Circular Economy Accelerator Program
About the Program

For each Circular Economy Accelerator program in Circular Valley, we look for circular economy companies taking part in an intense 3-month program or three on-site attendance blocks of to weeks each in Wuppertal.

The Circular Economy Accelerator runs programs with 15 startups twice every year.

  • Direct and close contact to our 100+ partners from industry, R&D and government
  • A truly international, diverse and innovative environment
  • Tailor-made expert workshops and training modules as well as individual mentoring and coaching for a focused development
  • Facilitated networking with 300+ global, potentially interesting market leaders from Germany's Rhein-Ruhr region, which includes the cities of Cologne, Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Dortmund, Münster…
  • Peer-to-peer exchange between startups and their networks
  • Global alumni network in the post-accelerator phase
  • Flexible adaptation to global COVID 19
  • Financial support concerning travel, accommodation and business-related expenses during the accelerator program

Financial Support

We cover the costs of participation for two people per startup. This includes

  • Travel to, from and in Wuppertal
  • Visa and administration costs
  • Accommodation
  • Expenses you may incur to further develop your business (e.g. cost for labs, prototypes, business trips…)
  • Per diem rates, Germany serve to co-finance living expenses

Startups will receive dedicated mentoring and become part of the huge network of Circular Valley – e.g. corporate partners, scientific partners, alumni, investors, press and more. Founders engage with customers and partners, pitch to potential investors and press at the Pitch Night, and turn science into real products.

We are looking for startups with concrete ideas/inventions that help accomplish the vision of eliminating waste.

Focus is on designing out waste, production technologies with minimized environmental impact, marking technologies, product passports, tracking & tracing, collection, separation of waste streams, waste logistics, re-use models, novel recycling technologies, novel service models and digital enabling technologies.
EU Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP)

Our industry focus in line with the EU Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) is electronics, information and communication technology, batteries and vehicles, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction and buildings, furniture, high impact intermediary products (steel, cement, chemicals), food, water and nutrients.

Additionally, we are broadly looking for innovations that support re-use of composite materials.
Accelerate Science & Business
Together with our partners we are compressing years of learning and gaining experience into a four-month window.
Your startup has left the academic project phase. You want to take your idea to market and commercialize it, make it into a real product or service that companies or individuals are willing to pay for.

We connect you to potential customers, so that you can test what it needs to be successful.

You will be equipped with all the necessary tools of the trade for a founder to open new doors and close deals. With every interaction you get better by the day.
Examples of specific advantages and learnings:

  • Networking and contact possibilities
    100+ global market leaders, which are located in a 60 minutes radius or less
    Established and new companies leading in circularity
    Leading scientific institutions
  • Cold call and email training
  • Creating mentor relationships through our extensive network in the Rhine-Ruhr Region
  • Running experiments
  • Working with Circular Valley scientific and startup staff
  • Pitching to investors, press and professional audience
  • Talking to other teams and building networks
  • Panels of mentors and talks about tech product production, business models, intellectual property, sales, product design
  • Business development round table
  • Know your numbers – market size, cost of goods sold, profit margin, and more
  • Creating a powerful pitch deck
  • Figure out your ten-year vision in order to work backwards and build a world changing circular economy company