Work with Shell to improve renewable energy efficiency, and offset industrial carbon emissions with the New Energy Challenge

Potential Pilot, Shell GameChanger Programme, access to Shell Ventures network, expert coaching by Rockstart and YES!Delft Deadline passed


“Tomorrow’s energy system needs new thinking, new technologies and new approaches.”



The New Energy Challenge is a startup competition, jointly organized by Shell, Rockstart, YES!Delft and Get in the Ring. The competition is designed for entrepreneurs in Europe and Israel who are developing advanced technologies and disruptive solutions that could be vital in accelerating the energy transition and will shape the low-carbon energy infrastructure of the future.


In the coming decade, the world will need an increasing amount of energy to meet the growing demand that is required to ensure the quality of life for people across the world. At the same time, we need to lower our CO2 emissions to tackle climate change. NEC’s mission to support young, innovative companies is more important than ever. After all, they can help stimulate the economic recovery from the global COVID-19 recession by growing businesses based on affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. Startups and scaleups have, and will continue to have, a vital role in developing technologies for the energy system of the future.


Since it was launched, dozens of innovative entrepreneurs have received expert coaching and guidance and had the opportunity to bring their ideas to the next level. Winners such as Asperitas in 2018 have successfully attracted large-scale investment, begun building long-term partnerships, and brought us a step closer to making the energy transition a reality.

The deadline for this Challenge has passed, please check out our other Challenges

The Challenge

The New Energy Challenge 2021 calls for European and Israeli startups and scaleups to come forward and work with Shell, and its partners Rockstart, YES!Delft and Get in the Ring, to make a lasting impact on the energy system and help find more affordable ways to reduce emissions.

The New Energy Challenge has two distinct tracks one for startups and one for scaleups. Startups should be in the pre-seed or seed funding stage to test the technical and commercial viability of their solution that has a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 2-5. Scaleups should in the TRL 6-9 stage that already have revenues, market validation by pilot(s) and Series A funding or higher. With these two tracks, the New Energy Challenge offers companies with different levels of maturity collaboration possibilities, coaching, expertise, and access to the Shell network.

We’re looking for innovative energy technologies and digital solutions that make it affordable for business customers to avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in hard to abate sectors – where we need Nature-Based Solutions.

Energy Storage

The New Energy Challenge is looking for low cost/high-efficiency solutions for energy storage. Interesting solution directions include electrical, chemical, or thermal storage.

Energy Delivery

The New Energy Challenge is looking for efficient non-invasive ways to deliver renewables to the industry. Solutions could include energy carriers like LOHC, and digital infrastructure improvements.

Energy Usage & Management

The New Energy Challenge is looking for digital solutions that such as predictive analytics, transparency, IoT solutions, grid management and more.

Nature Based Solutions

The New Energy Challenge is looking for carbon marketplaces, measurement, and traceability solutions that can keep track of offsetting initiatives such as regenerative agriculture, renewable energy investment projects, and carbon sequestration through bacteria/algae.

What's in it for you

Track 1 - Startups

  • Access to Shell’s GameChanger programme

  • € 100.000 for proof of concept when entering GameChanger

  • Validation Lab designed by YES!Delft

  • Access to Shell’s network and experts

  • Access to YES!Delft’s network and experts

What's in it for you

Track 2 - Scaleups

  • Pilot design and potential execution together with Shell Ventures and Shell’s Renewables & Energy Solutions business.

  • Training and coaching designed by Rockstart

  • Access to Shell’s network and experts

  • Access to Rockstart’s network and experts

Additional Criteria

  • Startups must be in TRL 2-5 stage, up until and including seed stage

  • Scaleups must be in TRL 6-9 stage with early revenues, market validation by pilot(s), Series A and higher

  • Have a solution that is focused on the transition to a sustainable energy future, with an explanation on how Shell connects to this solution

  • Have a unique scalable product or service

  • Be a registered company in Europe or Israel (equivalent to the Dutch B.V. (eg UK – Ltd., Germany – GmbH).

  • Have at least 2 founders


1 June 2021

Deadline to Apply

The deadline for applications is the 1st of June, at midnight (UTC+2).
End June

Announcement of Selected Startups

Top 20 finalists per track will be announced at the end of June - beginning of July.
Beginning of September

Deep-Dive Interviews

Selected startups and scaleups will be invited for deep-dive online interviews taking place at the beginning of September


The Top 10 finalists (5 per track) will be announced in October and invited for the virtual Finals Week.
End October

Finals Week and Pitch Event

All 10 finalists will pitch in front of a jury of experts who will select the winners of the New Energy Challenge 2021 taking place end of October. The finals programme will also take place online.
Deadline passed

The deadline for this Challenge has passed, please check out our other Challenges