Business Model Readiness of Start-up Driven Energy Innovations – an Empirical Review

Kirsi Kotilainen, Ulla A. Saari, Jussi Valta, Saku J. Mäkinen, Sinan Kufeouglu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


When will the start-ups enter the play field of energy innovations in mass? The energy sector has traditionally been a challenging industry to new entrants, especially for smaller firms. Digitalization, decentralization and new renewable energy technologies are enabling also smaller actors to create energy-related innovations. This research focuses on understanding the level of business model readiness of start-ups when commercializing energy innovations. We interviewed start-up companies and provide an analysis of the state of their business models mapped with key challenges that these firms face. Our results show that while most start-ups have a promising value proposition they struggle with other value creation and value capture aspects. Especially building the sales channel that often requires co-operation with energy industry incumbents and finding the right revenue model causes problems to the startups. The challenges the start-ups face also depend on their focus; technology-based start-ups appear to have more obstacles than data-driven start-ups due to longer time needed to mature the products for commercial deployment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 16th International Conference on the European Energy Market (EEM)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-1257-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-1258-9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Conference on the European Energy Market -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on the European Energy Market
ISSN (Print)2165-4077
ISSN (Electronic)2165-4093


ConferenceInternational Conference on the European Energy Market
Period1/01/00 → …


  • Technological innovation
  • Companies
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Commercialization
  • Buildings
  • Energy
  • Innovation management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business model

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


Dive into the research topics of 'Business Model Readiness of Start-up Driven Energy Innovations – an Empirical Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this