How to go from the back of a napkin to a business with global climate impact

The EIT Climate-KIC entrepreneurship offerings: innovation for global climate action

Stimulating the energy and enthusiasm of entrepreneurs to lead the charge with new climate-positive business models is a powerful way to address climate change across sectors and systems. That is why EIT Climate-KIC identifies, supports and invests in (aspiring) entrepreneurs in every stage of innovation: from initial concepts, through testing and demonstration to commercial scale and global climate impact.

Entrepreneurs lead the charge when it comes to fixing climate change
EIT Climate-KIC’s mission is to work towards “a prosperous, inclusive, climate-resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy.” The initiative supports green innovation within large corporations, research institutes and public bodies, but also empowers start-ups and individual entrepreneurs through initiatives like Climathon and ClimateLaunchpad and programmes like The Greenhouse and The Accelerator.

Each on its own these programmes are solid and show amazing results and boost positive climate impact. Combined they shape the journey of an entrepreneur and build a global movement of climate action.

Hacking climate challenges with Climathon
is the global 24-hour climate change hackathon that takes place simultaneously in major cities around the world every year. It attracts innovators, entrepreneurs, students and professionals to come together to create innovative solutions to climate challenges.

From green idea to solid business plan with ClimateLaunchpad
ClimateLaunchpad is the global green business idea competition. Its mission is to unlock the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change. Each year the competition creates a stage for over 2,500 ideas to flourish, currently with partners in 50+ countries across the globe. Anyone with a good idea can enter the competition, even if that idea is still ‘on the back of napkin’. ClimateLaunchpad offers training, coaching, and (limited) financial support. The annual Global Grand Final is the biggest green business event of the year. That is when finalists battle it out for the big win: a spot in the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator.

climatelaunchpad impact over the years

Exploring entrepreneurship with Greenhouse pre-incubation
The Greenhouse programme offers tailored workshops, a community of climate entrepreneurs, and the support to further develop green ideas and to improve business plans. Entrepreneurial thinking needs to be fostered and that is what the Greenhouse is about: a place for those who want take their skills, ideas and business plan to the next level. As this is a pre-incubation program, participants can explore their business ideas besides a job or study.

Transforming early stage start-ups into climate-positive businesses with Accelerator
Incubator programme Accelerator gives structure and assistance to start-ups and SMEs. In three stages, the 18-month program offers the knowledge, resources, network, funding and coaching that cleantech start-ups need to succeed. In short, Accelerator is the world’s first real-life business school for cleantech entrepreneurs, it is the place where great ideas grow into great businesses. As such it is the next step for successful participants from ClimateLaunchpad and Greenhouse.

Connecting investors to climate change start-ups with Investor Marketplace
Accelerating the low-carbon economy requires an active role in bringing together innovative start-ups with angel investors and venture capital. Marketplace highlights those top start-ups and allows investors to spot and connect with tomorrow’s unicorns today. The tool allows for searching by technology readiness, capital requirement and profile data rating.

Largest start-up community in the world
All EIT Climate-KIC’s programmes combined have successfully supported more than 2,500 start-ups. Participating start-ups turn into leaders in their fields. In the last three years, almost 20 Climate-KIC backed entrepreneurs have been honoured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list.

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