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.
ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest green business ideas competition. Innovation and invention can lead the way to a clean future. That’s why we create a stage for the people who have great cleantech ideas and help them develop those ideas into startups making global impact. ClimateLaunchpad is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of Climate-KIC.
Fixing climate change, one start-up at a time.
Climate-KIC creates opportunities for innovators to address climate change and shape the world’s next economy. Climate-KIC is funded through the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, an initiative of the EU. They accelerate innovation that enables a low-carbon future. One of their core activities is the Climate-KIC Accelerator, the rock solid programme for cleantech start-ups where great ideas grow into great businesses.
Climate-KIC Accelerator is the world’s first business school for promising cleantech entrepreneurs. It offers entrepreneurship education, top-notch tools & techniques and intensive coaching. In three stages the 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. The top 16 teams selected by the jury to perform in the Final Round of the Global Grand Final, will automatically get direct access to the Climate-KIC ClimateLaunchpad Accelerator.
Because it is your dream to get your green business idea funded and launched worldwide. Enter ClimateLaunchpad if you want to know how to navigate the cleantech field, want hands-on business advice while developing your business plan and become a pro in presenting your proposition to investors and prospective customers. This and more you will learn during the ClimateLaunchpad trajectory.
Battle for your idea during the National and Global Grand Final. The best of the best at the Global Grand Final may be offered access into the Climate-KIC business Accelerator: a huge step in making your dream come true.
Anyone with a promising cleantech idea who dreams of becoming an entrepreneur should join. You can be a new start-up, SME, researcher, student, public organisation, consultant, engineer, a combination of the above or something that doesn’t fit a job title. Don’t worry if you don’t have a business plan quite ready. We’ll help you strengthen your plan or teach you how to create one.
You can only apply in your own country and 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 cannot enter ClimateLaunchpad if you have:
Already been accepted into Climate-KIC Accelerator with this idea;
Already been accepted into ClimateLaunchpad (or the former CleanLaunchpad) in a previous year with the same idea.
Not sure if you should enter? Contact us.
The ClimateLaunchpad programme gets you all the knowledge and skills to build a successful start-up. The competition consists of three stages:
Step 1: Boot Camp
ClimateLaunchpad kicks off with a 2-day Boot Camp in your own country. Our trainers will teach you all you need to know about jump-starting your business.
Step 3: Global Grand Final
There is prize money to be won. The overall winner of the Global Grand Final receives € 10,000, the runner up gets € 5,000 and the idea that comes in third place wins € 2,500. The top 16 teams selected by the jury to perform in the Final Round of the Global Grand Final, will automatically get direct access to the Climate-KIC ClimateLaunchpad Accelerator, the renowned business school where great ideas grow into great businesses.
Prizes in the National (and if applicable Regional Finals) differ per country and region. The overall Winner of the Global Grand Final receives € 10,000, the runner up gets € 5,000 and the idea that comes in third place wins € 2,500. All prizewinners are responsible for any taxes, wire transfer costs and other possible costs related to receiving the prize money. The top 16 teams selected by the jury to perform in the Final Round of the Global Grand Final, will automatically get direct access to the Climate-KIC ClimateLaunchpad Accelerator, the renowned business school where great ideas grow into great businesses.
Check the key dates in the competition calendar.
Yes, you can only submit your application in your own country. Check this page to find out if there is a ClimateLaunchpad competition in your country. Is your country not listed? Stay tuned, as we are still expanding; or become a National Lead yourself
Your idea can be an innovation in renewable energy, a sustainable transition in the food chain, a mind shift in urban mobility or any other way to tackle climate change. As long as it’s in the cleantech domain. That means it’s “a scientific innovation that uses existing technology to do more with fewer resources, and has a commercial driver.” 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.
For the selection of ideas jury members take the following six criteria into account:
Business or Market Potential
Does the proposition address a real pain?
Is there a clearly identified customer segment?
Is there an opportunity to expand in other markets?
Job Potential or Social Impact
Does this business have the potential for strong growth and create jobs doing so?
Does it address an important environmental or social issue?
Innovation or Technology Potential
Is there strong new technology?
Is there a strong new business model?
Or an idea with existing technology/business model
Is there a significant climate impact?
Is the climate impact significant in this business sector?
Strength Management Team
Is there entrepreneurial spirit in the team?
How complete is the team for the task at hand?
Does the team have prior start-up experience?
Quality of Pitch
You can only enter ClimateLaunchpad in your own country. Apply by filling out the application form for which you’ll answer questions like what problem you are solving and what climate impact you expect to make. No need for a business plan just yet. We’ll help you strengthen your plan or teach you how to create one.
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 external investments. Check our Terms & Conditions for definitions. If your business is more mature you may want to consider applying to Climate-KIC Accelerator.
You know what? We love the ‘back of a napkin’ stage. Filling out the application form 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 application submitted.
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.
Your application will be reviewed and ranked by a review board in the country you applied for. This panel selects a minimum of 12-25 business ideas per country for participation in the 2-day Boot Camp. You’ll be invited by e-mail, so keep an eye on your mailbox.
Basically, you need a good idea, 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 Boot Camp, National Final and Global Grand Final. With all that you should be able to dazzle the jury.
But remember, ClimateLaunchpad is not about winning. It is about building your business and finding your first customer.
Unless we say otherwise, you are responsible for all costs and expenses related to your entry into and participation in the competition, for example travel and stay for the Boot Camp, coaching sessions, National/Regional/Global Grand Final. Every country will try to sponsor your travel expenses to the Regional Final (if applicable) and Global Grand Final. This is something that you have to check with the National Lead in your country once you have been accepted into the programme.
Check all key dates on the page of your country.
When you confirm to participate in ClimateLaunchpad you are required to attend the 2-day Boot Camp in your country, take part in five out of six coaching sessions, compete in the National Final (and/or the Regional Finals) and the Global Grand Final.
Please note: You risk a € 500 fine if you don’t show up to any of the sessions and you will not be able participate any further. The fine is to cover our costs for you to be in this competition.
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.
That sounds great. Check our map to see if your country still needs an organiser. It does? Go to this page to learn more about being a partner and fill in the form. If you don’t like forms, feel free to send us an e-mail and let us know why you are a good match as a local partner.
We’d love for you to get involved. We are always in need of funding and volunteer mentors or business coaches. Just send us an e-mail.
No problem, just send an email to ClimateLaunchpad.
The world has been turned upside down. We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We are committed to keep supporting green entrepreneurship with all the resources available to us. Fixing climate change continues to be a priority.
We are working on solutions to keep our programme going in this new reality with safety and accessibility as our primary drivers. The most significant change is that the entire 2020 edition of our competition will be remote and executed online.
We will post updates on the way things will be set up. Please reach out to your National Lead if you have any questions about the programme in your country. In the meantime: stay safe, stay sane and keep on tackling climate change. Together we can do this.