March 1, 2023

“A Visit To Norway, Europe’s Energy Factory” Featuring Startuplab, ZEG Power, and Heimdall Power

Today’s COBT episode is focused on Norway and in particular, the country’s technology, climate tech, and broader energy landscape. What most of us don’t realize about Norway is the country is the 7th largest natural gas producer in the world, is the single biggest supplier of natural gas to Europe, gets 90 percent of its own power from hydro, and is a major source of energy innovation.

We have three excellent guests to help guide the discussion including Karl Liapunov, Head of Energy at Startuplab, along with Arild Selvig, CEO of ZEG Power and Jørgen Festervol, CEO of Heimdall Power. Startuplab is Norway’s largest incubator and the country’s most active early-stage investor and both ZEG Power and Heimdall Power are graduates of Startuplab! It was our pleasure to host the group and we were excited to dig in.

Karl first provides context on Norway and background on Startuplab’s program, which receives 600 applications a year and provides a network of founders, mentors, investors, industry experts and corporate partners to help companies succeed. Karl also shares key highlights from Startuplab’s recent report, “Energy Transition & Climate Tech in Norway." We then turn to Arild and ZEG Power, which is focused on providing clean hydrogen with a uniquely simplified carbon capture process. Jørgen shares background on Heimdall Power and the company’s fascinating grid technology. With a good understanding of each company’s features and role in the Norwegian and potentially global energy landscape, we discuss the themes and types of companies Startuplab sees in the Norwegian energy market, where Hydrogen will be most valuable, the potential FERC requirement for dynamic line monitoring, Heimdall’s new Houston office, and more. We end the discussion with Karl, Arild, and Jørgen’s advice to early-stage companies and each had fantastic advice. We can’t thank them enough for joining!

Mike Bradley kicked off the show by flagging that the rise in US bond yields continues to be a headwind for US equity markets and will probably continue to be a headwind until the March 22nd FOMC meeting. He highlighted WTI crude oil price has been stuck in a relatively tight trading band (~$72-$82/bbl.) over the last 3-4 months and that energy companies are getting comfortable with that trading band and potentially a higher trading band for 2H’23. He also flagged the sharp rebound in an oversold natural gas market due to a late winter blast but also that S/D fundamentals are still out of balance. He wrapped by referencing the cross-border merger deal between Baytex Energy (Canadian-based) and Ranger Oil (Eagleford-based), and the possibility of an acceleration in 2023 E&P M&A. Todd Scruggs, Veriten’s senior partner focused on investments, rounded out the Veriten team for today’s session.

A big thank you to our friends in Norway for sharing their time and expertise and thanks to you all for your support and friendship!

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August 10, 2022

“Facilitating Technology That Addresses Uncertainty” Featuring Dr. Karl Meeusen, Wärtsilä

Today we had a fantastic guest for our COBT discussion, Dr. Karl Meeusen. Karl serves as Director of Markets, Legislative and Regulatory Policy at Wärtsilä.

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