Climate_KIC

Next Call

Frequently Asked Questions

    The Basics

  • What is Climate-KIC?
    Climate-KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative. It supports entrepreneurs, businesses, students and researchers bring their clean tech innovations, products and services to the market. To learn more about our activities across Europe visit www.climate-kic.org.
  • And what is the Climate-KIC Accelerator Programme?
    We are a clean tech startup accelerator run in more than 15 locations across Europe. Here in the German-speaking geography comprising Germany, Switzerland and Austria, teams are eligible for up to €95k of financial support, business coaching and mentoring, investor matchmaking, events and training. We help you build a scalable clean-tech business; accelerating you to enter the market successfully and lever investment
  • €95k no strings attached? What’s the catch?
    There is no catch. If you are eligible to apply and succeed in convincing us that you have the best technology solution to tackle a climate problem, you can access this financial support as well as all other benefits on offer.
  • Really no catch? What equity do we need to give up to participate?
    Really. Climate-KIC takes NO equity at any stage of the programme.
  • How long is the programme?
    The programme consists of three fixed term 6-month phases, after which you leave the programme and become alumni. If you apply for and are successful in completing each stage, we will have supported you for a period of 18 months.
  • We're sold! How can we get funding for our clean tech / green startup?
    Apply online during our next Call for Applications. We accept new intakes twice per year (April & October).
  • My Eligibility

  • Should we already have established a legal entity?
    No. You can apply to the programme with or without a legal entity but we would expect that you register a legal entity within the first 6 months of the programme if not already done
  • Can single founders apply?
    No. We only accept minimum two-founder teams. Why? Because experience shows that teams of co-founders are more likely to succeed.
  • We've been working on our startup for more than 2 years. Can we still apply?
    We know every startup has a different development pace but we’re focused only on those teams at the early stage of starting up and that are less than 2 years old.
  • I / we already receive other types of funding - are we still eligible for Climate-KIC financial support?
    Please note you are responsible for ensuring the funding you are receiving from another body is compatible with Climate-KIC funding.
  • Do we need to be based in one of your core cities? Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna or Zurich?
    You do not have to be located in one of these cities, but you should apply to the accelerator city closest to where your business is. In Berlin, we offer co-working offices to startups and prefer teams to relocate to be part of the peer network there.
  • What if we're based outside of Germany, Switzerland or Austria?
    We love a good international team, but can only support startups based in Germany, Switzerland or Austria (DACH). If you plan to establish or have a legal entity outside of these countries, you should consider applying to one of our other accelerator locations. If you have already completed a stage of the accelerator elsewhere in Europe, you are still eligible to apply to the DACH programme for the relevant next stage if you wish to relocate here.
  • Can we enter stage 2 or stage 3 directly if we have not previously completed stage 1 of the Accelerator?
    We will assess each case on an individual basis. The majority enters the programme at stage 1 but if we feel you are ready for it, we might place you directly into stage 2 or 3.
  • Can I apply if I run an innovation/intrapreneurship project within an existing legal entity that might/will become a spin-off or start-up later on?
    No. Within the Start-up Accelerator Programme, we do not support company innovation or intrapreneurship projects. Your venture should be independent from existing companies to become eligible for the programme. If you are interested in corporate innovation, have a look here: http://www.climate-kic.org/for-businesses/
  • Do we need to speak English to enter the programme?
    Yes, applications in English only please and you definitely need good English to be able to profit from all of the services on offer. German is a bonus.
  • Our team is definitely eligible. How do we convince Climate-KIC to select us?
    We are seeking strong teams (hardware / software, B2B / B2C) with a high potential for both commercial viability and climate impact. To create a level playing field, we assess teams on the following:
    • Innovativeness (New in research, [+] patents protected? [+] or a weak USP? [-])
    • Feasibility (Realistic idea? Technically feasible? Prototype? How long to market?)
    • Team (Coachability? Right competencies? Market experience? Track record?)
    • Climate Benefit (Can you prove a positive climate impact?)
    • Scalability (Is your market limited to your country borders or scalable internationally?)
    • Long term perspective (how sustainable is your business model?)
    • Cultural fit (we want you to exchange with your peers, interact with our network, engage with the ecosystem)
  • The Application

  • When will the next Call for Applications open?
    We have two open Calls for Applications each year - one starting on 1st July and the one starting on 1st January. You will be able to access the link to the application form on the website as soon as the call is open.
  • What can we expect if we receive an invitation to attend the live pitch?
    Please note the key application phase dates - we cannot be flexible on the pitch days. If invited to pitch, the co-founders should make plans to travel to the relevant location on the dates specified. You should prepare a 5-minute presentation (usually with PDF slides) and be ready to face a jury panel in a 10-15 minute Q&A afterwards. Unfortunately we cannot cover travel costs for this.
  • When do we know whether or not we’ve been selected for the programme?
    Please check with the timeline and the contact at the specific location in which you have applied. We can only provide feedback on your application if you are invited pitch stage.
  • Oi! Why didn’t you accept our application?
    We receive hundreds of potentially brilliant technology proposals but can only accept a limited number of startups at any one time. The winning combination is difficult to define, but rest assured our mandate is to help de-risk today’s technologies and teams so they become tomorrow’s climate market leaders.
  • Do you accept applications outside of the defined calls?
    No. We can only accept applications that reach us within the two periods each year when a current call is open. We do not accept any late applications.
  • Munich Re / ERGO Side Call

  • Can I apply to the Munich Re / ERGO Side Call as well as the Climate-KIC Call?

    You only have to apply once to either Call here and will automatically be considered for both application processes. The Munich Re / ERGO accelerator programme will be embedded within the regular Climate-KIC accelerator, so you will receive 100% the same support, with some additional benefits from the cooperation on top. How are the participants for the Munich Re / ERGO accelerator selected? All online applications are initially judged in the same way by a jury of external experts and Climate-KIC staff applying the following criteria:

    • Innovativeness (New in research, [+] patents protected? [+] or a weak USP? [-])
    • Feasibility (Realistic idea? Technically feasible? Prototype? How long to market?)
    • Team (Coachability? Right competencies? Market experience? Track record?)
    • Climate Benefit (Can you prove a positive climate impact?)
    • Scalability (Is your market limited to your country borders or scalable internationally?)
    • Long term perspective (how sustainable is your business model?)
    • Cultural fit (we want you to exchange with your peers, interact with our network, engage with the ecosystem)

    After that our corporate partners at Munich Re / ERGO will screen the shortlist for interesting business models they would like to learn more about. We will notify you in advance of the pitch session so you can finetune your pitch to not only convince our jury but also our corporate partners.

  • What if I don’t want to work with Munich Re / ERGO on my business? Will I have the same chances to join the Climate-KIC programme?

    Absolutely yes. Your chances are exactly the same in the selection process.

    We also understand that in some very specific circumstances you might want to keep your online application confidential from our corporate partners. In this case please write an email to: bjorn.grindberg@climate-kic.org