Partnering for High-Tech Innovation in Energy

EPFL Innovation Park, Cleantech Alps and Innosuisse bring to you Tech4Growth Energy on 16-17 November, 2022 connecting start-up founders, corporate innovators as well as academic professors to learn about collaboration models and best practices.

The energy sector is booming. With the world’s population growing and economies expanding, global demand for energy is skyrocketing. But at the same time, traditional sources of energy are becoming scarce and more expensive. The future belongs to products and services that can be made using less energy and commodities. Swiss academic research institutes and companies have been acting as strong players particularly in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, automation and control, mobility, water, and wastewater as well as waste management and the use of new types of materials to drive the energy industry forward.

To stay ahead of the game, companies in the energy sector must develop innovative solutions that meet the challenges of the 21st century. One way to do this, is by collaborating with start-ups, corporates and academic institutions. These partnerships give companies access to cutting-edge technology and ideas, and they help to ensure that the energy sector remains at the forefront of innovation. As the energy sector continues to grow and evolve, collaboration between the stakeholders will become increasingly important for companies that want to stay ahead of the competition.

Join the leaders from the Swiss Energy ecosystem for 2 content packed days where you can hear from key players to share their experience about how to build win-win Start-up-Corporate-Academic partnerships to address challenges in the Energy sector.

Why attend?

  • Build a strong business network in the Energy sector
  • Learn from your peers and design future solutions through collaboration
  • Identify new opportunities of innovation
  • Walk away with suggestions and approaches for your next partnership plan through highly interactive in person sessions


About EPFL Innovation Park

EPFL Innovation Park is the major innovation hub in Western Switzerland. It actively develops programs to help high tech start-ups to scale and corporations to accelerate their innovation. Operating in the frontiers of cutting-edge technologies and new businesses for 30 years, it has established a strong track record in bringing high tech start-ups to success. Tech4Growth is part of its executive programs, becoming one of the networking event series of the Swiss Innovation Agency.



This workshops series is for high tech start-up founders, corporate senior executives and university professors / and senior scientists active in energy sector to ensure relevant collaboration and exchanges (no service providers).  This is an interactive workshop and physical session at EPFL Pavilion A, EPFL Campus, Place Cosandey, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland



Dominik Blaser

Dominik Blaser is nature and mountain-loving entrepreneur and innovation-driven mechanical engineer. Dominik is Co-Founder of Voltiris (Color-Optimized Solar Modules for Greenhouses without impacting the crop yield) and Chief Product Officer.

He studied mechanical engineering at EPFL with a strong focus on energy and sustainability. Dominik acquired practical skills in mechanical engineering at Jenni Energietechnik. He worked throughout his master at Romande Energie as an R&D intern and founded the Zero Emission Group at EPFL. At Voltiris he manages the mechanical part of the solar tracking and works on energy models.


Patrick Brennan

Patrick Brennan is the CFO of WattAnyWhere, which develops a 300kW mobile generator that converts renewable ethanol from biomass into clean electricity

He is a highly accomplished senior executive, driving operations and profitability within finance, marketing, sales and business development in premier fortune 100 companies.

Patrick has proven experience in identifying revenue opportunities and developing growth strategies through the use digital tools and actionable data. He also excels in building consensus among multiple divisions of large organizations and stakeholders while maintaining productive relationships with all levels of staff and management.

Yasmine Calisesi

Yasmine Calisesi is the Executive Director of the EPFL Energy Center CEN since June 2019. Her role is to catalyze energy research led by EPFL laboratories, notably in collaboration with industrial and institutional partners, and enhance EPFL’s impact and image as a world leading research and education institution. From 2007 to 2019, she worked as the Head of the Pilot and Demonstration Program of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE. As such, she supported the development and implementation of energy-relevant innovation projects at the interface of research and market deployment. Prior to that, Yasmine was active in the fields of atmospheric physics and space science, establishing Earth observation from space as a discipline of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern. As a post-doctoral fellow of the University of Bern and the Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, she participated in the validation of ESA’s ENVISAT satellite. Yasmine received her PhD from the University of Bern and holds an MSc in Physics from the University of Geneva. In 2006, she was awarded the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Award by the Swiss Commission for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. She is fluent in French, German, Italian and English.

Anne Contaxaki

Anna Contaxaki is the integration leader for Green Motion at Eaton, a 20 BN power management company doing business in more than 175 countries worldwide.

Since 2021, Anna is responsible for the integration of Green Motion into Eaton by leveraging the acquired business capabilities and scaling it into the Eaton strategy of the Energy Transition and Digital division.

Prior to this role, Anna lead a European Team in the supply chain department for 4 years, that specialized in Value Add Services with a focus on offering assembly and logistic solutions for customers.
Before joining Eaton, Anna also held key positions in the Automotive and Electrical industry in various roles but always with a focus on new business and new product development.

Anna holds a Master’s degree in Finance from Sup Co La Rochelle and a BSc in European Business and Technology from the University of Coventry, UK.
She is a trained individual and team coach. She is based in Morges, Switzerland.

Lan Zuo Gillet

Lan Zuo Gillet is the Deputy Managing Director of EPFL Innovation Park and an Expert of Innosuisse – the Swiss Innovation Agency.  She has 23 years of hands-on professional experience in industry as well as in the ecosystem of innovation & entrepreneurship.

Lan started her career at R&D department of Rolex, in charge of creating new computer aided design and optimisation tools in the product development process. She was later appointed as Head of Operational Planning at Pictet, working closely with a startup to design, develop and implement a management information system for group operation control. As the Managing Director of Geneva Creativity Center, she connected large corporations, SMEs, startups and researchers to initiate innovative joint R&D projects. 

Currently at EPFL Innovation Park, she is leading entrepreneurship training and acceleration programs and is helping startups to establish business partnership with large corporations. Lan has a PhD degree from EPFL, an MBA from HEC Lausanne and postdoctoral applied research experience at Stanford University.  

Jean-Christophe Hadorn

Jean-Christophe Hadorn is director of engineering offices in energy, head of research program in solar thermal energy, president of solar photovoltaic company, partner of start-up, finance coaching and business strategy.

Andreea Laplace

Andreea is a Strategic Financing and Venture Business Development Director at Eaton, a 20bn USD power management company, doing business in more than 175 countries.

Her main focus is to leverage financial services in order to support and accelerate the Energy Transition and Digitalization.

In her previous role, she led a global team of specialist on risk management topics (FX and Commodities).

Prior to joining Eaton, Andreea has worked in France, UK, Switzerland and Romania in various roles, especially in Investment banking where she held various technical roles.

Andreea holds a Master degree in Finance from the Sorbonne University in Paris and a double Bachelor in International Economics from Toulouse University and in Financial Markets from the Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest.

Nicolas Loeillot

Nicolas Loeillot is a senior technology entrepreneur and investor. Back in 2003, he founded a computer vision company in Japan. Pioneering in A.I. applications, his company served hundreds of projects with large companies in Japan, Asia and the US before being acquired by a GAFA in 2017.

Since 2010, he chairs the Tokyo Interaction Center, a privately-owned incubator in central Tokyo, focused on early stage deep technology start-ups. In 2018, Nicolas Loeillot joined the Swiss health insurer Groupe Mutuel as Chief Innovation Officer to setup an innovation strategy, accelerate deployments of A.I. and craft a data-driven, prevention-focused future of the company. In 2021 he joins InnoSuisse as Expert for a 4-year mandate.

François Maréchal

François Marechal is a Professor of EPFL heading the Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering group
He is ranked by in the top 10 of the Swiss researchers in the field of engineering and technology. He is conducting research in the field of computer aided decision support for process and energy systems engineering. His activities are focussing on integrating rational use of energy, renewable energy resources and circular economy concepts in industrial processes and energy systems. François Marechal is the editor in chief of the process and energy systems engineering specialty of the open access journal Frontiers in Energy Research, the founding member and the co-chair of the energy section of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering, and the president of the scientific committee of the industry decarbonization research initiative of the French Government, in addition to many other professional activities in the sector of Energy.

Aris Maroonian

Aris is the founder and CEO of Neology, currently developing ammonia-cracking solutions unlocking the hydrogen economy and starting with applications in commercial transportation.

He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from EPFL in Electrical Engineering in 2008 and 2010 respectively. He spent his career in the automotive industry, starting as a R&D system engineer in JTEKT in Japan, and was responsible for the development and validation of innovative mechatronic systems through the creation of advanced modelling, simulation, and testing tools.

He later advanced to become Senior Manager of the Systems Engineering department at Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe in Germany, leading 75 engineers and technicians in Chassis & Powertrain development, and overseeing the engineering processes within the company. Since 2021, he continues to assist Toyota’s executive teams through consulting activities.

Thomas Oriol

Thomas is a co-founder of Datapred, the digital twin for industrial energy and raw material buyers.
Thomas has 10 years of experience in tech M&A and 12 years in start-up management.
He is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and ESSEC Business School.

François Randin

François Randin is the founder, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Green Motion SA and evpass SA. As a software specialist who has developed financial, risk analysis and decision-making tools for major banks and insurance companies, his experience has taken him across Europe, North America, Middle East, and Asia.

Convinced that the success of electric cars depends heavily on having a highly efficient charging network in place, François founded Green Motion SA in Lausanne in January 2009. For more than 13 years, the Swiss company is one of the pioneers in the charging infrastructure market and has successfully installed thousands of its stations partnering with global players.

In March 2021, François made a successful exit by selling Green Motion SA to Eaton to pursue momentum at a global scale. Today, François is the General Manager of Eaton Green Motion which is the brand of the Eaton’s charging stations line-up. He has been a successful entrepreneur, a pioneer and expert in electric mobility over the last decade.

Raphael Rollier

Raphael Rollier develops and promotes digital innovation and transformation. He is currently in charge of Innovation and Product Management at Swisstopo, working on topics such as geolocalisation and data science in the field of geoinformation. Previously, in co-creation with several cities, he created a “Smart Data” tool, which turns billions of data generated by the mobile phone network into anonymized and aggregated traffic indicators. Raphael has 13 years of international marketing&sales and general management experience, having worked for Nokia. Member of the Venture Kick jury, Raphael has developed a mentoring program for start-ups at the EPFL, where he obtained a master’s in micro engineering. He also writes about the digital economy at LeTemps webpage

Luca Schenk

Luca Schenk is the CEO of Helvoil SA and member of board of Swisspower Renewables AG.

He is an experienced leader dedicated to improving access to financial markets and to making the circular economy happen.

He has a unique know-how in matching business models with compliance and digitalization (traditional and blockchain) and driving ESG. Sound track record in the financial services and renewable energy sectors.

Georg Schumacher

Georg Schumacher holfs a Master in Business Administration from Stockholm School of Economics.

He is now Senior Manager, Partnering and Investing at Axpo Group. The company is focused on renewable energy sources and is one of the biggest European energy traders.

Before working at Axpo Group, he worked as Senior Project Manager M&A at TX Markets AG and as Head Of Business Development at autoricardo AG.

Luiggino Torrigiani

Luiggino is responsible for Marketing and Partnerships at Insolight. He brings extensive international management and entrepreneurship experience. He designed innovative marketing strategies, signed and implemented major sponsorship deals.
He co-founded Solar Impulse SA, “Flying around the world with a solar airplane”, as Director and Board member, developing successful marketing, communication and partnership programs.
He worked at Caterpillar and Logitech, then in two Sport International Federations (UCI and FIVB) as Marketing Director, becoming a recognized sports marketing expert. He co-founded, consulted and managed various innovative companies. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering (EPFL), Business Administration (HEC UNIL) and Sports Management (IDHEAP).


Vincent Trouche

Vincent Trouche has 15 years of experience in developing companies and products first in the commodity trading industry (business development, M&A, strategic consulting) and then in the high-tech sector (leveraging VR, IoT, blockchain or cleantech technologies).

Over the past 8 years in the high-tech industry, he performed strategic analyses, launched new product offerings, managed teams & projects, rose private & public funds, and developed commercial relationships & partnerships.

He holds an Industrial Engineering degree from INSA of Lyon, and an MBA from INSEAD. He has also worked abroad (US and China in particular) and appreciate multicultural environments and team diversity.

Peter Van Giessel

Peter van Giessel is an experienced professional in venture capital, corporate governance, technology commercialization and business development within the energy sector. Having started within R&D at Philips Electronics in the early nineties, Peter complemented his skill set as a management consultant before joining Shell in 2000. Since, Peter has taken on roles in marketing strategy, upstream M&A, technology commercialization and in 2012 was one of the founding fathers of Shell Ventures back in 2012. 

In addition to being a non-executive member on several boards across the world, he has more than 20 years of experience in the Gas & Oil industry. Peter graduated from Eindhoven University of Technology with a MSc in Mechanical Engineering and completed his MBA at London Business School.

“I was thrilled to join the #Tech4Growth Energy workshop recently with my colleagues Anna Contaxaki and Andreea LAPLACE. The event gathered together a fantastic range of energy sector participants —from tech start-up founders to corporate senior executives and university academics. I was delighted to share our learnings and best practices from the acquisition and integration of Green Motion’s #ElectricVehicle charging business with this diverse group.”

Francois Randin

Former CEO & Founder, Green Motion

“The combination of energy security of supply, climate protection and affordable prices needs a mix of technologies, sources and business models. Partnerships between startups and corporates of any size and of all sectors are essential to ensure motivation, innovation and capital to master the energy transition”

Luca Schenk

Chairman, Helvoil AG

“Cooperation with start-ups is an important driver for innovation that enables us to do things faster, explore new approaches to our challenges, and reach our ambitious targets in a pragmatic way. We are constantly thinking about how to best execute startup cooperations, and Tech4Growth Energy provided useful insights for this thought process.”

Georg Schumacher,

Senior Manager Partnering & Investing, Axpo Services AG


“The place where corporates and start-ups connect. If your business is to make innovation happen, whether at a corporate or at a start-up, Tech4Growth Energy is a good place to be”.

Vincent Trouche

CEO , Daphne Technology

“Tech4Growth Energy event was a really nice event. I especially liked the mix between breakout sessions and speeches, in this way I was able to connect to almost everyone at the event.”

Luise Middelhauve

Co-Founder, Emissium

“I gained valuable inputs for my own business, expanded my network, and gained insights on how to effectively set up collaborations between startups, corporations and academia. I enjoyed the proposed mixed format of workshop and conference, with many great testimonials from a wide range of companies.”

Aris Maroonian

Founder & CEO, Neology

“Stimulating environment for peer-to- peer connections amongst energy start-ups, with a brilliant example of exit/integration of Greenmotion into Eaton. Thanks to all participants and the organisers.”

Olivier Bucheli

Executive Chairman, ExerGo

“Having all the different players in the start-up ecosystem was great. To have inputs from academia, corporates, and start-ups gave a comprehensive look at how they interact and work together. I really enjoyed the real-world examples of partnerships between start-ups and corporates – i.e. Green Motion’s integration with Eaton and insights from both sides. Sharing between the start-ups on experiences they have had with corporates, good and bad and how to navigate the start-up ecosystem.”

Patrick Brennan

CEO, WattAnyWhere



Lan Zuo Gillet

Deputy managing Director EPFL Innovation Park

Program Chair

Simone Theiss

EPFL Innovation Park

Program Manager

Nicolas Loeillot



Raphael Rollier

Head of Innovation and Product Management