It is important to understand the situation on the ground and the way of thinking of relevant players prior to the decision of doing business.
— Leon Kraversky (Founder and CEO of Soltell Systems - Smarter Solar Management)

About Soltell Systems

Soltell introduces Industrial IoT-powered automation to enhance operation & management of rooftop commercial and residential solar photovoltaic (PV) energy facilities.

Why did you decide to participate in the program? What did you expect? Did you reach the goals you have set for yourself and your company?

The decision to participate in the program was made in order to explore the business opportunities in the Berlin and Brandenburg region. The expectation was obtaining informaton and networking both in the distributed solar energy segment and in innovation ecosystem. In general, the visit to Berlin and participation in the Start Alliance program did provide important insights on the situation in the Berlin and Brandenburg area, plus added certain networking connections in the Berlin startup ecosystem. Overall, it did reach the goals.

Did you have any program highlight? Which kind of information did you use right away after the End of the program?

In my opinion the best session was the Energy Round Table by E&Y, which provided important insights on the focus of relevant players and gave intimate networking with investors and corporates active in the energy innovation in Berlin. For the energy efficiency players (4 participants in our program cycle), i guess the highlight was the Demo Day during the Greentech Conference.

Can you share with us any lessons learned?

It is important to understand the situation on the ground and the way of thinking of relevant players prior to the decision of doing business. It was very important to realize an almost complete lack of solar energy utilization within the city of Berlin itself and hence reduced awareness to the issue by all involved parties (neither the problem nor the solution is relevant to those residing in Berlin, whether common people, business people or investors); however Brandenburg did prove to be one of the leading German provinces in solar utilization, making Berlin a useful “landing pad” to do business within Brandenburg.

What makes Berlin so special and which kind of contacts and networks did you meet during your stay?

Since i do not have much experience with Hi-Tech and innovation centers in Europe nor the US, i can however compare it with Tel Aviv. There are much similarities, but also differences between the two cities. Berlin for instance can be the gateway into German market in particular and DACH market in general, while Tel Aviv is not so much a gateway to the Israeli market (which is anyway small-medium size), but rather to US market.

What did you achieve in Berlin since the end of the program?

Process for initiating a pilot phase with one of the energy corporates, located in Berlin (met during the Start Alliance program).

What will be your next steps?

Establishing a partnership with one of the players in the DACH region; Berlin would be a possible “landing” destination in case one of such players is headquartered in Berlin or Brandenburg (one potential partner is there).

What would you recommend to startups interested in participating in the program?

Berlin is a thriving innovation hub, which emphasizes certain technology segments. It would be the best for startups to explore who are their potential partners in Berlin prior to arrival.