The Venture Builder Structure

The Structure of the Venture Builder

Carbon13’s Venture Builder is an eight month programme which you join as an individual entrepreneur. It proceeds through three phases:

Key Dates:

Applications for Cambridge Cohort 5 now open (starts 14 March 2023) here.

Applications for Europe Cohort 1 now open (starts 21 Feb 2023) here.

Apply before the 2nd of January to hear back in time for the cohort start.

Phase 1 – Teaming/Ideation – six weeks 

Teaming | Problem storming | Emerging ideas | Carbon orientation 

70+ individuals enter Phase 1.  If you are one of these individuals, you seek to form an investable dream team with a fellow would-be entrepreneur. Technical founders should seek to work with commercially experienced founders, and vice versa.   

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 Cambridge UK/Berlin GER 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. The mandatory in person component of Phase 1 is planned to be on the below dates:

  • 14-16 March 2023 (Cambridge)/ 21-23 Feb 2023 (Berlin)
  • 28-30 March 2023 (Cambridge)/ 7-9 March 2023 (Berlin)
  • 17-19 April 2023 (Cambridge)/ 21-23 March 2023 (Berlin)
At the end of Phase 1 (six weeks), teams will coalesce around carbon problems they want to solve. These 2-3 person teams will be keen to progress to investigating and validating a specific venture’s feasibility, desirability, viability and effectiveness, but the first emphasis is on forming a complementary and strong venture team. 
If you successfully form a team, then you proceed to Phase 2; if not, you leave the programme, though you will remain part of the Carbon13 community and are welcome to apply to a future cohort  
Participants will receive a stipend of £1,000 during Phase 1. 
Phase 2 – Validation – 9 weeks

Team strengthening | Carbon intelligence | Rapid iterations of concepts | Business model forming | Prototype testing | Intellectual property Customer development Stakeholder development Behaviour change Governance Venture incorporation

Your team will seek to uncover a venture which can make a sustained climate impact and is capable of going to market within one year. This is done through rapid build-measure-learn iterations and other techniques to validate a means to scalable impact. Discussions with customers and stakeholders are critical. Teams will be preparing to pitch to the Carbon13 Investment Committee at the end of Phase 2. 

The milestones you aim for will depend on the nature of your venture—with the help of our core team, our subject matter experts, our entrepreneurs in residence and other members of our community, you will focus your efforts on the right priorities, including product or service development, building relationships with early customers and planning for scalability. During Phase 2, teams will receive a stipend of £3,000 per team member.  

Ventures who are successful in their pitch at the investment committee will receive £120,000. A total of £40,000 (excluding VAT) of this investment is then returned to Carbon13 in order to cover part of the costs of programme as a whole. As a result, your new venture retains a net £80,000, which it can use as it sees fit as you prepare for the next stage of development.

Investment Committee 

Our committee will review your progress and milestones achieved, your potential commercial viability, potential for scaling and for impact on CO2e emissions.  Our plans are based on 10 to 12 ventures per cohort receiving an investment and proceeding to Phase 3. For more details click here.

Phase 3 – Acceleration – 4 months

Market demonstration Life cycle analysis | Product/service proof points | Business model focus | Team consolidation | Financial strategy | Scaling and growth strategies| Partnerships and contracts | Pitch development/practice 

We expect 12 to 14 ventures will be selected to go through to Phase 3. This phase of the programme focuses on generating the proof points necessary around market, product, business model and strategy to prepare the venture for further seed-stage investment. We also help you look at scaling strategies, managing growth pains and developing a funding strategy. 


If you reach Phase 3, Carbon13 has invested in you and is your business partner — we and our network of Entrepreneurs in Residence, Domain Experts, enablers and corporate partners will do whatever it takes both to help you develop your venture in the way that will have the most impact on reducing CO2e emissions.This includes getting you ready for investment, introducing you to investors and other stakeholders, and preparing you for your next steps while remaining part of the Carbon13 community. 


Everyone who enters a Carbon13 programme is a member of our community for life, however they end up participating in our programmes.  We believe the world needs scalable ventures to solve the climate crisis—but it takes a cluster of engaged, passionate people to make innovation happen, and we will welcome you to continue to engage with our activities, our invested companies and the solutions we generate.