SINGAPORE, 27 OCTOBER 2020 – Today, ENGIE Factory, the venture arm of ENGIE Asia-Pacific, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) New Ventures group to launch a portfolio of new zero-carbon startups over the next three years.
The MOU aims to establish Singapore as a hub for sustainability innovation in Asia by creating new ventures that will help businesses in Singapore and Southeast Asia decarbonize more quickly and profitably.
ENGIE Factory’s venture build program uses proven corporate venturing methodology, which starts with a list of ideas and problems identified through its venture research and results in venture grade business plans. The methodology is highly customer-centric and often involves over 150 individual customer interviews. The program is centered around entrepreneurial talent that is recruited locally in the ecosystem where the business will start. ENGIE Factory is launching its new recruitment campaign on its website for the cohort starting in March 2021. One particular strength of this program is its ability to work with founders that come from different sectors with no prior knowledge of the energy landscape as they receive support through ENGIE’s domain expertise.
Since its launch at the start of 2019, ENGIE Factory has initiated 7 new ventures and tested 10 technology solutions from existing startups. This model of corporate venturing has allowed ENGIE to explore new ways to expand its activities in two ways; First, to use technology to grow its offering to new groups of customers. Second, to join the dots between sustainability and tech industries such as IoT, AI and fintech, to strengthen the reach and accessibility of low carbon client solutions.
This collaboration with EDB will accelerate ENGIE Factory’s venture build program, with EDB’s New Ventures group working alongside ENGIE Factory during the ideation, validation and commercialization phases of the program, to jointly invest, risk share and incubate these new ventures, leveraging expertise and networks from both sides to make them successful.
“Our mission is to build the next generation in sustainability ventures that accelerate the transition to zero carbon, using profitable business models and by solving problems customers really care about,” said Quentin Vaquette, Founder & Managing Director of ENGIE Factory.
According to ENGIE Factory, cleantech as a venture investment segment is often misunderstood. Quentin continued, “The next decade in sustainability is about business model innovation whereas most still think it is only about inventing new technologies.”
Highlighting the importance to continue evolving innovation activities such as ENGIE Factory, “With technology and business models changing so fast, if you are standing still, then you are actually going backwards. This is why, locally and globally, innovation is important for a company like ENGIE. It ensures that we are able to offer our clients the best means of decarbonizing their business and the process of Venture Building is an extremely effective way of launching experiments that are customer-centric by design from the start,” said Paul Maguire, President and Regional CEO, ENGIE Asia-Pacific.
“ENGIE has been one of our more active corporate venturing partners in Singapore. We hope to provide a strong boost to their venture building efforts here, which adds to the growing momentum of corporate venturing activities in Singapore. We are excited that EDB’s support to form joint incubation teams and provide risk-sharing capital to ENGIE’s ventures, will enable ENGIE to take more shots on goal towards building successful new businesses in sustainability,” said Beh Kian Teik, Executive Vice President, New Ventures, EDB.