Any tips for our application?
Yes! Try to use the indicated length in the application to give the jury as much relevant information as you can. Very short answers are hard to evaluate. Descriptions that leave your technology as a black box are equally hard to evaluate. We are not looking for any confidential information but need to be able to understand your solution at some level. You can add attachments and links (e.g. LinkedIn profiles) but do not rely on the jury clicking on all those links. Also, summarize in your application.
Can you elaborate on the eligibility criteria of at least 70% of the shares needing to be owned by founders?
We want to ensure that your ownership structure is healthy and a good starting point for future fundraising. If you are a bit below 70%, e.g. because you already have done a pre-seed and seed round, please reach out before you apply.
What is your connection to the Carbon Removal ClimAccelerator?
In 2021, teams at the Sustainability in Business Lab (sus.lab) at ETH Zurich and TU Delft identified a need for a CDR-specific accelerator program in Europe and initiated the Carbon Removal ClimAccelerator, a program supported by Climate-KIC and Munich Re and ERGO during 2021 and 2022. After two years of successful operation, the Carbon Removal ClimAccelerator now doubles down on its CDR startup and ecosystem support efforts with the support of new funding partners and rebrands as remove.
Do we have to upload materials in English?
Yes, we expect a complete application and a video of maximum 2 minutes in English. Additional documents are optional.
What does the application process look like?
Once the application window closes, all applications will be screened by the remove team for eligibility. If eligible, founders will be invited for a very short intake interview with the remove team, happening in calendar week 38-39. Afterwards, applications are fielded to an external jury for assessment. Final results will be communicated by the remove team by October 18th.
Will each company reach the Leap program?
No, there will be a selection after the Fundamentals program. Each startup will have to pitch in front of a jury and only a selected few will continue to Leap.
Will the activities take place in person or will it be virtual?
The default for our programs is virtual; however, we will offer opportunities for in-person events throughout the year.
What is a recoverable grant?
A recoverable grant is a startup-friendly grant that you will pay back to remove if you do well. We will then use your payments to support the next generation of CDR entrepreneurs. In the unfortunate scenario that your startup is not successful, you have no pay-back obligation.
Do I need to have a co-founder?
Ideally yes. However, if you are currently a sole founder you are still eligible to apply. We will expect you to be open to finding a co-founder within stage 1 of the accelerator.
Does my company already need to be incorporated?
No. However, we expect you to incorporate during the Fundamentals program. You will not receive the Stage 1 grant without incorporation and you cannot apply to the Leap program if you are not incorporated.
I am working on removing other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, am I eligible?
Yes, we would love to hear from here. However, please make note that the same logic applies: You are only eligible if you work on removal of greenhouse gases, not on their reduction or avoidance.
I am working on an emission avoidance/reduction solution, am I also eligible?
No, remove purely focuses on carbon removal; CDR needs to be front and center of your solution and company. We appreciate your work on avoidance and reduction efforts. However, you will need to look for other programs for support; we will not accept you.
What is carbon dioxide removal?
In order to avoid the worst outcomes of climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2), need to be reduced as much as possible. Limiting global warming to 1,5 °C requires us to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest. However, even with great emission avoidance and reduction efforts, there still are emissions, for instance from agriculture or industrial processes, which are extremely hard and expensive to mitigate. To compensate for these, we need to actively reduce atmospheric levels of CO2 to achieve Net Zero or potentially even realize Net Negative emissions. The process to do this is called Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and encompasses a range of solutions through which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and sequestered safely for long periods of time. This is where CDR differs from emission avoidance: While avoiding emissions prevents CO2 from enterering into the atmosphere in the first place, CDR removes existing atmospheric CO2 and stores it durably.