Circular Cities programme accelerates advanced start-up teams with innovative solutions fostering the circular economy in urban areas.
Circular Cities 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. The programme will be run virtually, free of charge and in English.
We focus on cities as they contribute to waste generation and over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions to the planet. This is a consequence of the make-use-dispose linear cycle of the current global economy.
Cities and regions have the potential to change the existing economic model towards a circular model, in which planetary boundaries are respected and materials, components and products in use stay in the economy as long as possible.
The objective of the circular economy is to design consumption and production systems to create and retain value.
Beyond these thematic pillars we are welcoming additional circular innovations in any other relevant area for the cities circular transition.
We support digitalisation of services (e.g. data management, analytics, informatics, telematics, automation) as a main vertical of the programme across all mentioned areas, mobility, food, etc.
We are also looking for innovations in the areas of municipal water, waste and energy to support cities with resource efficiency.
If you are a city interested in internationalising your local start-ups and fostering innovative circular solutions across Europe contact us
If you are a VC and Investor looking for great start-up teams to expand your portfolio on sustainability contact us here and get the chance to be part of our selection process in all stages and follow up our start-up’s journey!
Do not miss the chance to be part of our programme and foster the future of circular cities. If you a corporate, research institute, or any other interested organization that supports start-up teams and accelerator programme contact us here
Start-ups and businesses that are at MVP stage, ideally revenue generating (or close to)
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.
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 market, particularly to the markets of our partner cities.
Programme fit: your business needs targeted capacity building, networking and financial assistance to succeed. And your team is willing to work with cities to help them advance their circular transitions.
Circular economy thematic focus: Start-ups with solutions that are addressing one of our main circular thematic pillars (circular mobility, food, construction, textile, tourism, electronics), or it is focusing on any other relevant area for the cities circular transition. Digitalisation services that enable circular transformation are also key sector for our programme.
Start-ups and businesses that are at MVP stage, ideally revenue generating (or not far off) and looking to develop and scale their solutions such that they can have a systemic impact on our economy, on consumer behaviour and on Europe’s transition to a net-zero, carbon circular economy in urban areas.
Anywhere in the European Union, start-ups do not need to be exclusively registered in one of our partner cities. 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.
Those companies selected to progress to 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 (SFEA) and is structured as a convertible security* with a value of up to EUR 75,000 (similar to a SAFE note or Advanced Subscription Agreement). This equity is not related to the value of the grant, which is separate and non-refundable. Furthermore, the SFEA 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:
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.