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Teams and Startups with Environment-Friendly Business Ideas Can Now Apply for up to €50K Grants

Besides training and funding, Climate KIC gives access to a wide network of like-minded entrepreneurs and green tech hubs across Europe. ©Pixabay
Besides training and funding, Climate KIC gives access to a wide network of like-minded entrepreneurs and green tech hubs across Europe. ©Pixabay

The online applications for the next batch of the Climate-KIC accelerator are open until January 27. The six months long program that includes grants of up to €50K is suitable for any team of at least two with an idea or companies younger than three years. Cleantech, the organization responsible for Climate-KIC in Bulgaria is looking for ideas or prototypes for solutions that in one way or another could positively impact the environment, the range is pretty wide.

“Since the start of the program in 2016 Cleantech has provided around €450K funding to 24 Bulgarian teams. After the program some of the companies have attracted another over €500K external investments”, Maria Alexandrova, Manager of Climate-KIC Accelerator Bulgaria, told Trending Topics. The accelerator doesn’t take any equity.

The new season

Applications for 2019 batch are open until January 27 and applicant can choose between three stages. The first stage is for formed teams of at least two with well-elaborated business idea and the maximum grant is €10K. For the second stage and up to €15K teams with proven concept, prototype and already established partnerships would be eligible. If a team has already managed to incorporate a company, validate a business model and has some deals in the pipeline, then stage three, which comes with grants of up to €50K, is the right one to apply for.

“We have around €120K and in the ideal case we will fund between five and eight projects”, Alexandrova explained.  

The program is six months long and starts in the beginning of April. It includes two bootcamps – one in Hamburg in May, and one in Bulgaria, and a demo day in front of a jury in September. Even though it is an intensive program, it doesn’t necessarily mean participants should quit their full time activities. Only 30% of the funding granted from Climate-KIC could be used for staff costs. The other 70% are dedicated to research, prototyping, travel costs etc.

What is environmental friendly

The range of projects that qualify as environmental friendly is very wide and the companies that have already been through the accelerator are a proof.  The smart waste bins by Connected Bin, a data driven platform for assessment of climate risks called CRISTA and Eljoy, a shared e-bike services, are some of the projects from the 2018 batch. There are also projects like the one from Biomyc – a technology, which reuses agricultural waste to produce an ecological composite material that aims to take over plastic foams such as Styrofoam.

“Often the projects we admit are just solutions of everyday problems we face. They are not necessarily high tech IT products”, Alexandrova explained.

One of the accelerator's success stories is Eljoy Bikes which launched a shared e-bike service in partnership with the Sofia municipality in 2018. ©Cleantech
One of the accelerator’s success stories is Eljoy Bikes which launched a shared e-bike service in partnership with the Sofia municipality in 2018. ©Cleantech

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