Dragons’ Den of Transition 2023

An exciting part of the European Industry & Energy Summit is the Dragons’ Den of Transition. The energy transition needs innovation to keep sustainable energy and feedstock reliable and affordable. Some ground breaking innovations just need a little push to flourish. The closing of the Summit will therefore provide a stage to dragons who can support innovations that accelerate the transition.

With the Dragon’s Den of Transition the organization wants to provide a stage for hopeful innovations in the field of European industrial transformation and also help them along the way. These are innovations from start-ups, for example, that could use a boost to reach maturity. The need can be financial, but also support in the areas of marketing, networking, entrepreneurship, business development and more. That is the role of the dragons.

During the European Industry and Energy summit a number of selected companies pitch their sustainable innovations to Dragons, representatives of incubators, ventures and equity funds and governments. It is up to the dragons to get the attention of the innovators, make contacts or even financial offers.


Please meet the five innovators that will pitch during the Dragons’ Den of Transition on December 8 at 15.15 – 16.30.

In Dutch Zeeland, starter Betaprocess wants to produce bioethanol from sugar beets Not via an intermediate step with sugar, but directly with an innovative technology. For a demonstration plant and a first of a kind industrial-scale plant, the company is looking for an operational partner and funding, at the Dragons’ Den of Transition on Dec. 8, 2023 in Antwerp.

Plasma is very reactive, and it can be used to break down CO₂ molecules into CO and other products. Starter D-CRBN’s pilot installation uses a plasma process at a relatively low temperature. This makes the process more energy-efficient and reduces the risk of side reactions. At the Dragons’ Den of Transition (DDoT), December 8th in Antwerp, D-CRBN is looking for industrial partners.

Scale up Gradyent builds digital twins for heat networks. This allows the Rotterdam company to analyse where efficiency improvements can already be made. With the digital twin, Gradyent can also investigate the effect of innovations, such as the use of industrial heat pumps or extensive electrification.

Starter Zeopore focuses on improving the catalytic properties of zeolites to enhance the performance of refining and petrochemical processes. At the Dragons’ Den of Transition December 8th in Antwerp, the company is mainly looking for partners and funding to take the next step: commercialization on an industrial scale.

The Polish starter Hydrogen Bar System (HBS), offers a new way to store and transport hydrogen. Core to the HBS design is the use of underground drilling techniques, using both standard and horizontal wells. This method not only simplifies the process but also significantly reduces land use, an improvement over traditional practices.

Please meet the innovators that pitched during the Dragons’ Den of Transition in 2022 and 2021.

Orcan Energy develops, produces, and sells systems that recover waste heat from industrial processes to produce clean electricity. During Dragons’ Den of Transition, the starter was looking for partners in new industries such as the oil and gas or chemical industry.

Starter ETB developed a process for producing butadiene from biomass. The advantage is that the bio-based chemical building block is exactly the same as the fossil variant. And the whole process can be done in one reactor. During the Dragons’ Den of Transition, ETB asked for funding and chain partners.

Dutch company Suncom Energy can produce concentrated solar heat for industry. Moreover, it also developed an affordable heat battery. Continuous supply of heat and power from solar energy thus seems a step closer. During Dragons’ Den of Transition, the start-up was looking for industrial partners to make this more marketable.

Recycling high-quality engineering plastics requires a specific approach. According to Norbert Fraunholcz of startup Resolved Technologies, dissolving is the best option for most plastic types in this group of materials. During Dragons’ Den of Transition, the startup was looking for chain partners.

Oxylum, a spin-off from University of Antwerp, already produces formic acid from CO2 with a relatively small electrolyzer. And it can also produce other chemical building blocks. During the Dragons’ Den of Transition on November 30th at Chemelot, the company was looking for chain partners to scale up.

Deep Branch asked the Dragons for help to find a suitable location to produce at full scale proteins from CO2 and hydrogen.

Iron powder is an interesting circular fuel and Metalot is looking for partners. The starter wants to set up various installations in the industry. It is also looking for a good location for a factory that regenerates oxidized iron powder.

The conversion of heterogeneous waste streams into chemical building blocks. Without emissions and affordable too. DOPS was looking for Dragons who can enable the development of a pilot plant. The company is also looking for coaching on its growth ambitions.

BioCore asked the Dragons for help in financing a full-scale pilot project for its solid oxide fuel cell technology. This will make biogas production and usage economically viable again, while it also helps in balancing the energy system.

With a technique known as reverse electrodialysis (RED), it is possible to harvest the energy potential of fresh and salt water. REDstack joined the Dragons’Den of Tansition and asked the dragons to fund the upscaling of the pilot plant as well as the stackproduction.

SpectX is working on a solution where two drones work together to make remote and automatic X-ray inspections of windturbine blades possible. At the Dragons’ Den of Transition Akhilesh Goveas asked the dragons for helping him with both funding as wel as a launching customer.