Meet William Bergh, CEO at Cling Systems

William Bergh is a young Swedish entrepreneur who founded Cling Systems, the B2B platform that connects the battery ecosystem to ensure batteries are reused, repurposed and recycled. We had the pleasure to talk with him and learn more about his circular economy business project:

1.Could you tell us about your professional background and why you chose to focus your career on circular economy? 

The circular economy is something that has always fascinated and really gripped me. Cling Systems was born out of a desire to close the loop of lithium-ion battery systems and a few different experiences from my professional and personal life informed the decision to start it. I studied engineering at Lund University in Sweden and when I was there, together with some friends founded Lund Formula Student’s very first electric formula racing team and developed the first electric driveline. That provided a fascinating preview of the challenges of developing and running a project and team focused on mobility. As my studies were coming to a conclusion, I did my Masters Thesisat Northvolt mapping the logistics of EV batteries and lithium-ion battery recycling. Those experiences got me thinking about how to change the perception of waste. I also spend some of my studies within Environmental Science in Hawaii which really provided a window into how we need to respect the environment. 

2.How does Cling´s B2B market platform work? 

We work to match supply and demand and eliminate as much friction as possible in the trade. This means assembling and structuring loads of battery data. Once a trade is established, we move on to managing compliant shipping, the transfer of liability, and safe payments. The regulations point is important as the supply chain is very extensive, given where battery materials are dug up, where they are refined, where they are manufactured in gigafactories – these often are on different continents so the industry is a global one. We have to stay nimble so who knows how it will look in 12 months’ time as the sector moves so quickly. 

3.Who can participate? 

There are so many players in the industry and it is constantly shifting, but at the moment we view the sell side as companies such as OEMs, fleet owners, insurance providers, diagnostic providers, repair workshops, and car dismantlers. The buy side is remanufacturers, repurporsers and recyclers. Within those groups, we assess and vet those looking to use our platform so that the buyers are professional players and trustworthy. We spend a lot of time building up relationships with other industry players and that is very important for us. 

4.How does your company contribute to the environment? 

A sustainable society is dependent on sustainable batteries. Sustainable batteries are dependent on circularity. Cling enables circularity. Enabling reuse, repurposing and recycling of EV batteries means that material that makes up new batteries does not need to be dug out the ground, often at considerable cost to the environment. Our platform will mean emissions are avoided and the more batteries we can exchange, the more we can contribute towards batteries being seen less as a cost or even waste, and more as an asset. By digitizing this waste, we can make it an accessible and valuable resource. 

5.Which was the main challenge you faced to launch your business project? 

Like any startup, getting funding for the business was a crucial requirement and we completed our seed fundraise of 2.3m USD led by Trucks VC and First Venture, as well as angel investors. Fundraising involves many parallel conversations and takes a lot longer than you think it will so that was a big challenge that we needed to complete. The investors are very supportive and have really helped us accelerate the vision we have for the company.  

6.Do you have any young talent that inspired your career? 

Many. There are incredible people everywhere that has inspired me – in my university classes, high school friends, and of course online and in newspapers. I think peer-inspiration often is overlooked. Look around, who do you see that inspires and motivates you? 

 #EuropeanYearofYouth #LCBA 

Meet Iulia Dorobantu Co-founder of Charger.ro & Architect 

We have the pleasure to talk with Iulia Dorobantu a European young entrepreneur who launched Charger.ro, the first one-stop-shop marketplace that brings together solutions, products & equipment making green energy more accessible. Iulia is committed to build a greener and innovative future for Europe.

Could you tell us about your professional background and why you chose to focus your career on renewable energy? 

I was born in Bucharest, Romania, a post-communist country, where the focus and funds were chaotically dispersed between various industries, but not at all towards sustainable actions. With shy initiatives during school years to show responsibility towards consumption, daily habits, and behavior defined by integrity, honesty, and care towards our local community and environment, I have become interested in following renewable energy and climate initiatives.  

I have a background in architecture, with studies divided between both Bucharest and Paris, France. After finishing my studies in both Universities, I decided to return to my home country and bring my contribution here. I recently co-founded the platform Charger.ro, which currently addresses the Romanian market.   

As an architect and young entrepreneur, I find it both challenging and exciting to see the exponential development of available solutions and technology that address some of the biggest challenges of our generation. In this moment of urgency, I believe it is vital to respond fast and efficiently, avoid potential catastrophes, and start sustainably building a new cycle of initiatives and approaches.  

I have always been interested and concerned about my impact on the world, both as a human being and climate-wise. We know that climate change is caused by human activity but pinning down exactly who is responsible or finding the right solution is trickier than it might seem.  

  1. How does Charger.ro´s marketplace work? 

Charger.ro is the first one-stop-shop marketplace that brings together curated products, equipment, and solutions, starting the green urban mobility market.  

Despite the remarkable progress of technology, producers don’t manage to have a global approach to customers, market strategy, available funding, data, or establish accessible communication. On the other side, the already-users or new buyers face a chaotic and disorganized market. They risk buying unfitted products with no second opinion, and they lose time selecting solutions with minimal budgets.  

Charger.ro changes the way people buy and sell green-powered solutions. We are building a link in the market, acting as a broker for the provider and creating a fresh and complete shopping experience for the buyer. By creating a one-stop-shop, we create a community of trusted suppliers, complementary services, and educational content. In this way, we enable access to available funding, knowledge, and solutions.  

  1. What kind of products or services are available?

Charger.ro makes green energy more accessible! We are creating a complete portfolio of charging devices for EV and plug-in hybrid cars for any environment, accessories, consumables, applications, and software. Moreover, we are touching the entire green mobility market, with charging docks for electric scooters and bicycles, accessories, applications, and smart urban furniture.  

The platform creates a matchmaking process and algorithm, matching your need with the right solution through consultancy or a project, available funding sources and a fitting team close to your current location, all in the same place. We create an ecosystem of producers, wholesalers, and service providers while creating a complete and regulated portfolio of solutions. 

In time, we want to cover and offer a complete scan of renewable energy by introducing solutions like photovoltaic panels, off-grid systems and so on, and cover an international market expansion in multiple verticals.  

  1. How does your project contribute to the environment?

Charger.ro contributes to the environment by making the adoption of alternative solutions much more manageable, cheaper, and fun. We are promoting and creating access to available solutions and matchmaking them with all extra services needed to encourage potential adopters to take the next step. 

We also care a lot about educating the communities, explaining the solutions for everyone, and promoting sustainable actions. Thus, we are developing a monthly educational content module with key business actors and NGOs. 

  1. Which was the main challenge you faced to launch your business project?

The main challenges are not business-related. Of course, everything is moving fast, and we must cover everything with little resources and within short deadlines, but the real struggle has always been addressing the large population. I believe that educating the people and communities is the point where the real difference is made. And this not only in terms of renewable energy, but also in small everyday actions that we can make to improve and aspire towards a better and greener Planet!  

  1. Do you have any young talent that inspired your career?

There are so many young and not so young anymore talented people, that I always consider it is unfair to name only one. Let us make a small step forward and inspire the person standing right next to us! Because the people who inspired my career are “normal” people, yet extraordinary, who came even for 5 minutes and made a small change into my world!