The Energy Capital partnership and Climate-KIC are seeking highly motivated and committed entrepreneurs to join the Energy Capital Climate-KIC Accelerator start-up programme in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

We are looking for teams and companies with a breakthrough business idea and a potentially significant impact on climate mitigation and / or adaptation. If you have that brilliant climate-change breakthrough, but aren’t sure yet how to transform your passion into a commercially viable business – we can help.

We can help you formulate your business plan, connect you to the right experts, develop your entrepreneurial skills and fund your business through its early stages. This will provide you with the tools, opportunities and network to transform your ideas into commercial success.

The Programme

The ‘Accelerator’ programme has a particular focus on driving innovation within the energy sector and aims to accelerate impact within the climate innovation space through collaborative research and development activity. Part of a suite of Climate-KIC funded programming that will be launched this summer,  Accelerator, will provide grants and targeted training, development and incubation support to Start-ups businesses.

The programme is divided into a three stage ‘funnel model’ with each of stage having different objectives, types of support and grant awards available:

  • Stage 1 – Fundamentals: find your market niche, develop a financial model and figure out how to make money and scale your business
    • 3-month duration; up to €10,000 grant support
  • Stage 2 – Validation: are you solving real-world problems? Talk to potential customers and verify your business assumptions
    • 3-month duration; up to €20,000 grant support
  • Stage 3 – Delivery: Get your business ready for launch. Find early adopters and customers, development partners or investors. Form necessary partnerships and prepare for future investment rounds and scaling.
    • 6-month duration; up to €30,000 grant support

This call for proposals is specifically for stage 1 and stage 3. A call for stage 2 will happen later in 2018.

Benefits to start-ups

  • Financial support
  • A physical space at the University of Birmingham’s Bizz Inn
  • Coaching, training, masterclasses, technology validation, office space and exposure to customers, partners and investors;
  • The opportunity to collaborate with leading knowledge actors on energy system innovation
  • Access to an extensive relevant international
  • Access to the Investor Marketplace when fundraising

Eligibility criteria

The following criteria is for stage 1:

  • Have a breakthrough idea related to a new technology or service with the potential for substantial climate impact;
  • A basic business model is already defined
  • The start-up has a motivated team (at least 2 founders)
  • The start-up may or may not have a legal entity formed yet. In case of a legal entity this cannot be older than 2

 Application deadline and process

  • Application deadline – deadline of Wednesday 20th

Start-ups are able to register their interest by using the following link, clicking on ‘UK – West Midlands’ from the drop-down menu. You  will then be sent additional information including a programme application form.

Further assistance

To discuss the programme in more detail, please contact

Energy Capital Climate-KIC Accelerator start-up programme [PDF]