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?

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.

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.


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 submit your application in your own country. Check this page to find out if there is a ClimateLaunchpad competition in your country.

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 (pre-/Clim)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.

How does the competition work?

The ClimateLaunchpad programme gets you all the knowledge and skills to build a successful start-up. The competition consists of four stages:

Step 1: Boot Camp

The top teams chosen by our National leads* take part in the ClimateLaunchpad National programme which kicks off with a multi-day digital Boot Camp. Our trainers will teach you all you need to know about jump-starting your business.

Step 2: Intensive coaching and National Finals
The Boot Camp is followed by a period of intensive coaching. You’ll perfect your pitch, value proposition and business model. After that, you’re ready to rock your National Final where you’ll pitch digitally for a National Jury.

Step 3: Regional Finals
The top teams of each country go to the Regional Finals where they pitch in front of the region’s best and brightest. The crème de la crème are chosen to compete in the digital Global Grand Final.

Step 4: Global Grand Final
The top teams in the world pitch against each other on the international stage. Here, there is glory to be won.

*CLP Mini-course: Our National Leads may invite teams first for participation in a CLP Mini-course to help them to make a better selection or to prepare you for the Boot Camp.


What can I win?

Prizes in the National and Regional Finals differ per country and region.  Of course there will also be prizes (cash or in kind) for the Global Grand Final winners. 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 in the semi-finals to perform in the Final Round of the Global Grand Final, will automatically get direct access to the ClimateLaunchpad Accelerator.

The big prize? A bunch of new acquired skills & knowledge and networking opportunities to get your business thriving. And of course infinite glory.

All prizewinners are responsible for any taxes, wire transfer costs and other possible costs related to receiving the prize.

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 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

Climate Impact
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

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.

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

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.


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 10 business ideas per country for participation in the  multi-day Boot Camp. Our National Leads may invite teams first for participation in a CLP Mini-course to help them to make a better selection. You’ll be invited by e-mail, so keep an eye on your mailbox.


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

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.

How much time will I have to dedicate to ClimateLaunchpad?

When you confirm to participate in ClimateLaunchpad you are required to attend the 3-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.

What is the ClimateLaunchpad Accelerator?

With the ClimateLaunchpad Accelerator we would like to provide continued support for a period of about 6 months to the winning teams and help them turn their idea into a successful business further. The way the ClimateLaunchpad Accelerator aims to do this is by assigning each team a personal coach who is familiar with the local market the teams have selected for their beachhead and allows for more in-depth support. In addition the curriculum will be complemented with input(s) from various experts sourced from various parts of the organization to provide key insights in certain topics through regular group online webinar sessions.

The top 16 teams selected by the jury in the semi-finals to perform in the final round of the Global Grand Final, will automatically get direct access to the ClimateLaunchpad Accelerator.

Why do I have to choose a theme for my business idea? And where can I find a description of the themes?

The Regional and Global Grand Finals will run in themed tracks. Having these themes means that teams are, especially at the Global Grand Final stage, judged equally against their peers by industry experts, ensuring that the best of the best rise to the top.

The selected themes for this year:

  1. Adaptation & Resilience
  2. Circular Economies
  3. Urban Solutions
  4. Clean Energy
  5. Food Systems
  6. Sustainable Mobility
  7. Blue Economy
  8. The Next Big Thing

You can read the full description per theme here.

Please note: although we are announcing the pitching themes now, it doesn’t mean that there will be Theme Awards at the Global Grand Final.

ClimateLaunchpad - Cleantech business idea competition - FAQ

Subscribe to newsletter