6 months ago, 10 Entrepreneurship teams (6 RICs, 3 KICs and 1 partner) across Europe started working towards the same goal. Our mission was to create Europe’s largest cleantech business idea competition. We called it ‘CleanLaunchpad’.
By doing so we aimed at finding the best cleantech start-ups in Europe and we would then put the very best in Climate-KIC’s Accelerator in order to ”unlock Europe’s cleantech potential”. Furthermore, we would start creating a EU wide cleantech business network and connect different European entrepreneurship locations by working together.
We received 479 applications. We selected the best business ideas of each country, trained them at two-day boot camps, gave them individual coaching for 4-6 weeks and let them pitch in front of tough juries in National Finals.
The top 30 start-ups from our CleanLaunchpad National Finals across Europe were brought to Valencia for the CleanLaunchpad Grand EU Final at Climate-KIC’s Innovation festival.
After 5 parallel semi-final sessions in the morning of 29 October and one Grand Finale session in the afternoon, the Grand Finale Jury was greatly impressed by our 7 Grand Finale start-ups. At the winner announcement, head of our Grand Finale Jury, Director of Entrepreneurship Climate-KIC, Mr. Hero Prins announced that all of the 7 Grand Finalists won access Climate-KIC’s Accelerator.
Not only did the competition work as intended but most importantly: both start-ups and staff had an awesome time and were greatly inspired from each other.
This first year being our pilot edition, we managed to do some things that were really good. Other things could be greatly improved. Without a doubt the absolute best thing we did was to create a start-up community with lots of fun and inspiration. This could not have been possible without the high energy, enthusiasm and passion from everyone involved. So big thank you to all national leads, coaches, sponsors, CleanLaunchpad central team and of course all the amazing start-ups who made this first year’s CleanLaunchpad competition into such an exciting journey. Stoke is already on for CleanLaunchpad 2015!
Author: Sara Schützer, Project Manager CleanLaunchpad