, they are planning an internation-
                                                 objectives of not only the green startups but of     employees as currently very important man-              alization into non-EU Europe, Asia, Africa and
                                                 two out of three of all startups.                    agement tasks.                                          South America.

                                                 For a majority of the other corporate goals          An exception is internationalization, which
                                                 and management tasks surveyed, there are             green startups are particularly interested in.
                                                 no significant differences between green and         A good half of the non-green startups consid-           13
                                                 non-green startups: Growth and profitability         ers it as rather to very important, while this          multiple choice
                                                 are very important goals for a quarter of them       is the case for over two thirds of the green
                                                 respectively. The goal of a successful exit, on      ones. When only looking at the particularly

                                                      “Achieving a positive social or ecological 		                        Corporate objective internationalization
                                                      impact is currently an important
                                                                                                                           based on responses of 855 non-green and 294 green startups
                                                      corporate goal”

                                                      based on responses of 1,158 startups
                                                      (863 non-green and 295 green)                                                                       non-green        green
                                                                                                                                                           startups       startups

                                                                                                                      14%              very important
                                                                very important               25%                                                                                     very important         23%
                                                                                                                      19%                   important

                                                                important                    21%                                                                                     important              19%
                                                                                                                      20%            rather important

                                                                rather important             22%                                                                                     rather important       26%
                                                                                                                      23%          rather unimportant

                                                                rather unimportant           16%                                                                                     rather unimportant     15%
                                                                                                                      15%               not important
                                                                not important                 9%                                                                                     not important          10%
                                                                not important at all          6%                      9%           not important at all                              not important at all    7%

3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                                                                               Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                Page 32
3.8                                                14
                                                                                                      Same key performance
                                                                                                                                                         Percentages of green startups that (fully) agree with the
                                                                                                      indicators with the addition                       statements (multiple choice): (i) Sales growth is important
                                                                                                                                                         for us, (ii) profitability is important for us, (iii) Our position

                                                               of the green startups
                                                                                                      of positive environmental                          relative to the competition is important for us

                                                             internationalization is                  impact                                             15
                                                                                                                                                         With a deviation of only one to two percentage points each.
                                                      important or very important

                                                                                                      When asked about their key performance in-               Key performance indicator:
                         Planned (further) internationalization                                       dicators, two out of three of all participating          Positive ecological and social impact
                                                                                                      startups (62%) agree or fully agree with the             is important for us
                         based on responses of 731 non-green and 245 green startups
                                                                                                      statement Positive ecological and social impact
                             green startups     non-green startups                                                                                             based on responses of 1,198 startups
                                                                                                      is important for us. The tendency of all start-
                                                                                                                                                               (903 non-green and 295 green)
                                                                                                      ups towards more impact already described in
                                                                                                      Chapter 3.7 is, therefore, not only expressed in
                   EU                                                                       97%       their strategic orientation, but also translated
                                                                                                      into operational decision-making.
        Non-EU Europe                                   39%                                                                                                                 fully agree                            27%
                                                      36%                                             Regarding the classic key performance indica-
                                                                                                      tors, most of the green startups focus above all
        North America                                  37%                                            on sales growth (91%), followed by profitabili-
                                                                                                      ty (83%) and the competitive position (79%).14
                  Asia                            30%                                                 With this focus, they do not differ significant-                      agree                                  35%
                                               27%                                                    ly from non-green startups.15 Green startups
                                                                                                      therefore see themselves as equally growth-,
                Africa                 16%                                                            profit- or competition-oriented but integrate
                                                                                                      the positive ecological and social impact much
        South America                 15%                                                             more frequently as an additional key perfor-
                                     13%                                                              mance indicator into their operational man-
                                                                                                                                                                            neutral                                25%
                                                                                                      agement targets.
     Australia/Oceania              13%
                                     12%                                                                                                                                    disagree                                  9%
                         0              20             40              60              80   100                                                                             fully disagree                            4%

3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                                                                              Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                  Page 33
    Sources of capital
                                                                                                                              Capital more frequently
    based on responses of 862 non-green and 291 green startups
        green startups       non-green startups
                                                                                                                              from family & friends,
                                                                                                                              the crowd and through
                                    own savings                                                                   84%         bank loans
                              family and friends                                           40%
                                                                                                                              Eight out of ten of all (green and non-green)
                                 state subsidies                                     35%                                      startups in the dataset finance themselves
                                                                                     36%                                      from savings.16 One-third do this with state
                                                                                                                              subsidies and through capital from family and
                                business angels                          20%                                                  friends. Green startups finance themselves
                                                                                                                              comparably more frequently through fami-
                                      bank loan                         18%                                                   ly and friends. Entrepreneurial ideas with an
                                                              9%                                                              ecological impact thus seem to be more enthu-
                                                                                                                              siastically funded with capital provided by the
  incubator/company builder and/or accelerator                     15%                                                        founders’ circle of close acquaintances. Also,
                                                                                                                              capital acquired through bank loans and in-
       internal financing (operational cash flow)                  15%                                                        cubators, company builders and accelerators
                                                                         22%                                                  is comparatively more frequent among green
                                                                                                                              startups. While financing through crowdfun-
                                 venture capital                   14%                                                        ding and crowdinvesting is rather minor over-
                                                                                                                              all, green startups use it 2.5 times more fre-
                  crowdfunding/crowdinvesting                5%                                                               quently than non-green startups. The higher
                                                         2%                                                                   attractiveness of an investment in a startup
                                                                                                                              company with an ecological impact is hence
                                   venture debt          3%                                                                   also reflected outside the direct circle of fam-
                                                                                                                              ilies and friends. Internal financing via the
                         other sources of capital       1%                                                                    operational cash flow, on the other hand, is
                                                        2%                                                                    comparatively less common.

                ICO/crypto-currency borrowing           0%
                                                    0               20                40         60        80           100   Multiple choice

3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                                          Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                 Page 34
“Green startups should approach                                                                                                            Objectives pursued in cooperations with established companies

                                                                                                                                                  based on responses of 506 non-green and 179 green startups

       established companies actively                                                                                                                 green startups     non-green startups

       and with self-confidence in order                                                                               customer/market access                                                                        88%

       to tackle the important issues of                                                                                      proof of concept                                             51%

       our society together.”                                                                                                reputation/Image

       Dr. Irina Tiemann
                                                                                                                technology knowledge/expertise                                         46%
       Business Innovation
       EWE Aktiengesellschaft                                                                                                      fundraising                        20%
                                                                                                                              data (open data)                   17%
                                                                                                                                   exit options             11%
3.10                                                                                                                                                        11%
Cooperation more often                             thus have a special importance. Cooperations                                                   0              20             40              60             80         100
                                                   with established companies mainly have the
for the purpose of                                 purpose17 to improve customer and market ac-
technology knowledge                               cess. In comparison with non-green startups,
                                                   green ones more frequently use cooperations
and expertise, fundraising                         to receive and exchange technological knowl-
and acquiring data

                                                   edge and expertise,+18 for fundraising and for
                                                   data exchange.+

Green startups actively cooperate with prom-                                                                                                                     of the green startups benefit from
ising partners. Almost half (49%) of them profit   17                                                                                                            interactions with established
from interactions with other startups, two         Multiple choice                                                                                               companies
thirds (62%) from cooperations with estab-         18
lished companies. The latter partnerships          The meaning of the symbol “+” is explained in chapter 6.3.

3. To what extent do green and non-green startups differ?                                                                                                                                              Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                                                                           Page 35
StartGreen and
the Green Startups
Support for Green

Comprehensive support for the green startup scene through
the complementary offers of the information and networking
portal StartGreen and the Green Startups Platform of the
German Startups Association.

                                                                       Green Startup Monitor 2018

                                                             Page 36
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