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What is ClimateLaunchpad?

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.

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 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.

What is Climate-KIC Accelerator?

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-10 winners of ClimateLaunchpad’s Grand Final get accepted into Climate-KIC Accelerator.

Why should I enter ClimateLaunchpad?

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 Grand Final. Winners of the Grand Final get accepted into the Climate-KIC business Accelerator: a huge step in making your dream come true.

Who can join ClimateLaunchpad?

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.

Not sure if you should enter? Contact us.

How does the competition work?

ClimateLaunchpad helps you get your idea battle-proof. There are three rounds to the competition:

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

Round 2: Intensive coaching and national finals
In the weeks after Boot Camp you will attend six intensive coaching sessions. You’ll perfect your pitch, value proposition and business model. After that, you’re ready to rock your National competition where you’ll pitch in front of the National Jury. The Top-3 of each country will enter the Grand Final.

Round 3: Grand Final
In this ultimate final you’ll pitch your idea in front of leading investors and entrepreneurs. You’ll receive valuable feedback and get a chance to discuss your idea in more detail during network sessions. The jury will select fifteen finalists to compete for the ultimate win: access to Climate-KIC Accelerator and prize money.

For more information check our competition page.

What can I win?

Prizes in the National Finals differ per country, however, all top-3 teams get to compete in the Grand Final. The Top-3 of all National Finals will get a chance to pitch their idea in front of the review board of Climate-KIC Accelerator. If you impress them, you might gain access to Climate-KIC Accelerator, the real life business school where great ideas grow into great businesses. Out of the 15 teams selected in the semi-finals of ClimateLaunchpad get to perform in the Grand Final, where  a top 10 will be selected by the jury who win direct access to Climate-KIC Accelerator without having to pitch to a review board.

Last but not least: the Winner of the Grand 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 kind of ideas is ClimateLaunchpad looking for?

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.

What are the judging criteria?

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 identied 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

Climate Impact
Is there a signicant climate impact?
Is the climate impact signicant 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

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

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.

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 a review board in the country you applied for. This panel selects a minimum of 7 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.

What does it take to win the competition?

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- and Grand Final. With all that you should be able to dazzle the jury.

How much time will I have to dedicate to ClimateLaunchpad?

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, possibly, the Grand Final. 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.

ClimateLaunchpad - Cleantech business idea competition - FAQ

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