The xplor startup Competition – The Concept

Energy Startup Competition at Powertage 2024

The idea: we create opportunities and build bridges

The xplor startup Competition is one of the largest energy start-up competitions in Switzerland and brings together the most prominent start-ups/scale-ups with key stakeholders in the energy sector, including established industry leaders, investors, media and authorities. Swiss energy start-ups will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and exchange ideas with the established industry. 

The xplor startup Competition is an initiative of Powertage, with which we show, communicate, support and promote the spirit of optimism in the Swiss energy industry. xplor is a platform to be seen, to exchange and initiate business, to develop new ideas and to meet interesting people. 

Graphic xplor startup contest.

An event with success stories

The Powertage is the major industry meeting place for the Swiss electricity sector. Interesting expert presentations with renowned speakers in the forum support the Powertage trade event over the course of three days. 

  • 150 exhibitors
  • Around 30 accredited media representatives
  • Powerparty Electrosuisse with approx. 650 participants

Facts & figures

  • 3-day event during the Powertage; over 2'000 visitors are expected 
  • 10 start-ups and young entrepreneurs
  • xplor startup Village with 120 m² including stand space for start-ups/scale-ups and networking area 
  • Strong focus on networking in an open, accessible atmosphere
  • Who's who of the energy industry 
  • Established partners of the Powertage
  • Major media presence

Participating in the xplor startup Competition 

The application deadline for start-ups and scale-ups has expired. The winners of the xplor startup competition will be announced in March 2024.


The Swiss energy start-up scene

Very active and attractive, but with little visibility and few connections. 

  • 10% of Swiss start-ups are active in the cleantech sector. 
  • Around 190 cleantech Start-ups were founded in Switzerland in the last 10 years and are still operating independently today. 
  • 26% of cleantech start-ups are spin-offs from EPFL or ETHZ.

Jury selection 

Stage 1

Any start-up that meets the following criteria can take part in the "xplor Startup Competition" free of charge until 26 January 2024.

Criteria for participation

  • The start-up/scale-up is based in Switzerland with a founding date 2016 - 2023 (exceptions are possible for high tech hardware startups)
  • The product should support or enable the energy transition towards a net zero energy system in Switzerland and fulfil sustainability criteria.
  • There should be a working prototype or a market ready product.
  • The product can be hardware, software or service based.
  • There should be a potential for substantial growth.

Stage 2

The renowned start-up Rating Agency "BV4" will evaluate all suitable start-ups and rank them according to their proven system. The evaluation is based on the submitted documents and further examination of publicly available information – like the website. This ranking will be the basis for the Stage 3 decision.

Stage 3

A divers national jury decide which 10 start-ups/scale-ups will take part on the Powertage 2024 and present their innovations and ideas at their own booth in the xplor Startup Village. The jury members evaluate the participants according to the documents submitted directly by them.

Criteria for the evaluation

A divers national jury evaluates the startups based on the recommendations of BV4 and selects the final 10 start-ups/scale-ups for the xplor startup village based on the following criteria:

  • Innovative strength 
  • Market relevance 
  • Sustainability 
  • Growth potential 

The 10 start-ups/scale-ups that best meet these criteria will be nominated for the Powertage 2024. The jury's decision is binding and cannot be contested. Applications can be rejected without stating a reason.