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Interview with the favorite mentor among cleantech startups

Updated: Jul 29, 2019


Let us introduce You our key mentor in ClimateLaunchpad program. He is the main reason why you should apply now to green business ideas competition and get mentoring that boosts your business.


Ron Bloemers has been our coach since the first ClimateLaunchpad held in Estonia in 2015. During these few years he has mentored numerous Estonian young teams to find their business model, define the deal, choose beachhead market and focus on value proposition. Very important is to clearly understand what you are selling to who and why. Sounds easy, but for some companies it can take years to figure it out.

Ron Bloemers is supporting early-stage startups. We have seen teams growing magnificently under his guidance! There are Estonian startups who started in our ClimateLaunchpad program with just an idea and today have many employees, build their business internationally and one raised capital over 1 million euros.

Read about our success stories HERE.

To give you better insight who Ron Bloemers is, we asked him some pretty casual questions. By the way, he is the founder of the cleantech business accelerator Start-U-up in Netherlands.


Here we go:

You were involved with a very successful life saving solar powered (phone)charger + lamp called WakaWaka. Where does the name WakaWaka come from?

Ron: WakaWaka means “shine bright” in Swahili language.

You are often flying around. What do you usually do in the plane during your flight?

Ron: I sleep like a baby or listen to music. That is, if I don’t have to work. How are cleantech startup ideas different in Western-Europe and Eastern-Europe?

Ron: In general, I don’t think they are very different. Maybe Eastern Europe is a bit more IT/software oriented than Western Europe because Eastern Europe has very well developed IT/software hubs like e.g. in Estonia and Ukraine. On the other hand and in general, in Western Europe so far, more ideas make it to the market than in Eastern Europe. That is because cleantech ecosystems are a bit more developed in Western Europe than in Eastern Europe, but Eastern Europe is catching-up fast. How many cleantech teams have you mentored during last 4 years?

Ron: I guess more than 300 as a trainer in more than 25 intense 2-day bootcamps with 10-12 startups in each bootcamp in many different countries, within the context of ClimateLaunchpad and the European Climate-KIC Accelerator (stage 1,2 &3). Plus probably around 50 in a longer term bilateral mentoring relationship in especially stage 3 of the Climate-KIC Accelerator across Europe.


What has been the most funniest cleantech business idea?

Ron: To me, all good cleantech business ideas are fun. And important. Why do you recommend the book The Mom Test?

Ron: Good startups are high performing problem solving machines constantly testing and validating their business model with real customers. The Mom test of Rob Fitzpatrick teaches that customers actually lie to you for positive reasons during validation: they are inclined to tell startups that “all is well” because customers don’t want to hurt the feelings of startup founders. The book teaches how to ask the right questions in customer interviews and to surface customer commitment in terms of time, money and social capital. Compliments are not commitments!


What discovery is really missing in the world you are waiting for to launch?

Ron: Low cost, fast cycling, high energy density, long lasting energy storage solutions (like e.g. batteries). What cleantech topic needs the most attention in the near future?

Ron: All (major) cleantech topics need attention given the importance and urgency of climate mitigation and climate adaptation. The energy space is maybe more or less taken with many innovations coming to the market and scaling. Very important topics in the near future are for example food & agriculture in order to feed a fast growing world population, plus clean and safe water for private consumption and agricultural water irrigation. “Water is the new oil”. What is the most outstanding food you have tried during your travelling?

Ron: I LOVE Italian food. All of it. How do you put together your boot camp music list?

Ron: During long & dull travel hours. Look for the latest playlist “Shake it like you don’t care” on Spotify. Why are we going to the forest for ClimateLaunchpad boot camp?

Ron: No distractions & focus in beautiful Estonian nature, working with positive minded & solution oriented people on tomorrow’s new economy. Tell me, how does that get any better?


Join the cleantech network and apply with your green business idea HERE.


#ClimateKICAccelerator #Education #ClimateLaunchpad

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