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 three 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.

*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?

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

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.


How much time will I have to dedicate to ClimateLaunchpad?

When you confirm your participation in ClimateLaunchpad you are required to attend the 2-day (online) Boot Camp in your country, take part in five out of six coaching sessions, compete in the National Final (and/or the Regional Finals).

ClimateLaunchpad is free and organized by passionate experts who donate their time to help you with your idea. We expect that if you decide to participate, you will be present at all sessions. If you don’t show up to any of the sessions, you might not be able to participate any further.

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

We work with eight themes chosen in consultation with EIT Climate-KIC. These represent a selection of the most pressing and relevant focus areas of our time in our fight against climate change.

This ensures that ideas are 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. Blue Economy
  3. Circular Economies
  4. Clean Energy
  5. Food Systems
  6. Sustainable Mobility
  7. Urban Solutions
  8. The Next Big Thing

You can read the full descriptions per theme here.

Please note: we cannot yet confirm whether there will be themed pitching tracks at the Regional Finals.

What can I do after ClimateLaunchpad?

Our alumni continue to create climate impact after the competition. For example, they participate in other start-up competitions and acceleration programmes, follow masterclasses, and look for funding. Most importantly, our alumni focus on finding their first customer.

We also encourage you to follow both the ClimateLaunchpad and the ClimAccelerator and Climate Innovators pages on LinkedIn, to stay up to date with the latest news and opportunities from the wider EIT Climate-KIC entrepreneurship network.

ClimateLaunchpad - Cleantech business idea competition - FAQ

Subscribe to newsletter