Circular Accelerator

Join our Built Environment Circular ClimAccelerator!

We are looking for talented entrepreneurs to drive the circular economy transition

Our New Built Environment Circular ClimAccelerator Programme accelerates advanced start-up teams with innovative solutions fostering the circular economy.

The Built Environment Circular ClimAccelerator offers grants for start-ups combined with a tailor-made accelerator programme with circular focus and climate impact. We connect start-ups with the largest climate-focused community in the world powered by EIT Climate-KIC ClimAccelerator as well as investors, partner cities, corporates and ecosystem partners.

This programme edition also aims to support the implementation of the Global Innovation Hub at Enniscorthy Technology Park in Ireland, particularly in the sector of built environment, construction for high performance buildings and renewable energy technologies.

The programme will be run virtually, free of charge and in English.

We focus on circular innovations for the built environment!

The new Built Environment Circular ClimAccelerator programme focuses on upstream and downstream innovations of the circular economy. It goes from tracing a problem back to its root cause and prevent the creation of waste in the first place to dealing with structures, products and materials after their first use, or initial purpose.

Changing the linear production system of the built environment through technologies that are aligned with circular practices, such as modularity, upgradability and prolonged use are currently helping industries to benefit from new services associated with the value retention of product components and materials while respecting planetary boundaries that identifies the need to conserve at least 75% of the earth’s natural ecosystems.

We are looking for innovations that integrate circularity approach and footprint indicators (e.g. water usage, land use, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, energy demand, CO2 emissions, among others) to reduce the pressure on the Earth’s biophysical limits as well as promoting a circular socio-economic transformation.

We are extracting and dumping resources at an unsustainable rate, and with global construction output projected to grow 85% by 2030. Hence, there is an urgent need for the construction sector to transition from a linear into a circular economy.

Thematic Areas

Buildings and infrastructures: innovations focus on rethinking the construction sector in which buildings and infrastructures (water & waste) are designed and built to be disassembled, or refurnished. We are also looking for solutions dedicated to high performance buildings.

Urban design and planning can accelerate the use of circular approaches to construction and lead to increased overall decarbonisation of cities.

Extending building life through transformation, refurbishment and retro-fitting, with use cases from Europe’s Housing Agencies.

Construction Materials: innovations that aims to reduce the demand of raw materials and manage the degradation in quality and quantity of materials after each time they are recycled and reused. Similarly, solutions that look at the urban mining and reverse cycles as well as closing the loop of construction materials by reusing, leasing, upcycling and recycling rather than continuing the traditional take-make-consume-dispose process.

Transportation & logistics: innovations that focus on keeping raw materials in circulation, measuring and tracking components to reduce secondary raw materials for the production of transport solutions and related infrastructure. Similarly, new technology which can provide innovative and practical solutions, such as, supply chain logistics, fleet management and reverse logistics.

Renewable energies: innovations that promote renewable energies, but also look at their impact and increase the recycling rates of the materials use in the production side of renewable energies. Solutions related to geothermal energy, bio-gas among others.

We recognise the importance of Industry 4.0 and new circular business models for the built environment. We support solutions that promote the intelligent networking between machines, people and products with the support of information and communication to foster the circular economy by measuring product’s life cycle assessment, use less resources, determine recycle materials, extract material surplus for other applications and bid data to map material flows of a city Technologies that help to manage better resources before, during and after production.

New market development where business can adopt new circular business models, such as sharing platforms for buying, selling or sharing ‘waste’, raw materials, or product as a service models, or approaches to extend the life of existing products and materials.

Our Partner Organisations

Programme structure

Stage 1

Business Model
Development

  • 25 teams will be supported
  • Grant: up to € 3.000 per team
  • Duration: 8 weeks
Stage 2

Validation &
Traction

  • Only 15 teams will be selected to advance to this stage
  • Grant: up to € 15.000 per team
  • Duration: 12 weeks (for selected teams stage 1 and 2 will run in parallel)

Programme highlights

  • ‘Potential’ grant funding of up to €18.000 (subject to accepting SAFE note terms)
  • Training and coaching sessions with circular focus and Climate Impact Training powered by EIT Climate-KIC
  • Comprehensive overview of investment opportunities via EIT CKIC Investor Marketplace
  • Connecting start-ups with circular experts
  • Pitching and collaboration opportunities with investors, corporates and cities partners
  • Peer-to-peer learning and access to our alumni community

Eligible Criteria

Business stage: start-ups teams with advanced business models, MVP / prototype and company registered in Europe, ideally revenue generating (or close to).

Registration status:

Preferable companies that are already registered, or in the process of registration. We can only support business registered in Europe*. The legal entity cannot be older than 5 years.

*Companies from the UK, Switzerland and other countries associated to Horizon Europe may participate on the programme, but will not receive grant funding as they are not signed up to the Horizon Europe programme.

Programme fit: your business needs targeted capacity building, networking and financial assistance to succeed.

Team: start-up teams that have a minimum of 2 founders, which together hold at least 75% of equity and are committed to working full-time on their venture.

Market scalability: your business solution has the potential for scalability and monetisation in the built environment market.

Circularity and climate change: your solution is closing a loop in one of our main programme focus areas for the built environment and it goes beyond circularity considering other footprint indicators, such as water usage, land use, biodiversity loss and chemical pollution among other externalities and it has the potential to reduce significantly amount of CO2 emissions.

 

Timeline

  • Open call

    Open call15 June

  • Closing date

    Announcement of selected teams19 September

  • Programme Start

    Announcement of selected teams26 September

  • Stage 1

    Stage 126 Sep to 18 Nov

  • Stage 2

    Stage 218 November to 16 December

  • Demo Day

    Demo Day13 December

Start-ups Testimonials

“The Circular ClimAccelerator helped us not only to connect to other leaders in this area, but also to connect to relevant stakeholders such as cities to create valuable partnerships”
Dominik Campanella
Co-Founder, Concular
"The program helped us understand and unlock a new customer segment with massive potential: circular cities"


Sebastian Daus
Co-Founder & CEO, FixFirst
"The programme has been invaluable for the growth of wegozero maps. Thanks to the coaching sessions and financial support, we were able to take our platform to the next level”
Stefanie Behrendt
Co-Founder & CEO, wegozero

Start-ups Portfolio

Built Environment Solutions from 2021 and 2022 programme batches

Frequently Asked
Questions

Start-ups and businesses that are at MVP stage, ideally revenue generating (or not far off) and looking to develop and scale their solutions to contribute to the circular economy for the built environment and reduce CO2 emissions in Europe.

Anywhere in the European Union or in an Horizon Europe-eligible country. UK and Swiss companies may participate, but will not receive grant funding.

Your company must be incorporated or registered as a trading entity, or at the end of the registration process.

No, you can only participate in one EIT ClimAccelerator Programme at a time

Those companies selected to participate on Stage 2 of the accelerator must consent to equity investment from EIT Climate-KIC. This investment is in the form of a services-for-equity agreement (SAFE) and is structured as a convertible security* with a non-cash value of up to EUR 50,000 (similar to an Advanced Subscription Agreement). This equity is not related to the value of the grant, which is separate and non-refundable (i.e. you do not have to repay it). Furthermore, the SAFE is not a valuation instrument, so will not distort the valuation set by other third-party investment the company attracts.

As part of this agreement EIT Climate-KIC will provide services including:

  • Fundraising support and connections to our network of investors
  • Carbon Impact Forecasting and validation
  • EU Policy support and connection to (funding) opportunities
  • Connecting start-ups to corporates and partners within the EIT Climate-KIC network

The standard terms of this agreement are: no valuation cap; a 20% discount; a 24-month longstop date** and zero interest.

*This instrument is not a convertible loan, meaning no debt or liabilities will be recorded on your balance sheet.

**Longstop date: This is the deadline for the convertible trigger event to occur. If the conversion does not occur on or before this date, the conversion will happen at the pre-agreed floor price.

More information on the SFEA instrument will be provided during Stage1, but if you wish to be accepted on to Stage 2, you must accept the terms of the SAFE.

No problem, just send an email to: info@circular-accelerator.com

Please follow Circular ClimAccelerator LinkedIn site to keep up to date with deadlines.

Cities and Ecosystem Partners