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Who should apply

The Venture Launchpad is a carbon-focused accelerator for early stage software or deeptech/science-based startups. 

Next application deadline: 30th September

Eligibility Requirements:

The Venture Launchpad supports founding teams of early stage software or deeptech/science-based startups from any sector. 

We’re looking for startups which: 

  • Has two or more founders. 
  • Is registered in the UK or can be. 
  • Has not raised equity funding, or been diluted by less than 10%
  • Fits the theme of food, land and nature for Cohort 3 
  • Is committed to building a venture with the ambition of reducing emissions by millions of tonnes a year – even if you don’t yet know how your idea will reach that target. 

What counts as a “climate startup”?

Emissions reduction and removal includes startups working on direct carbon capture/removal, or products or services which reduce emissions, from zero carbon concrete to regenerative finance to supply chain optimisation and biodiversity.

Carbon13 has a clear goal of only working with founders to launch and scale startups with the potential to mitigate 10 million tonnes of CO2e emissions by per year when at scale. 

You do not need to know how you will reach this target when you apply, but you should have some understanding of your solution’s potential. 

For founders of software-based ventures

Software-based climate tech startups are those which use software, data, machine learning or quantum computing to solve their customers’ pain points and reduce emissions.

Founders of software ventures come to the Venture Launchpad at different stages of development, including 

  • A product and users 
  • An MVP and pilot users 
  • No product but a deep understanding of an opportunity or customer pain point 

Regardless of idea stage, the Venture Launchpad is designed to adapt to each venture’s starting point and work towards the relevant milestones.  

Ensuring impact is locked into the venture

The Carbon Case is where Carbon13 pushes software ventures further than any comparable accelerator or investor. You’ll do the work to ensure that your claims on carbon impact are credible and scalable.

You’ll have the confidence that you’re making a difference to emissions, and be locking in carbon impact into your value proposition, business DNA, and scoped emissions.

In today’s investment landscape, investors and customers are looking to founders to be as credible with their carbon calculations as with their commercial projections.

For this reason, you’ll build a Carbon Pitch alongside your normal deck.

Evaluating the team, not just the idea

Carbon13’s selection criteria evaluates the team as well as the idea.

We are looking for teams which have the potential to execute on their vision for the startup. For software ventures, teams usually have at least one founder who can demonstrate capabilities for a CTO/CPO type role, and at least one founder who take on the CEO mantle, with relevant commercial experience such as previous founder experience or track record delivering innovation within an organisation.  

For founders of science-based or deeptech ventures

A science-based or deeptech venture is one which uses technology developed from science, engineering, materials, chemicals or similar. These ventures can either be involved in: 

  • Carbon removal, sequestration or capture 
  • Decarbonisation, e.g. green materials, chemicals or robotics.

How the Launchpad adapts to science-based ventures

There is a strong focus on commercialisation of your IP or product, including validating product/market fit and establishing a fundraising strategy for a complex decarbonisation product. 

To tackle the challenges unique to these types of ventures, our support includes: 

  • An expert approach to the sensitivities of IP strategy 
  • Pricing and revenue strategies for products with long deliverability timelines 
  • Niche technical expertise for product development 

Carbon impact – long term

Science-based or deeptech ventures come to us to ensure that their innovation – full of potential for carbon impact in the lab, workshop or garage – can realise that potential as a scaled commercial venture. 

As part of this, you’ll build a Carbon Pitch to robustly prove a potential for 10 million tonnes of emissions reduction/removal per year when at scale. Your whole founding team will be empowered to make long term business decisions based on carbon impact, long after the programme ends.

What we’re looking for in the founding team

The Venture Launchpad is looking for founding teams of these ventures to bring deep expertise in the technology and its application, for example one cofounder should hold a PhD or equivalent experience. One cofounder should also be a credible commercial leader. 

The team should bring IP, or have at least one cofounder who will lead the development of the product. As a guide, the benchmark for the technology readiness level is usually TRL 4-6. 

Our next cohort: Land, Food and Nature

We’re particularly interested in applications from startups working on challenges in food, land and nature. The theme is broad so please get in touch if you’re unsure whether your startup fits this theme. A good rule of thumb is whether your startup’s mission resonates with ours here:

What if we can…  

… create more food with fewer inputs to support today’s producers and future generations 

… ensure every family can consume a healthy, varied, and affordable diet with little wastage 

… support and accelerate a transition to regenerative and sustainable farming, fishing and production methods through enabling access to the right incentives, financial support, business models and data insights   

… create a countryside with space dedicated to nature, biodiversity and carbon capture, with the process and results valued and measured accurately 

… empower rural communities to come together and engage actively in achieving Net Zero.  

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Book a 1-1

Book a short call with Puja Balachander, Head of the Venture Launchpad