HomeKnow-How8 CleanTech startups catching our eye for the year ahead

8 CleanTech startups catching our eye for the year ahead

CleanTech refers to products on the market that fight the climate crisis, conserve resources and/or improve process efficiency. Startups in the CleanTech space have made it their mission to make the economy and society more sustainable, more efficient, and cleaner.

For this purpose, they are usually founded by smart and technophile entrepreneurs who align their profession with the demands of the times.

A particular feature of a CleanTech startup is a good idea in terms of sustainability which is often associated with a long, expensive development phase. Industry and investors are now realizing the importance and the long-term value of backing CleanTech startups, and so, they are now getting more attention, capital and the support they need to grow. We have also seen new investment funds, such as HTGF, ECBF and Capricorn, emerge that are dedicated to supporting these entrepreneurs and innovators.

Further, the European Innovation Council now supports visionary entrepreneurs who create transformative solutions to pressing environmental challenges, supporting the Green Deal and the recovery plan for Europe.

In this context, we’ve found 8 startups offering various solutions in different niches of CleanTech and are ahead of their competition – we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on them over the next year or so.


The biggest challenges of renewable energies are having the energy supply available as and when needed, and, the storage of energy when the supply exceeds the demand. Reverion has the solution to these two problems combined in one system. In their process, excess generation from wind turbines and photovoltaics is converted into synthetic methane by electrolysis and can be stored. If needed, the same system can use the stored methane to generate an energy supply. In addition, the system is intended to significantly increase the efficiency of the energy supply system compared to state-of-the-art technology. Reverion stabilizes the power grid and produces renewable gases. This approach has secured funding of €7 million in June 2022 and will gain further interest in light of the current gas prices. Founded in 2022 in Bavaria, the startup is a spin-off from TU Munich. 

Geyser Batteries

Not only does power production need to become less harmful to the environment and enable the transition to a carbon-neutral future, but so does energy storage. Helsinki-based Geyser Batteries develops and manufactures a new class of high-power, water-based, non-lithium batteries, which are capable of over one million fast charging cycles even at ultra-low ambient temperatures. The batteries have the lowest carbon footprint across the industry and are competitively priced. The startup has raised €2.2 million since its foundation in 2018. 

ESy-Labs GmbH

Chemicals and materials in our everyday lives involve a significant carbon footprint. Renewable energies and the electrification of chemical manufacturing could be used to make all the chemicals and materials we use in our everyday lives carbon-neutral. A spin-off from the Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz and the Fraunhofer Society, ESy-Labs has shown that chemicals, as well as pharmaceutical compounds, can be synthesized by electrosynthesis instead of the use of unsustainable, expensive, toxic and stoichiometric reagents. By combining this with high-throughput screening and AI they are on the path from existing lab to technical scale. Founded in 2018, this German startup has lately also been recognized by High-Tech Gründerfonds with a VC equity investment.

UP Catalyst

Going carbon-neutral isn’t the same as carbon-free and it’s widely understood that carbon will still be required in many sectors as it is a basic building block of most materials in our daily life. The focus must be on the development of renewable carbon sources. UP Catalyst uses molten salt carbon capture and electrochemical transformation to reprocess CO2 and produce valuable carbonaceous nanomaterials that can be used in battery and supercapacitor technologies. This has put them on the radar of the European Space Agency (ESA) and a partnership agreement for investigating carbon and oxygen production in Mars conditions has been signed in 2021. Besides €1.6 million raised from EIT RawMaterials, UP Catalyst also closed its first investment round of €500k in 2022. The startup was founded in Tallinn in 2019. 

We Are Galaktika

It might be unknown to most, but silicones are one of the key molecules in our modern life. They are used in sealants, adhesives, lubricants, medicine, cooking utensils, thermal insulation, and electrical insulation. The production, and therefore, the use of the material silicone destroys ecosystems and consumes plenty of energy. For this reason, Berlin-based We Are Galaktika has set out to significantly reduce the CO2 footprint of silicone – namely by 66%. With their innovative chemical process and a take-back system, they are closing the material cycle of silicone and reproducing silicone from old material again and again – without any loss of quality. Founded in December 2020, they will soon gain traction not only because of the massive problem they are solving but also because of the platform solution they are offering. 

Vienna Textile Lab

Fashion is responsible for up to one-fifth of industrial water pollution. The discharge is often a cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals, dyes, salts and heavy metals that not only hurt the environment but pollute essential drinking water sources. This is about to change with the products of Vienna Textile Lab. Since 2017, the startup creates biogenic dyes for textiles to make the fashion industry more sustainable compared to conventional synthetic colours. In 2022, Vienna Textile Lab (VTL) started collaborating with clients, such as fashion enterprises (e.g. Albini Group). The company also established collaborations with designers and initiated partnerships through several EU-funded projects such as the WORTH Partnership, ESA/OSIP, ELIIT and Small but Perfect. In addition, Vienna Textile Lab has received a €750k Seed financing grant from Austria Wirtschaftsservice. 


Hydrogen as an energy carrier has the beauty of not releasing any CO2, and yet, its use is still very limited. The issue? Its gaseous form – which makes it difficult to transport and store at room temperature. Since 2015, French startup HySiLabs has been innovating to make hydrogen take off, unleashing it’s potential. The company’s product offers hydrogen-based liquid fuel, which is stable, non-toxic, non-explosive, generates no emissions, and can be stored, enabling customers to use it for different applications at room temperature. On the road to a net zero future, HySiLabs is one of the enablers and will soon raise further interest from the industry and investors. For this reason, the over €2 million raised in 2018 is only the beginning. Especially with the latest announcement of the European Commission to create a new European Hydrogen Bank to invest €3 billion in the establishment of a future market for hydrogen.


One of the major challenges to a cleaner world is plastic pollution. Fossil-based plastics in one-way applications like packaging needs to be replaced with a sustainable, recyclable and/or compostable alternative based. Founded in Denmark in 2018, Cellugy harnesses the power of bio-fabrication to produce advanced bio-cellulose materials through a disruptive biotechnological process, partnering with packaging and chemical companies to enable circularity in the end-of-life as an alternative to conventional materials. The product EcoFLEXY forms a mono-material that can be recycled in the current waste streams, as opposed to current nanomaterial technologies. With their latest funding of about €2.4 million in 2021, Cellugy is able to further expand their production capacity and will soon expand their production capacity. 

Thomas Homburg
Thomas Homburg
Thomas studied Chemistry in Northern Europe, and he worked as a researcher in Canada, Israel, and the UK. Nowadays, he is working as an innovation manager in the area of sustainable chemistry, supporting international start-ups. He is interested in the interplay of research, entrepreneurship, and regulation and is convinced that the transition towards a sustainable future lies in multidisciplinary approaches.

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