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One of Tech Tour’s main focuses is on sustainability. For that reason, we created the Energy in Transition programme in 2020. Since then, we’ve organised a number of events, round-tables, and discussions with our partners from Rotterdam.

Why Rotterdam exactly? Because the second-largest city in the Netherlands has a very bold ambition. It wants to become climate-neutral by 2050.

In that regard, at the end of January 2021, a discussion on the future of hydrogen and alternative fuels took place between investors and start-ups. In this article, you’ll find the main investor insights.

Led and moderated by Andrew Hinkly, Managing Partner at AP Ventures, the session brought together 30+ Investor Club members in a close discussion on Hydrogen & Alternative Fuels on January 26th, 2021.

Mr. Hinky set the scene and gave a quick overview of the trend and opportunities in the sector. In his words, “We’ve seen an increased activity from innovative technology start-ups through the emergence of large-scale ambitious projects. For example, at AP Ventures we saw 150 hydrogen-related technology opportunities last year, of which more than 40% originated in Europe and the majority of the balance being from North America.”

Thierry Lepercq, President of Soladvent, also joined the discussion. He’s the author of the book Hydrogen Is the New Oil where he argues that, “There will be no energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies, but a clean break, a Big Bang!”

Jasper Geselschap, Investment Manager at ENERGIIQ, shared that Rotterdam has a large-scale Hydrogen Value Chain in place, including imports and supply, infrastructure and distribution, and many potential users. According to Mr. Geselschap, “Rotterdam has funding available for the Hydrogen industry (€100 million investment fund).”

The discussion continued with a key message from Randolf Weterings, New Business Development Business Manager at Port of Rotterdam. He mentioned that, “Today, 13% of the total European energy demand enters Europe via the port of Rotterdam. In the future, hydrogen will play a very important role. We have to scale up the electricity production and hydrogen technology.” He concluded his presentation by highlighting that international markets are required for delivering affordable and enough energy to Europe.

Robert Gallenberger, a Partner in the Industrial Tech Team at btov Partners, also took part in the conversation about hydrogen from an investor perspective. According to Mr. Gallenberger, “We see a very significant wave of political will & public support programs shaping up.” These include the EU hydrogen strategy, the German Hydrogen Strategy, and the Bavarian Hydrogen Strategy. He ended his presentation by stating that for them, it’s still an open question where exactly to invest in the value chain:

  • Upstream (High Temp. Electrolysis, AEM)
  • Midstream (LOHC, MOF)
  • Downstream (fuel cells, hydrogen turbines, alternative fuels)

At btov Partners, they’re looking for a sufficient technological edge, but there’s a short time to catch the current wave.

This insightful discussion was only open to the current and trial members of the Tech Tour Investors Club and is part of the Tech Tour “Energy in Transition” programme. If you want to learn more about the Investors club – please get in touch with Ms. Radostina Tsenova at