Build your venture

Reduce humanity's carbon emissions

Carbon13 is the venture builder for the climate emergency. 

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

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

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 carbon emissions. We bring everything else you need to make progress on a venture. 

With our Venture Builder, you will:

  • Find a complementary cofounder and build a “dream team with the expertise, credibility, network and commitment to take an idea to market.
  • Actually make an impact on carbon emissions. This is Doing not Talking. 
  • Get past the prototype and transition technical ideas into a commercial success.
  • De-risk the startup building process. The planet doesn’t have time for false starts.

Structure of the Venture Builder

Below is a brief overview of our Venture Builder, to see the programme in full click here

Our Venture Builder programme is delivered in three phases over seven months.   

During the first two phases, you as an individual receive a stipend of £1,000 a month. After three months, at the end of the second phase, your team pitches for an investment of a net £75,000.  

It’s an intense programme, dedicated to one purposehelping you take your potential and talent and turn it into a scalable venture that can significantly reduce carbon emissions by delivering solutions to customers—whether consumers or enterprises. 

Phase 1: Teaming (six 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.

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

Phase 2: Ideation and Validation (two 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 a net £75,000 and continue to Phase 3.

Phase 3: Acceleration (four 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 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.    

Your Founder Type

Each cohort on the Venture Builder is formed of three founder types to give the complementarities and depth that our ventures needAs 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. If you want to build a venture that reduces carbon emissions, then to us, you’re a founder. 

Technical Founders: You are from a scientific, engineering or academic background, with deep expertise which you now want to use in a venture. You strongly believe that entrepreneurship is how you can make a big impact relatively quickly. 

Commercial Founders: You are either a serial entrepreneur looking for your next challenge to in the climate space – or you are from a corporate or industry background. You have significant experience and relationships—and skill in building relationships.  You likely have ideas for bringing solutions to the world that are better than the status quo, but you know you will make faster progress with technical cofounder. 

Venture Catalyst Founders: You have strong expertise and/or social capital in one of our target industries (e.g. in energy, transport, agriculture, food, buildings, manufacturing, consumer, finance, telecoms) or a strong skillset in startup expertise (sales, product management, design). 

Investment committee

What is the Committee:  

The Investment Committee looks at your team’s progress in Phase 2 to decide whether Carbon13 should invest in your business. This pre-seed round of a net £75,000 is intended to fund you sufficiently to execute Phase 3 and get the traction, evidence and carbon emissions reduction potential that will make your venture highly attractive to investors for a seed investment round.  We make approximately eight investments per cohort.  

Why just £75,000: 
£75,000 is sufficient to power you through Phase 3 but critically, it is still a small enough amount to avoid the startup killer that is over-funding. Too much money at this stage is a hindrance not a help.