Each accelerator identifies the most promising entrepreneurs in the participating country and unites a diverse range of local partners with the sole objective of accelerating and supporting the best cleantech ventures in each category. How?
- Each national cleantech accelerator supports start-ups in six technology categories: energy efficiency, green buildings, renewable energy, Transportation, waste beneficiation, water efficiency and green transportation.
- A national competition in each country selects the most promising entrepreneurs. Qualifying entrepreneurs then participate in the accelerator program, which builds the local entrepreneurial ecosystem; supports, promotes and “de-risks” the participating companies; and connects them to potential investors, customers and partners.
- The National Winner is announced at a Gala Award event each year, where all finalists also have the opportunity to exhibit their innovation and network with potential partners and investors.
- The National Winners from all seven participating countries then have the opportunity to attend the Cleantech Open Global Forum in Silicon Valley, CA, a major event on the cleantech calendar that attracts thousands of attendees from 30 countries. There, they meet with technologists, corporate leaders and investors.
The South African Process and Calendar
Call for Applications
Applications are taken during the beginning of the year. Applications are completed online, apply here to enter the accelerator. A Competition Entry Questionnaire provides an example of the details that the application process requires to complete.
Semi-Finalist Entrepreneurs Announcement – First Round Judging
After the call for applications closes, all applications received will be screened and evaluated (first round of judging). Team Leaders may receive requests for additional information during this period in order to judge the applications at their best. It is the team leader’s responsibility to respond to these requests in a timely manner.
Team Leaders will be notified on their application status and will receive feedback, as soon as the First Round of Judging is completed. By being selected as a Semi-Finalist Entrepreneur, you will be on your way to creating a successful and sustainable cleantech business.
National Academy – Introduction of the Semi-Finalists to the GCIP
The Semi-Finalist Entrepreneurs are welcomed during the annual National Academy. The National Academy will be in the form of an Event and the Participating Team will be introduced to the details of the programme and to other entrepreneurs that will participate in the programme.
Business Accelerator: Webinars, Business Clinics & Mentorship for the Semi-Finalists
Online seminars (Webinars)
From around mid-year and running through to roughly September, webinars will be conducted, delving deeper into the information and tools you need to build or refine your business model, marketing planning and investor pitch abilities. All Participant Team members attend the webinars as it improves the company’s probability of success through exposure of all members to internationally proven business models and expertise.
Around this time, participating teams have the opportunity to meet personally on a one-on-one basis, with subject matter experts in each area of the business model. This will help to improve and to fine-tune business pitches.
In addition to the webinars and the business clinics, participants may request a Specialist Mentor to help in specific areas of their business planning. As additional support and to truly help participants to accelerate their entrepreneurial skills, the GCIP Team will assign a Generalist Mentors to guide and engage with participants throughout the Programme.
The Mock Judging will provide real-time feedback to help refine participant pitches and presentation in preparation for Round 2 judging. This is not a required activity but is highly recommended.
Final submissions for Round 2 Judging
Final versions of the business worksheets are submitted and will be reviewed by the judges that participants will be presenting to at the Regional Judging.
Regional Judging (Round 2 Judging)
Round 2 judging will be conducted in each region. In this round participants present to the judges that will select the Finalist Teams and the winner for the national Grand Prize.
Each team will have 10 minutes to present in front of a judging panel followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers.
National Gala Event
The National Gala Event is the culmination of the year’s Programme. Participants have opportunities to showcase, meet prospective investors, and present to a live audience.
One Finalist Team will be announced as the national winner.
Participants Become a Cleantech Innovation Programme Alumni
It does not end with the National Gala event. Every Participant Team that participates in the whole accelerator program automatically becomes a GCIP alumnus. Alumnus are provided ongoing opportunities to present at public events and to the press, helped to build connections with investors, be invited to additional training, and offered an opportunity for continued mentoring.