Circular Cities

Drive the Cities
Circular transition

We are supporting talented entrepreneurs to drive the city’s circular transition.

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 are looking for talented entrepreneurs to drive the city’s circular transition.

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.

Drive circularity in cities by addressing the most urgent urban challenges innovating in the sectors of circular construction, mobility and circular products and services.

Thematic Areas

Circular Textiles
Circular Food
Circular Tourism
Circular Mobility
Circular Construction

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.

Cities and Ecosystem Partners

We are looking for more
partner cities!

If you are a city interested in internationalising your local start-ups and fostering innovative circular solutions across Europe contact us

Our Partner VCs
and Investors

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!

Our Partner

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

Programme structure

Stage 1

Business Model

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

Validation &

  • Only 15 teams will be selected to advance to this stage
  • Grant: up to € 15.000 per team
  • Duration: 12 weeks
Stage 1


  • 10 teams will be invited to Stage 3 No grants
  • Duration: 10 weeks

Programme highlights

Start-up teams

Partner cities

Corporate Partners



Eligible Criteria

Business stage:

Start-ups and businesses that are at MVP stage, 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.

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.



  • Open call

    Open call14 February

  • Closing date

    Announcement of selected teams17 April

  • Programme Start

    Announcement of selected teams29 April

  • Stage 1

    Stage 125 April to 14 June (8 Weeks or 2 months)

  • Stage 2

    Stage 221 June to 14 September (12 weeks or 4 months)

  • Stage 3

    Stage 320 Sept – 25 November (10 weeks or 3 months)

  • Demo Day

    Demo Day02 December


“The Circular Cities 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

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 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.

The programme starts on 25 April and ends on 02 December 2022. Its duration is up to 8 months.
  • Stage 1: 25 April to 14 June (8 Weeks or 2 months)
  • Stage 2: 21 June to 14 September (12 weeks or 4 months)
  • Stage 3: 20 sept – 25 November (10 weeks or 3 months)
  • Demo Day: 02 December

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:

  • 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.

No problem, just send an email to:

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