Circular Accelerator

Accelerator Programme

As a thematic ClimAccelerator we focus on the circular economy with the ultimate goal to support the circular transition in European. We provide financial support combined with a tailor-made accelerator programme that is circular and climate impact focused.

Thematic Areas

Circular Construction

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.


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.

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.

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.

Evaluation Process

The evaluation process comprises of two phases:

  1. Reading Jury: an assessment of your start-up documentation
  2. Video Pitch: only shortlisted startups will be invited to share a pre-recorded 5-min video pitch via a private link that will be assessed by our jury members.

Between 15 to 25 companies are selected to participate in Stage 1.

Accelerator Programme Stages

Stage 1: Business Fundamentals

Help entrepreneurs translate pro-climate inventions into viable business models. Start-ups will work developing and testing a business model using an appropriate business model assessment framework and present a plan for validating that business model by real-world customers.


At the end of this acceleration stage, we will have 15-25 start-ups with the following characteristics:


Help entrepreneurs translate business plans into concrete value propositions. Provide evidence of the validation of the business model by real-world customers and develop and present a plan for developing products/services to market-readiness and achieving market entry.

Four main components:

Fundamental topics include:

The evaluation process comprises of two phases:

  1. SAFE agreement: a pre-condition to the participation of Stage 2 is the need to accept the terms of the EIT Climate-SAFE investment agreement, whereby start-ups agree to EIT Climate KIC taking a small equity position in their business. More details on the Climate-SAFE will be provided before the commencement of Stage 2.
  2. Video Pitch: After an interim commercial evaluation, based upon a video pitch with clear outputs, between 10 to 15 companies will be invited to participate in Stage 2.
Stage 2: Business Validation & Delivery

Help entrepreneurs translate business plans into concrete value propositions. Provide evidence of the validation of the business model through real-world customers and develop and present a plan for developing products/services to market-readiness and achieve market entry.


At the end of this accelerator stage, we will have 10-15 start-ups with the following characteristics:


This has three main components:

Fundamental topics include:

Stage 3: Investment Readiness

This stage will enable businesses to translate validated business models into first transactions with new customers/ beneficiaries and/ or investors. Start-ups will pursue market entry with core product/service in beachhead markets and achieve a meaningful number of commercial transactions that validate the core value proposition and/ or attract capital to position them to scale in the near future.


Frequently Asked

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 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 least be at the end of the registration process.

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

The companies selected to participate in 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 SAFE 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:

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