EYE Alumnus Filip - EU Climate Pact Ambassador
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Alumnus and a young entrepreneur Filip Koprčina has been appointed European Climate Pact Ambassador in Croatia. His responsibilities evolve around awareness-raising and climate education activities in communities and networks in Croatia, with a focus on energy and green skills. Filip is sharing with us his experience within the EYE and how the programme can make a real difference in the life of young entrepreneurs.
I am the founder of Energy Shift, a blockchain powered platform that enables citizens to jointly invest in and co-own solar farms. This democratises the energy sector while enabling citizens to actively participate in the energy transition to renewables.
I have participated in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme as a new entrepreneur in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine. After the programme I was a Technical Working Group member in the United Nations’ High Level Dialogue on Energy, providing recommendations on how the world can achieve the SDG7 targets that we set. Furthermore, I advised Big Oil companies on how they can transition their business model to sustainable energy. Last year, I won the EU Sustainable Energy Award in the Young Energy Trailblazer category, awarded by the European Commission. This year I was also featured as Forbes 30 under 30 for Europe.
Due to my passion for environment and clean energy, I also applied and got selected to be a European Climate Pact Ambassador. European Climate Pact Ambassadors inform, inspire and support climate policy and action in their communities and networks. They also connect their networks with others in the Climate Pact. Anyone based in the EU country can apply to become an ambassador on the official website of the European Climate Pact.
When I was starting out my company, I was really young and going into business straight out of university. I had the passion, and I had the idea of what I wanted to do. However, there was still a piece missing. That piece was experience of working in a solar installation company as well as learning about the process of designing solar systems and how it is set up. EYE seemed like a perfect opportunity to gain this valuable practical experience, gain the necessary knowledge by learning from a successful entrepreneur and make potential investors more confident as we would know what we were doing after the programme.
It helped me to understand how the solar energy business works, all the "nitty gritty”, as well as to learn the best practices from Olexander Kutyk, a successful entrepreneur who was mentoring me. It also helped me to gain credibility and confidence with investors as they stopped seeing me as a young person without practical experience or the "know-how”. This in turn helped me to raise funding for my start-up and gain valuable partners. Last but not least, I got multiple opportunities to present my business and to talk about my experience at the EYE events, helping me to reach potential partners and raise awareness on the solutions to critical problems I was proposing.
After my EYE exchange I was accepted into several start-up incubator and accelerator programmes that provided additional mentoring support as well as introductions to investors and partners. Most notable ones were EIT Digital, EIT Jumpstarter and Startupbootcamp. Those programmes helped me to reach investors as well as to refine the business model and business proposition. They also provided support and funding that helped the company to reach the high technological readiness level we are at now. Today, platform has thousands of registered citizens who are eager to invest in and co-own solar farms in Europe, and more than 22 million euro of investment potential for renewable energy investments.
The EYE programme helped me to succeed in the long term. I have acquired the necessary knowledge and the much-needed practical experience in the business and established a strong partnership with the host entrepreneur and his company, Ltd EcoTechno Innovation. Furthermore, investors chose my business as they were confident that I have the necessary practical experience. My company could not have been successful without it. EYE also helped me to grow my personal and professional networks: starting with all the people I’ve met during the programme as well as other new entrepreneurs, to people working in the local EU institutions and the government. More collaboration was planned for this year, unfortunately the war in Ukraine modified all the plans as Zaporizhzhya is close to the front line.
Right now, company has raised an additional funding and we are working on acquiring the necessary licences in the European Union after the regulation has changed just a couple months ago. Moreover, we will be funding the first solar farms in the EU in the beginning of the next year, as we have more than 22 million euros in investment potential from thousands of citizens who registered on our platform and made commitments to invest in renewable energy projects. My vision by 2030 is for Energy Shift to be the leading platform for investment in clean and renewable energy, creating an impact while helping European citizens save for their retirements.
Yes, definitely! I have already been recommending Erasmus for young Entrepreneurs to my friends and acquaintances who are striving to be entrepreneurs, as they are looking to gain practical experience as well as learn from successful entrepreneurs. To have the best experience, try talking to several host entrepreneurs before making your decision, as some might be able to help you much more based on their knowledge and previous experience.
Support Office (BE)
More blog posts by Support Office →