Energy Efficiency Expertise
In the weeks that followed, the model was developed into a full-fledged business plan. Aside from the team members who were on board since the Startup-Weekend, Mijnals recruited additional experts to help found bettervest. Today the founding team consists of five people who bring various competencies to the table. One of the founding members is Marilyn Heib, engineer and expert in renewables and energy efficiency. In 2007 she founded the charitable organisation Go For Climate e. V., which she chairs to this day. In 2011 she published„Der Klimaschatz“ (eBook), where she lays out 50 practical examples of how energy efficiency can reduce costs, create jobs and protect the environment. In the same year, she co-authored the book “Erfolgsfaktor Energieeffizienz – Investitionen, die sich lohnen” (Energy Efficiency as success factor: Investments That are Worth it). Thanks to Heib’s continuous activities in the energy sector, bettervest has access to a network of certified energy consultants, who we work alongside to evaluate and implement projects.
Supporting Sustainability Experts
Our bettervest concept has gained the support of many prestigious institutions and experts in the field of sustainability. In 2013 the Council for Sustainable Development awarded bettervest the “Werkstatt N Award”. This award is given to pioneering projects that set the standard for resource responsibility and for sustainable social and economic structures. bettervest perceives itself as part of the growing Social Business movement that encourages people all over the world to develop innovative entrepreneurial ideas that tackle ecological and societal problems. In 2017 the same council awarded us the “sustainable project” quality seal.
The Business Model
bettervest is the wold’s first crowd investment platform that enables people to jointly invest individual sums of money – from as little as 50€ onward – in renewable energy, energy and resource efficiency projects initiated by established enterprises, NGOs and local municipalities. In return, investors benefit financially from the resulting cost and energy savings. The bettervest platform has thus opened up the energy efficiency market to private investors. With these targeted investments ecologically and economically viable energy efficiency measures are able to be implemented, leading to cost, energy and CO2 reductions.
These projects are conceptualised and calculated by certified energy consultants, and are regularly monitored throughout the investment term. The project owners commit to using the annual cost savings to pay back their investors over a fixed contract period until the initial investment sum plus interest has been paid off. Once, the contract period has ended, the savings remain in the project owner’s company. Our platform is financed by a percentage commission (based on the investment sum) and an annual handling fee during the contract period.