Additional FAQs

General questions

What is PowerLab?

PowerLab supports TenneT employees in validating and scaling projects around new energy technologies, services, and business models within the core business of our company. The program offers access to funding, coaching, entrepreneurial processes, a vast network of experts, and executive attention for the projects. Accepted teams get the chance to quickly test and prototype their projects and pitch for long-term support. The goal of this framework is to make it easier to realize and speed up projects in our organization.

Why do we need PowerLab?

In a rapidly evolving world, where customers’ needs and technologies are changing faster than ever, we need to smarten our core by exploring new opportunities and realizing innovative projects. We also need to ensure our best talents have the space to grow and develop within TenneT.

Where can I get additional information on the PowerLab approach, tools and methodologies?

For more information on the PowerLab’s approach, tools, and methodologies, reach us at

Application requirements

What types of projects and ideas is PowerLab looking for?

We’re looking for projects that address relevant problems and needs, both for our customers and operations. Regardless of whether your project drastically improves our operations or explores new products, services, and business models, it should have the potential to be scaled across multiple divisions of our company. If you and your team have the curiosity and motivation to succeed, it doesn’t matter whether you’re still at an early stage or have already begun actively working on the realization of the project.

If you’ve any doubts or questions about whether your project is a match for the program, don’t hesitate to contact the PowerLab team at

Who is eligible to apply?

PowerLab is a company-wide program open for applications from all TenneT employees with an entrepreneurial mindset who are working on or conceptualizing a project and want to speed it up and bring it to life.

Do I need to have a team to apply?

A team (of up to four people) is preferred but not mandatory. In a team, you can split up the project work and use the diverse skill sets to achieve a joint goal which is why we encourage you to look for additional team members. That being said, applications by individuals are still welcomed, and we will support you in finding a proper setup.

Does my team need specific skills?

The most important thing we’re looking for at the beginning is your motivation to learn and make your project a success. At later phases, we jointly try to add the right team members to build a kick-ass team!

How mature should my project be?

If you and your team have the curiosity and motivation to succeed, it doesn’t matter whether you’re still at an early stage or have already begun actively working on the realization of the project. Nevertheless, you should be able to define the challenge you aim to solve with your project and how you want to address it. If you’ve already developed a proof of concept and can explain it at the time of the application, we’ll look at your application favorably. However, all projects are welcome!

Do I need to submit a business plan for my project?

You’re not required to submit a detailed business plan.

What do I need to bring to the table?
  • A project or an idea for a project that will solve a challenge for TenneT. If this project is already known to and is supported by a manager, this is a plus.
  • Most importantly, passion for working in a start-up-like environment to bring your project to life and motivation to learn new methods and approaches.
In what language can I submit my application?

The language for the application is English. If you can only apply in another language or need language assistance, please contact the PowerLab team at

Who can I contact if I need technical support with my application?

Please contact our team at (e.g., if you have difficulty completing or submitting your application).

PowerLab program

What can I expect being a part of an accepted team?

The accepted teams will join the first phase of the PowerLab program. During this period, team members will remain in their current position, and there is no need to relocate, as it’s a part-time program. The PowerLab team will agree with the team members’ managers on the exact amount of time the team can dedicate to the PowerLab project, starting with a minimum of 20% (1 day per week). The program will support the teams with coaching, expert feedback, a safe learning environment, quick decision-making, executive attention, and access to the decision-makers for initial funding.

What are the milestones of the program?

Being a part of PowerLab, you’ll follow the path in three phases: Explore, Develop, and Establish. Depending on the maturity of your project, you can either start in the Explore or in the Develop phase. The PowerLab core team will support you in deciding which phase is the best one for you to start with.

In the Explore phase, you validate the challenge your project tackles and prove that it is relevant for TenneT. Start the Explore phase by attending the Bootcamp – a three-day on-site workshop designed to discover all open questions linked to your project and define how to answer them. At the end of this workshop, you’ll pitch your project and the resources needed to a jury who will decide whether your project continues to the next phase.

In the Develop phase, you develop a prototype of your solution, test it with potential internal or external users, and get feedback.

Both, the Explore and Develop phases are closed with the Decision Day, in which you convince the decision-makers to give a green light for establishing your project in the long term within TenneT and supporting your project with additional budget and resources.

What happens with my current position?

Your current position will not be affected by participating in the first phase of the PowerLab program. There will be no changes to your salary and other benefits, your contract stays untouched whilst you are participating in PowerLab. In case you (and your team) is selected to the PowerLab program a 20% time commitment is necessary, these arrangements would be aligned with your manager.

When should I tell my manager?


Once you’ve decided to apply to PowerLab you may let your manager know and align with them on whether you can dedicate at least 20% of your working time to your PowerLab project. If your project is selected, we can further assist you in this conversation and align with you and your manager regarding the time and resources you spend within PowerLab to limit the impact on the ongoing business. Be aware that your application doesn’t mean you can directly start at PowerLab as you still have to go through our selection process.

If I am selected do I need to relocate?

There is no requirement for relocation.

Will I be required to work on my idea during my spare time?

Participation in PowerLab is on a project-like basis and should be done during your regular working hours. We’ll help you to arrange with your manager to determine the specific working conditions (e.g., full-time or at least 1 day a week, aka 20% of your working time).

How will my tasks be temporarily covered if I am accepted into PowerLab?

Many of the projects submitted would likely be related to an employee’s existing work area. In that situation, the program will help those teams succeed. However, if somebody else is required to temporarily cover your position in the short term, then please indicate this in your application. If your project is selected, we’ll discuss potential arrangements with your manager.

What happens after the first phase of the PowerLab program?

After the first phase (Explore or Develop, depending on the maturity of your project), the team’s progress and results will be evaluated, and the jury will decide on the following options:

  • You move on to the Develop phase, which focuses on building the prototype of your project and testing it with potential internal and external users.
  • You move on to the Establish phase, which focuses on launching and growing your project.
  • You iterate the Explore phase to go even deeper into the validation of your project-specific challenges.
  • Continued support by other stakeholders: If the project is promising but doesn’t fit the PowerLab selection criteria for the later stages, we’ll try to find other follow-up supporters for the projects in the respective divisions. This way, you can continue to work on the projects and make them come to life.
  • Stop: If you realize during the Explore or Develop phases of PowerLab that it doesn’t make sense to continue with your project; then we encourage the team to document and share what they have learned. This is a crucial step for the future projects and for establishing a culture of constant learning and improvement within our company.
What happens if a project is successful?
If a project is successful in the long term and creates new revenue, cost reduction, profit, and/or customers for TenneT, it is essential to ensure that the employees who started the project and put their hard work into it benefit from its success. We want you to lead this journey to succeed and grow together with your project.
What happens if a project fails?

If the team invalidates their project (through customer interviews, etc.), we encourage the team to share what they have learned. To quickly realize that a project is not feasible in a market is to be seen as a success, not a failure. The start-up environment is a ‘fail smart or scale fast’ environment in which learning from projects that didn’t work out is crucial for the success of the future projects. We want to encourage this mentality not only within our program but for all TenneT employees.

Selection process

How do projects get selected?

Once the application phase ends, a committee of cross-divisional experts and the PowerLab core team will evaluate all projects and decide which ones will be shortlisted. The shortlisted teams are then notified and invited to the first phase of PowerLab – either Explore or Develop, based on your project’s maturity.

What are the selection criteria?

The criteria will include, but are not limited to:

  • The team: Do the team members have the right vision, motivation, knowledge, and expertise to drive their project forward
  • The challenge: Does the project target specific (internal) users or customers with real needs?
  • The project: Is the proposed solution feasible and viable, and does it have the potential to create a new solution superior to already existing alternatives?
  • Strategic fit: Would TenneT be a suitable investor in making the project successful and defending it against potential competitors?
If I am short-listed or selected, how will I be notified?

The PowerLab team will notify the lead team member via e-mail or phone.

Will I also be notified in case I am not selected?

Every team applying to PowerLab will get a notification whether they’re selected to the program. Even if you’re not selected, we would inform you, and would, nevertheless, love to welcome you to our innovation community! You can stay up to date by following PowerLab’s inTenneT or LinkedIn groups, and by signing up to our bi-monthly newsletter (you can do so by going back to the bottom of the main page).

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