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The most frequently asked questions are covered here. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Just send us an email and we’ll get back to you.

What is ClimateLaunchpad?

Climate-KIC’s ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest cleantech business idea competition. Our mission is to unlock Europe’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change. The competition creates a stage for those ideas. ClimateLaunchpad is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of Climate-KIC.

What is Climate-KIC?

Climate-KIC creates opportunities for innovators to address climate change and shape the world’s next economy. Climate-KIC is funded through European Institute of Innovation and Technology, an initiative of the EU. We accelerate innovation that enables a low-carbon future. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for cleantech potential. One of our core activities is the Climate-KIC Accelerator, the rock solid 18-month programme for cleantech start-ups where great ideas grow into great businesses.

What is Climate-KIC Accelerator?

Climate-KIC Accelerator is the world’s first real-life business school for promising cleantech entrepreneurs. With fast-track entrepreneurship education, top-notch tools & techniques and intensive coaching. In three stages the 18-month programme works with start-ups to get funded and launch their products worldwide. The grants that come along with each Accelerator phase are generous, but the dedicated guidance is more than money can buy. De Top-10 of ClimateLaunchpad’s European Final get accepted into Climate-KIC Accelerator.

Why should I enter ClimateLaunchpad?

Because you want to get your cleantech idea funded and launched worldwide. You should enter ClimateLaunchpad if that is your dream. You’ll learn and do amazing things during the national and EU competition. Winners of the EU final get accepted into Climate-KIC Accelerator: a huge step in making your dream come true.

Who can join ClimateLaunchpad?

Anyone with a promising cleantech idea who dreams about becoming an entrepreneur should join. You can be a start-up, SME, researcher, student, public organisation, consultant, engineer, a combination of the above or something completely different. Don’t worry if you don’t have a business plan quite ready just yet. We’ll help you strengthen your plan or teach you how to create one.

Small print:
You can only apply in your own country.

You can only enter if:
• you have not yet started a business or your company has been incorporated for less than a year (definition: your legal entity does not exist for more than 1 year);
• Your new venture has attracted less than € 200.000 in total funding (this includes all funding, like grants, government loans, angel and/or VC investments, et cetera)
• you have not yet sold products, solutions or prototypes on commercial terms.

You can’t enter ClimateLaunchpad if you have:
• already been accepted into Climate-KIC Accelerator with this start-up;
• already been accepted into ClimateLaunchpad (or the former CleanLaunchpad) in a previous year.

Not sure if you should enter? Contact us.

How does the competition work and what can I win?

Round 1: Boot Camp
A National Jury selects a minimum of 7 business ideas per country for participation in the 2-day (National) Boot Camps. You’ll be invited by mail. Find more information on your country page.

Round 2: Intensive coaching and national finals
Boot camp is followed-up with a six-week period with six intensive coaching sessions. You’ll perfect your pitch, value proposition and business model. After that, you’re ready to rock the national finals where you’ll pitch in front of your national jury. The Top-3 of each country will enter the EU finals.

Round 3: European final
In this ultimate final you’ll pitch your idea in front of the EU’s leading investors and entrepreneurs. You’ll receive valuable feedback and get a chance to discuss your idea in more detail during network sessions.

Prize money:
1st price: € 10,000
2nd price: € 5,000
3rd price: € 2,500

These three winners will also get accepted into the Climate-KIC Accelerator, the rock solid 18-month program where great ideas grow into great businesses.

What can I win?

The Top-10 teams selected in the European Grande Finale, will get direct access into Climate-KIC Accelerator without having to pitch to a review board. Climate-KIC Accelerator is the infamous 18-month real life business school where great ideas grow into great businesses.

The Top-3 of each National Final will get a chance to pitch their idea in front of the review board of Climate-KIC Accelerator and gain access to the programme.

Last but not least: the Winner of the European Final receives € 10,000, the runner up gets € 5,000 and the idea that comes in third place wins € 2,500.

All prize winners are responsible for any taxes, wire transfer costs and other possible costs relating to the prize money.

What is the deadline for submitting my idea?

Check the key dates on your country page.

Are there geographical restrictions in applying for ClimateLaunchpad?

You can only submit your application in your own country. This year we expect to have 28 participating countries. Is your country not listed? Stay tuned, as we are still expanding. Confirmed for 2016 are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Scotland and the United Kingdom.  

What kind of ideas is ClimateLaunchpad looking for?

Your idea should be about cleantech. Check out this video from Explania, it explains the cleantech space really well. Even if your idea is still on the back of a napkin, you’re most welcome to join. Not sure if your idea fits the bill? Contact us, we’re happy to help.

What are the judging criteria?

The six criteria are:
1. Business or market potential
2. Jobs potential or social impact
3. Innovation or technology potential
4. Climate impact
5. Strength management team
6. Quality of the pitch

How can I apply? Do I need to submit a business plan?

You can only enter in your own country. Apply by filling out the application form . No need for a business plan just yet. We’ll help you strengthen your plan or teach you how to create one.

I already started a business with my idea, can I still enter ClimateLaunchpad?

Yes, you can. Provided that your business is younger than twelve months, doesn’t have a meaningful customer base yet and hasn’t received more than € 200,000 in investments. Check our Terms & Conditions for definitions. If your business is more mature you may want to check out Climate-KIC Accelerator.

My idea is basically still in the ‘back of a napkin’ stage, can I apply?

You know what? We love the ‘back of a napkin’ stage. Filling out the application form on the website is a great exercise to get beyond that napkin. Don’t worry if you don’t have detailed answers to all our questions just yet: feel free to give rough estimates. The important thing is to get your form submitted.

What happens to my idea when I apply, will it still be mine?

Your idea remains solidly yours, no question about it. You retain full and exclusive ownership of your information and intellectual property rights. Any idea you submit will only be used for the purpose of evaluating your application to ClimateLaunchpad.

How will my application be handled?

Your application will be reviewed and ranked by the National Jury of the country you applied in. This jury panel selects a minimum of 7 and maximum of 12 business ideas per country for participation in the 2-day (National) Boot Camps. You’ll be invited by mail, so keep an eye on your mailbox.

What does it take to win the competition?

Basically, you need a good idea and to be ready to work harder than you have ever before and dream bigger than you thought possible. You’ll learn and do amazing things during the National and European Competition. With all that you should be able to dazzle the European Jury.

Which expenses will be covered when I make it to the European Final?

Every country will try to sponsor your travel expenses to the international finals in Tallinn, Estonia. This is something that you have to check with the country lead once you are accepted into the program.

When are the national Boot Camps and Finals planned?

Check all key dates on the page of your country.

Do I need to attend all events and sessions?

Yes, your attendance to the Boot Camp, five out of six Coaching Sessions, the National Final and the European Final is compulsory after confirmation. Since we need for you to invest in your business, we give you a € 500 fine if you don’t show up and you will not be able participate any further.

Will pictures taken during ClimateLaunchpad events be used for promotional purposes?

Yes, we will be making pictures and videos during ClimateLaunchpad events. And we may ask you to speak a few words on camera about your experience. We will use these for the sole purpose of promotion. Entering ClimateLaunchpad means you’re okay with that.

I would like to organize ClimateLaunchpad in my country. How does that work?

That sounds great. Send an e-mail to Erik Faassen to let us know why you are a good match for us as a local partner to organise ClimateLaunchpad in your country.

ClimateLaunchpad sounds like a great programme with values I support. How can I get involved?

We’d love for you to get involved. We are always in need of funding and volunteer mentors or business coaches. Just send an e-mail to Erik Faassen for further information.

I have a question that is not answered here

No problem, just send an email to Erik Faassen.

I have a question that is not answered here - ClimateLaunchpad - Cleantech business idea competition 2016