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"Bridging Supply and Demand for Smart Urban Mobility Solutions" Break-out session at Capital Fest

During CapitalFest Amsterdam (September 27th), the JIIP-TEUC team organized an invite only break-out session titled "Bridging Supply and Demand for Smart Urban Mobility Solutions". CapitalFest is the leading European event, dedicated to creating connections between founders and investors.

Thirty people, working for startups, corporates, investors, public authorities, registered to participate in the break-out session (see list below). However, when starting the session, we counted almost 50 participants. Clearly, on the day the session generated substantial ‘walk-in’ interest from the general CapitalFest audience, with valuable contributions to the discussions.

The session started with a presentation of Arjan Bol, country manager of Mastercard Nederland, explaining why Mastercard is interested in smart cities and especially in urban mobility. A large portion (approx. 15 %) of public transport fees consists of payment transaction costs. To illustrate his story Arjan showed a video explaining why the Oyster Card in London was launched.

As result of this presentation the impact of payment transaction costs on offering mobility services was lively discussed with the audience. Paul Rooymans from Tranzer had a very useful contribution to this discussion. Not surprisingly, because with Tranzer he is working on a payment service that offers the possibility to buy transport tickets 'on the go', including tickets for public transport (train, metro, bus, tram) as for taxi's (Uber, Abel). Ruud van der Ploeg from the European Metropolitan Transport Authorities joined the discussion and elaborated on regulations that prohibit public transport to work with dynamic pricing systems like Uber applies.

Next in line of panellists was Shiva Dustdar from the European Investment Bank. For this occasion she also represented the European Investment Fund. After explaining the different financing instruments from both EIB and EIF, she answered questions from the audience, concerning, among others, the minimum size of funding that the EIB and EIF can provide to startups.

Bas van Wieringen was invited to join the panel and tell about the Rotterdam Mobility Lab. The Lab is an initiative from the City of Rotterdam to facilitate startups with the possibilities to test their innovative mobility solutions in a live test environment.  He told about the success and failures of different initiatives.

Sohaila Ouffata, Investment Principal at BMW iVentures, had already been presenting on the main stage during the morning, so we immediately started with a Q&A about BMW investments in different private parking sharing startups. This was of relevance for the several parking sharing startups in the audience, like Parkbee and Naviparking. Sohaila explained that the interest of BMW is not only to sell cars, but more and more to sell mobility solutions in general. She also emphasized the importance of building sustainable customer relations.

During the Q&A about BMW investing in competing companies in the field of electric charging stations infrastructure, Pieter Waller (one of the walk-in participants in the audience) joined the discussion.  Pieter is founder of Chargetrip, a software platform for EV drivers, that aims at reducing range anxiety to accelerate the mass adoption of EV's.  His company immediately drew the attention of Sohaila and business cards were exchanged.

Next in line was Coenraad de Vries, he is not only the founder of Start Green Capital but also the co-founder of OnePlanetCrowd.  With Start Green Capital he is investing in 2GetThere, a company that realizes automated transit applications, ranging from Automated People Movers to Shared Autonomous Vehicles.  OnePlanetCrowd is a leading Dutch crowdfunding platform and supported the car sharing company Snappcar in one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for convertible loans in the Netherlands. He explained to the audience that a crowdfunding campaign is not only about raising funding but also about building a community of future customers.

Last but not least the floor was given to Ray Quintana, head of European Operations of Cottonwood Technology Fund. Cottonwood has its headquarters in New Mexico and started in 2014 its activities in Europe. Quintana talked about the differences in investing in Europe and the States and how he sometimes experiences that innovation can't flourish in the mother country of a start up due to regulatory issues. This is a huge loss for society.