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  • Writer's picturePatrick Wuerschl

Together we can make our cities greener!

It is the most important challenge of our days and a race against time: To fight global warming we have to aim for carbon-neutrality by 2030. Cities are facing an enormous challenge in becoming resilient, healthy places to live, while reaching net-zero-emissions in a very short period of time..

Start-ups in the sustainability sector are playing a vital role in propelling change with their smart technologies and climate positive solutions, yet overcoming the obstacle of implementing them at scale is another challenge to overcome.

Support comes along with the second edition of the Clean Cities ClimAccelerator - an EU wide acceleration program - which aims to back up to 30 climate focused startups with over EUR 400K in grants and a state of the art program. Run by Impact Hub Vienna and the Polytechnical University of Madrid along with an international consortium of partners, the program is backed by EIT Climate KIC.

Designed for startups developing solutions focused on the transformation towards climate neutrality across all city systems, the focus of the acceleration program lies on challenges like “Community retrofit - District renewal systems”, “Green spaces, climate resilience & urban adaptation systems”, “Information & data systems”, “Mobility, logistics, & public space systems” and “Renewable energy systems”. The program looks for start-ups with the capability to contribute with their solutions and services to the systemic change much needed in our cities. The accelerator offers an extensive 9 month mentoring and coaching program with international experts, and up to EUR 25K in grants per startup. Find out more about it here.

The program is designed in 3 stages:

  • Explore: Stage 1 focuses on diagnostic, training and networking. This stage will be two months long with a funding grant of up to EUR 5.000. Participants will have the opportunity to take part at the Smart City Summit (May 30-31), Impact Days ‘22 (CEs leading conference on impact investment - June 2-3), ViennaUP ’22 and the South Summit (June 8-10) in Madrid. At these events they will have the opportunity to get connected with other ventures, city representatives and investors.

  • Validate & Collaborate: Stage 2 focuses on the collaboration between startups with matching potential partners (challenge owners) in order to validate their solution-problem fit. The aim is to develop a proof of concept work plan by focusing on solving a real problem presented by one of the challenge owners. Ideally this collaboration will continue beyond Stage 2 and this program. This stage will be about five months long with a funding grant of up to EUR 20.000.​

  • Scale: In the third and final stage the selected start-ups will be supported individually in their approach to get in touch with investors and new markets. Therefore they will receive access to a network of investors and municipalities as well as to the EIT Climate-KIC Investment Program and Investor Marketplace. The start-ups will get the opportunity to pitch and discuss their business cases with key stakeholders within the consortium's network.

Of 33 inspiring participants that had been accepted in last year's program, 15 moved on to the second stage, and ultimately six promising start-ups entered the final stage: A piece of lemon cake, Baqme, Lumio, Peafowl Solar Power, Purcity and Upfarming. Check them out as they’re going to change the world!

The Clean Cities ClimAccelerator is now open again for application and invites EU start-ups on the journey towards healthy, clean cities with a carbon neutral future. Applications are open until April 12th 2022 (12 noon CET) on:


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