Meet our Investor Member Alex Benincà, Founder of B-works
Please tell us about yourself and your background
I am a sustainability advocate and entrepreneur with a strong background in renewable energy, digital innovation, and corporate venture. I have dedicated my career to driving sustainable change through digital innovation and corporate venture building, focusing on sectors like renewable energy, decarbonization, and e-mobility.
Why did you decide to become an investor or work within the clean-tech sector?
The need for sustainable solutions in the face of growing environmental challenges has never been more urgent. I started B-works to harness digital innovation and corporate venture to accelerate the growth and development of start-ups in the renewable energy, decarbonization, and e-mobility sectors. My passion for sustainability, bringing together funding and expert know-how, and my expertise in digital innovation and venture building inspire me to foster new initiatives at B-works.
Where are you paying the most attention today for future deals? What industries are you interested in and why?
At B-works, we pay the most attention to software startups in the sustainability sector, particularly those in renewable energy, decarbonization, and e-mobility. We believe that these areas have the highest potential for mitigating environmental impacts and promoting sustainable development.
Which startup funding stages are you most interested in?
We’re primarily interested in early-stage start-ups. Our Novo venture-building program is designed to help these startups unlock their full potential by validating their business models, developing their products, and achieving product-market fit.
Tell us more about your plans for 2024 and beyond? What type of companies/founders are you looking for? Where do you plan to invest?
B-works plans to continue its focus on nurturing early-stage, software-based startups in the sustainability sector. We aim to empower founders who share our commitment to sustainable innovation and who are looking to disrupt the renewable energy, decarbonization, and e-mobility sectors with their solutions. Our investment efforts will be concentrated in these areas, where we believe the potential for impact is the highest.
Can you share some of the success cases in your investor path?
B-works has worked with over 50 startups, companies, and investors. Some of our success stories include Simpley, an AI-based all-in-one hotel and marketing SaaS, Aelsa, which focuses on decarbonization through sustainable web applications; and Cosmobutler, which launched a marketplace with service provider software and a logistics app.
What are your key learnings so far?
We’ve learned that the integration of sustainability and digital innovation is not only possible but also highly impactful. Startups have immense potential to drive sustainable change, and with the right support and guidance, they can scale rapidly and make a significant economic, social and environmental impact.
Additionally, a hands-on and collaborative approach is most effective when working with start-ups. By offering them resources like co-founder skills, expert mentoring from scientists and industry experts, and access to our proprietary backend IT platform, we can help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals more efficiently.
One piece of advice for someone who is just starting out with their startup?
My advice to new startups is to stay focused on your mission, validate your business model early, and don’t hesitate to seek expert help when needed. The journey of building a start-up is challenging, and having the right guidance and support can make a significant difference.
What is your top priority about the company, team, or product you invest in?
The top priority for us is the startup’s commitment to sustainability and its potential to bring about meaningful change in the renewable energy, decarbonization, and e-mobility sectors. We’re looking for founders that are passionate about their mission, have innovative solutions, and have the determination to overcome challenges and scale their ideas – yet may be missing a key co-founder. This is where we come in and bring in speed, expertise, and network.
What does it mean to you to be a member of the Swiss Startup Association?
Being a member of the Swiss Startup Association is an affirmation of our commitment to the Swiss startup ecosystem. Personally, it means being part of a group of like-minded individuals who are working towards fostering a vibrant start-up scene in Switzerland. Professionally, it means having access to a range of resources, from legal support and investor networks to educational sessions and networking events, that can help us in our mission to support and build sustainable start-ups.
Would you recommend joining the Swiss Startup Association?
Yes, I would highly recommend joining the Swiss Startup Association. The association’s events, both in-person and online, are a great opportunity to gain insider knowledge from fellow founders and industry experts.
Have you ever visited the events of the Swiss Startup Association? If yes, which ones? Would you recommend them?
Yes, for example, “How to Find, Hire and Retain Tech Talent in your Start Up”, which was insightful for sharing experiences with fellow founders.
Is there anything that we haven’t asked you that you would like to share with the community?
I would like to emphasize the importance of sustainable innovation in the startup ecosystem. At B-works, we believe that startups have a crucial role to play in driving sustainable change, and we are committed to supporting them in this mission.
Through our Novo venture-building program, we offer a comprehensive solution for early-stage startups to validate their business models, develop their products, and achieve product-market fit. We are excited about the potential of the startups we work with and look forward to continuing our work in accelerating sustainable innovation.