Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 minutes to learn more.

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 minutes to learn more.

The Venture Builder Berlin

Germany’s climate tech hotspot – with Cambridge roots


Image Zori Tex is on a mission to eliminate textile waste to landfill using an AI driven sorting system integrated with a traceability platform.

We are selecting and supporting 1000 entrepreneurs over 5 years who will build scalable ventures with the potential to collectively reduce CO2e emissions by over net 400 million tonnes.

The Venture Builder grew out of the Cambridge ecosystem of innovation, academia and entrepreneurship and our origin has taught us the importance of world class commercial, scientific and carbon understanding.

Join our programme. Become a founder and reduce carbon emissions.

Carbon13’s Venture Builder has expanded to Europe, located in Berlin, and linking the deep climate tech ecosystem in Cambridge with the heart of innovation in the EU. The programme is open to those who are currently able to work in the EU.

You have the potential.
Now make the progress.​

Carbon13’s Venture Builder is for founders who are pre-investment or pre-team or even pre-idea. You bring your talent and commitment to reducing CO2e emissions. We bring everything else you need to make progress on a venture. You do not need to be based in Berlin or Germany.

Images Our founders Kevin Hsu, Diana Smite and Jan Mumme at the launch of Berlin Cohort 1

Everything you need to build for impact

On the Venture Builder, you will


with complementary skills and credibility, as mission-driven and committed as you are.

Maximise impact

by interlocking your startup's value with carbon reduction, and proving its potential.

Get past the prototype

Transition technical ideas into commercial and scalable ventures.

De-risk your journey

Build confidence in your team, your startup and your go-to-market strategy.

What the founders of Berlin Cohort 1 say

“If you have been thinking about founding a start-up, but lack a team and perhaps the right idea and have so many other commitments that you can’t really make progress, then Carbon13 is the right place to start.”

Kevin Hsu
Co-founder, Hoop Solar
from Berlin Cohort 1

“If you are planning on starting your own lab then it’s not that different to starting a startup. If you are wanting to make a difference to the world then you should apply and you will learn how to translate your technical skills into the language that the business world understands.”

Katharine Shapcott
Co-founder, VoltVogel
from Berlin Cohort 1

“I knew that 75 people were taking part and I expected that I would find maybe 5 of them interesting as co-founders. After the first week I was very surprised because I had never met so many people that I thought were really nice and interesting.”

Koustubh Dube
Co-founder, Climalyst
from Berlin Cohort 1

“When you’re founding a start-up, you’re doing 15 different things at once and you’re going to be bad at most of them. So be open, both to others and to yourself, and you can learn a hell of a lot.”

Brad Bowman
Co-founder, Mardeca
from Berlin Cohort 1

“It’s not just about having the right background but having the desire to get into the journey and make an impact.”

Marianella Chabaneau
Co-founder, Hoop Solar
from Berlin Cohort 1

“In phase 1, I told myself several times that even if I didn’t form a team and didn’t continue in phase 2 or 3, it was already worth it. Because of the connections I was able to make and because of the programme content that was given to us.”

Gabriela Timerman
Co-founder, Mardeca
from Berlin Cohort 1

“There is no fame in being in a startup, it’s nothing luxurious. It’s a quite different way of working and you need to want to do it. But don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely worth it.”

Christine Curtius
Co-founder, VoltVogel
from Berlin Cohort 1

“If you are sick of doing the normal 9-5 and want to do something good, you should apply and try something new. And if it doesn’t succeed, at least you are making the effort.”

Abhishek Nair
Co-founder, VoltVogel
from Berlin Cohort 1

“The Venture Builder Programme was a mini MBA with a focus on climate tech and a good way to develop your communication and networking skills.”

Ross Warren
Co-founder, Hoop Solar
from Berlin Cohort 1

“I was very impressed by the outstanding participants with scientific backgrounds and their ideas on how to apply knowledge and research to climate tech business.”

Sandra Astete
Co-founder, Climalyst
from Berlin Cohort 1

Watch the closing of Berlin Cohort 1

The Climate Innovation Showcase Day marked the last day of the first German Venture Builder Programme. We are very proud of what the teams have achieved in such a short amount of time and are very excited about the milestones to come. Their names will remain closely associated with the launch of our German venture builder.

The Three Phases

Our Venture Builder programme is delivered in three phases over eight months. It's an intense programme, dedicated to one purpose; helping you take your potential and talent and turn it into a scalable venture that can significantly reduce CO2e emissions.

Phase 1: Teaming (ten weeks)

Phase 1 focuses on Teaming. You match with cofounders to form a team capable of building a game-changing venture which can reduce carbon emissions by millions of tonnes.

Although much of the venture builder will be delivered virtually, some of Phase 1 will be delivered face to face without streaming, and attendance in Berlin (Germany) for this part of the programme is mandatory. Other than that, it is for you and your team to decide how and where you will work.

There are mandatory in-person days in Phase 1.

Only founders on the programme who successfully complete Phase 1 by forming a team will continue to Phase 2: Validation.

Phase 2: Validation (three months)

Phase 2 focuses on building proof points around the venture—especially its customers, the problem you are solving, and your value proposition.
At the end of Phase 2, teams who have met our criteria for progress become eligible to present to the Investment Committee, who will decide which ventures receive €120,000 and continue to Phase 3. You can read more about how our investment works in our FAQs.

Phase 3: Acceleration (three months)

Once you are in Phase 3, Carbon13 has invested in you and is your business partner. We work with an incredible network of enablers in Cambridge and Berlin, and with our corporate and financial partners, to help you build customer traction and momentum for your venture, including preparing a funding strategy for post-Carbon13 life and helping you bring in the next round of finance.

The strongest ecosystem for climate tech is now your personal brains trust

The Venture Launchpad is a highly personalised programme to your venture’s specific milestones. Carbon13 can achieve this because our ecosystem is one of the strongest and richest support systems in climate tech entrepreneurship today. Think of us as one giant brains trust focused on entrepreneurship and carbon reduction.

Domain Experts

over 350 with sector specific, entrepreneurial, and technical expertise, mission driven for the climate

Corporate partners

such as EY, Arm, and Barclays Eagle Labs, eager to work with startups

Entrepreneurs in Residence

who embed into your startup. All are successful founders themselves.

Carbon experts

who guide and push you to maximise your carbon impact, then quantify it for a Carbon Case.

Investor partners

support you on your investment readiness and your long term fundraising strategy.

our four founder types

Each cohort on the Venture Builder is formed of four founder types to give the complementarities and depth that our ventures need. As part of the application process, we’ll ask you to help us understand which founder type best matches your profile, but of course, there is no such thing as a “typical” entrepreneur or team.

Technical Founders (Science/Engineering)

You are likely a scientist, an engineer, or someone with specialist technical knowledge relating to one of the CO₂e emitting sectors. You’ll be highly motivated to work on the biggest problems of Net Zero, and see entrepreneurship as your chance to build something significant. You may already be working on a prototype or IP, or wish to apply your skillset to the biggest challenges in decarbonisation. In a venture, you will likely be the CTO, responsible for leading the development of the technology to at least proof of concept stage.

This Founder Type is for software developers, data scientists, and/or AI/ML specialists. You want to build products which will actually make a difference to the climate crisis. You don't have to have your own idea, you may be more interested in teaming up with a commercial or hardtech founder who’s bringing their own idea or expertise in a particular sector. Your age, qualifications and experience are less important than your ability. In a founding team, you may take a CTO role, or a role similar to a Chief Data Officer or Chief Information Officer – leveraging the potential for data analysis, software, intelligent automation, and machine learning.

Technical Founders (Software/Data/ML)

Commercial Founders

In this Founder Type, we’re looking for founders with the skillsets and experiences to take on the CEO, COO or Chief Commercial Officer roles. You’ll be responsible for building the critical relationships the venture needs (e.g. customers and investors), and for leading the building of the execution team. Often, Commercial Founders are serial entrepreneurs, or senior commercial leadership in corporates, or experienced operators from emitting industries with deep commercial insights into their sector. You may be working on an idea already, but many of those who join us from this Founder Type either don’t have a fixed idea, or are open to the ideas other Founder Types are bringing. 

This is the category for determined change-makers who don’t fit into the other Founder Types. You bring skills or experiences which enable your founding team to think outside of the box, to fast-track into new directions or industries. For example, you may be a talented designer, farmer, product manager, or sustainability expert. Or, you’ve spotted a great opportunity in an emitting sector you know well and want to bring that to the cohort.

Venture Catalyst Founders

Michael Langguth

Berlin is now one of the most attractive cities for climatetech entrepreneurs, thanks to its vibrant culture and location in the heart of the EU, a region leading the world in climatetech innovation, action, and investment.  By building this bridge between Berlin and the Cambridge innovation hotspot, Carbon13 cohorts will be able to leverage both ecosystems.  I'm very excited to see what our founders will build.

Michael Langguth

Cofounder of Carbon13, leading our work in Germany

Ask your questions

Book a short call with Simon, Head of Marketing Europe.