Cluster Insight with Element One Energy
Norway's start-up ecosystem has yet to fully embrace the potential of deep tech companies according to CEO Anders Even Kvåle, Founder and CEO of Element One Energy.
Cluster Insight offers a glimpse into the daily operations of GCE Ocean Technology partners and members through a series of six questions.
This week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Anders Even Kvåle of Element One Energy, a company enabling the future of green hydrogen energy with innovative electrolyser and fuel cell technologies.
1. What is your role in Element One Energy?
I founded Element One Energy (EoneE) in 2021 and today I am the CEO of the company.
There has not been much of the typical "CEO" work since then and my daily task, within our startup team, is to alternate between the roles of researcher, engineer, mechanic, salesman, administrator and a lot more.
I enjoy the all-rounder role, but we are looking forward to building a larger and greater team to speed up the development of our green hydrogen solutions.
2. Your primary focus at work right now is?
Yes, that's a good question, as you might understand based on my answer to the first question.
We are now focusing on a Pre-SEED funding round, where we are in dialogue with several Norwegian venture capital companies (VC). In addition, we are planning the next lab scale test phase of our electrolysis technology, where we are inviting pilot customers who need electrolysis technology.
3. Biggest challenges and opportunities for Element One Energy in the future?
There’s little culture for building a deep tech start-up company in Norway thus making it harder. This is never easy regardless of where you are located, but in general, most Norwegian start-up companies are advised to solve tangible problems with low impact and lower risk.
Both corporates and finance partners should be willing to take larger risks to enable great ideas that will slow down climate changes with sustainable business models.
Many are probably thinking that Norway is highly ranked as technology providers within the energy domain, but it is alarming that we do not have any Norwegian Unicorns on a list of 83 start-ups Climate Tech Unicorn Developments in the world (ref. Holoniq). (A unicorn startup or unicorn company is a private company with a valuation over $1 billion USD priced via a venture funding round).
It is a great opportunity for us to be in the energy/hydrogen domain today. Despite the slowdown in capitalization of start-up companies, we still see strong momentum in funding of early phase green technology companies. The hydrogen market is expected to have a yearly growth rate at 30-50% and we are eager to speed up and take a portion of that market.
4. Best part of being member in a cluster?
Network is everything and being a member of GCE Ocean Technology enables us as a small company to connect with partners, customers and suppliers within our business segment. We are looking forward to being more active in networking after a “long” period with research and development focus.
5. Your business/life motto
During a working week, we are spending about half of our waking hours at work and I strive to make it meaningful.
I find the renewable energy and climate change threats discussions in Norway to be polarized and very many people are “energy nationalistic”, ending up with strong opposition and slowdown for many renewable projects. So, one motto is to “talk more about what we can do, rather than what we cannot do.”
Another one I have tried to live by is that if you have a great idea and you do not find your work meaningful: Quit your job and unleash your potential by building your own company together with a team. Be willing to take risks, if you fail, rise up and try again.
6. Which cluster member should we interview next?
We need more capital for early phase technology in Norway. I would like to invite Sarsia, since they are one of the few venture capital companies in Norway who are funding deep tech.
Thank you for the insight Anders.
Kjersti Boge Christensen
Our deep tech within high efficient electrolysis and fuel cell systems will enable hydrogen as a competitive decarbonized energy carrier.
We introduce a novel electrolyser and fuel cell design with high efficiency, high current density and high pressure based on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology.
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