Three jury members sit at tables at the pitch day for Climate-KIC’s accelerator programme in September 2017 in Berlin.

Batch II pitch day in Munich

On 28 February 2018, staff members from Munich Re, ERGO, Climate-KIC and the start-up incubator XPRENEURS in Munich got together to select three start-ups for the second accelerator stage (batch) due to start in April 2018.

Over 120 up-and-coming entrepreneurs had applied for the accelerator programme led by Climate-KIC, Munich Re and ERGO. Alongside financial and technical assistance offered by the Climate-KIC programme, the start-ups also receive coaching and mentoring from members of Munich Re and ERGO staff. In this way, the young entrepreneurs benefit from exclusive technical support as well as the expertise of a global Group.

How the pitch day worked

On the 25th floor of the IBM Watson Tower, high over Munich, the remaining ten of an initial 120 teams introduced themselves to the panel of judges from Munich Re, ERGO, Climate-KIC and XPRENEURS on 28 February 2018. With the help of five-minute pitches and short Q&A rounds, the judges fully familiarised themselves with the teams and the feasibility of the ideas they put forward. Key decision-making criteria included their ability to innovate, the scalability of the idea, the long-term prospects, and the impact of their business models on the climate. Following detailed discussions of all aspects, the judges selected Daphne Technology, which uses nanotechnology to reduce emissions of soot particles in international freight transport, TWAICE, with digital twins to extend the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries, and the PAVE Group, which intends to use innovative software to make construction projects more efficient and sustainable.

Climate-KIC’s start-up accelerator

Since September 2017, Munich Re and ERGO have been working with the EU’s climate initiative Climate-KIC. Europe’s largest accelerator for cleantech start-ups is aimed at young entrepreneurs whose business ideas target climate change or the challenges it poses. The assistance lasts for up to 18 months and is divided into three stages, also called “batches”. The entrepreneurs are supported from the germ of their idea through to business development and financing. Close cooperation with industry experts, coaching and initial funding form the basis of the programme.

Now that the first batch has successfully completed, leading to long-term cooperation between Refurbed and ERGO Direkt, Munich Re and ERGO are now looking forward to working with the new teams and the second round with the new start-ups.