Dutch CleanTech Challenge 2024

Sustainable development is a hot and challenging topic. The same goes for founding a successful business. Within 10 weeks of interactive seminars you will be able to combine the two.

Are you interested in starting your own sustainable business but don’t know where to start? The Dutch CleanTech Challenge is a competition for entrepreneurial students throughout the country.

You can sign up for the official challenge via the link and be one step closer to going to London to represent the Netherlands at the Global final.  The deadline for registering is February 11th. 

The dates for the challenge are as follows:

14 Feb – Green TU workshop

28 Feb – DCE workshop

13 Mar – Innovis vc workshop

27 Mar – Semi-finals

3 Apr – Finals

23/24 Apr – Global Finals London

ANY QUESTIONS? Send us an e-mail at: cleantechchallenge@yesdelftstudents.nl

How it works

1. Find

Find your own team with students from TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University and come up with a business idea.

2. Learn

Coaching from specialists in the field of sustainability.

3. Improve

Make sure that the business idea is not only sustainable but financially feasible.

4. Pitch

Pitch your idea during the Dutch and London finals.

At the cornerstone of innovation.

The CleanTech Challenge provides entrepreneurial students the chance to work out their innovative ideas from the concept stage to a final business plan, with the help of professionals throughout the process.

After the great success of the previous Dutch CleanTech Challenges, we are proud to announce the 2024 edition of the Dutch CTC. The Dutch CTC is hosted by Yes!Delft Students  and encourages student teams with interdisciplinary backgrounds to develop and pitch their concepts for a sustainable start-up. The CleanTech Challenge provides entrepreneurial students the chance to work out their sustainable, innovative ideas from the concept stage to a final business plan, with the help of professionals throughout the process.

If you are interested, join our Kick-off event on December 20th where you meet possible teammembers if you are still looking for a team or for members to complete your team. Besides, more information about the challenge and the program will be presented.



Timeline 2023-2024

December 20th

Preliminary Kick-off CleanTECH Challenge 2024 

During the Preliminary Kick-off we will inform you about all our upcoming events, what to expect of the CleanTech Challenge and what’s in it for you! 


Are you looking for a team? Maybe you need a co-founder of your next unicron idea – look no further. During speed dating event you will have the opportunity to get to know possible team members with whom you will start the challenge! 

January 18th

February 11th

Deadline Team registration

Make sure you have registered yourself and your team before February 11th to participate in the CleanTech Challenge 2024!

workshop sessions for semi-finals

Build and refine your ideas and skills at the workshop sessions. Through these extensive workshops from leading experts in the field of cleantech and innovation you will take your idea to the next level!

February 14th, last week of February and third week od March

March 28th

Deadline executive summary hand-in

 After you have participated in the workshops and have had some more time to develop your idea, it is time to hand in your executive summary. This summary is the foundation of your work that is ultimately refined into your cleantech solution!

Dutch Finals

Here the teams that have advanced to the final stage will face off against each other to showcase the best student cleantech innovation of 2021! The winner receives funding for their start-up and the wildcard ticket to the global finals in London!

April 3th

April 23th & 24th

Global Finals

The winners of the Dutch finals will advance to as the Dutch delegation towards London to pitch their idea in the global competition!

       Previous  Winners 

2022: Biosphere Solar

Biosphere Solar works on a world where the circular and fair solar panels are the norm in the PV industry. To this end they are developing new design standards for the PV industry. They envision a world where solar energy and biodiversity regeneration are brought together, and the use of open-source PV module design enables rapid and resilient developments. “This vision is guiding us to the development of an open-source, circular, and fair solar module. Our aim is to provide the knowledge and technology necessary to help the solar industry transition towards more sustainable designs and business models.”

2021: FLUX

The team behind FLUX realized that one of the most important issues we will face in the upcoming decades is water scarcity. Keeping this in mind they came up with a technology creating awareness and transparency on water consumption. With FLUX they want to change people’s perception of water consumption, which will be the first step towards reducing water consumption.

2020: Pyropower

Pyropower was founded on the idea of empowering the 420-million-strong agricultural community in Asia-Pacific, and to capture a significant export share of the growing biochar market globally. We empower farmers by providing reliable, clean heating to dry crops and reduce wastage, as well as providing them with an additional revenue stream from managing their waste into biochar and bringing it to one of Pyropower’s local hubs. Pyropower takes care of collection, certification and packaging of biochar, which is sold to the local and international market.

2020: Reefy

Reefy develops underwater modular infrastructure that function as artificial reefs, helping to restore marine ecosystems and offering a natural habitat to native species.

Our designs are customizable to project needs and built with local or recycled sediments.

2019: Quantum Energy

Quantum Energy’s mission is to provide clean energy for low income and rural households. Their first product, a smart kettle called GETI, utilises the waste heat from basic cookstoves to charge a battery using a thermoelectric generator.

2018: Ecoplanks

We would like to use coconut husks, that are currently not re-used and transform them into usable product. Our main focus will be on combatting crises whilst also producing other commercial products.

2017: PHB-D

Our team is working on a novel production process of a bio-based, biodegradable plastic called polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), which is price competitive. The value addition as compared to the existing bioplastics is that the processing is novel. Bacteria are engineered to produce the bioplastic under anaerobic (oxygen free) conditions as compared to the existing processes which use oxygen. Additionally, the strain is inherently designed to maximize yield by utilising
the substrate without the production of any byproducts.

2016: Polytential

Polytential is a startup founded by three undergraduates with strongly diffusive educational backgrounds, solely focused on closing the gap between downcycling and a circular economy for polymers. By combining several mature technologies in a unique, patentable way, shredded plastic can be separated with an accuracy of 99%. The unique selling point compared to readily existing plastic separation techniques is that the resulting output is known, not only in terms of weight, but also in terms of plastic type and color. This technology will open up the opportunities for high quality plastic product manufacturers to use recycled materials.

2015: Cl-air

Air-conditioning is currently not sustainable when look at the amount of energy that it costs. At places which have a supply of 80 degrees Celsius and a cooling demand of 16 degrees Celsius CLAIR can provide clean cool air! Clair is able to connect this system to hydrogen city-busses and can decrease CO2 emissions and SMOG tremendously.

2014: FOMS

The invention of the FOMS (patent pending) allows manufacturers to test solar cells in a better and faster way than currently possible. This method leads to increased output of solar panels without changing anything in the manufacturing process. “The potential of this idea was obvious to all of us,” said team member Mostafa El-Shinawy who is originally from Egypt. “However we have a technical background and did not have much experience in starting up businesses or getting funding, so we enrolled in the CTC earlier this year, and I have to say it helped a lot.”

Interview Reefy

In this interview we talk with Daniel who founded Reefy together with his good friend Jaime. They participated in last year’s challenge and became second in the global finals!
Curious what they do?



I am studying in Rotterdam/Leiden/Amsterdam/a non-technical university. Is this challenge also for me?
It sure is! At first glance this competition might be all about the innovation in ideas, which is not true. In England this competition was actually started by the London Business School and University College London, which might hint the importance of business.
Who can participate in the Challenge?

We welcome everyone who is enrolled in undergraduate, masters, MBA or PhD programmes at the time of January 2024 to participate in the CleanTech Challenge 2024.

We do accept ideas that have been developed in collaboration with individuals who are not students (or no longer students). However, each team of 2-5 people that competes in the Challenge must entirely be comprised of students. We allow — and encourage — participants to seek external input into the development of their ideas, as the aim of the competition is to help students further develop and refine their idea

How is the Challenge different from other business case competitions?

Most business plan competitions focus on the output – often an elaborate document that does not focus on the core risks and challenges faced by a new venture. This competition is different.

To begin with, students have to base their ventures on real technology opportunities and market needs. In addition, students are required to put together ‘teams’ that are explicitly short-term – whose sole objective is to take the opportunity through to the next stage of investment by a process that we call ‘de-risking’. Third, students work with mentors to refine their ideas.

In short – the CleanTech Challenge aims to create sustainable ventures.

What qualifies as “CleanTech”?
We seek ideas that have the “potential to make a significant environmental impact.” If your idea falls in this definition, it can be considered “clean tech.” CleanTech includes (but is not limited to) the energy, waste treatment and agriculture sectors. A good characterization of the ideas we would expect to fall in the CleanTech category is provided here.
What awards and benefits will the winners receive?

The winner(s) of the Dutch CleanTech Challenge will receive price money including a direct (online) ticket to the global finals. All winners from the first round will get:

    • Feedback on their ideas from world class clean technology venture capitalists
    • Certification of your participation in the CleanTech Challenge 2024
    • Introduction to a network of clean technology entrepreneurs, investors and potential partners
    • Mentoring by experienced professionals
    • Access to exclusive seminars
How does the winner get selected?
For each round there will be a panel of judges comprised of various experts in the field with regards to innovation and cleantech.

Entering the challenge

How do I enter the challenge with my idea?


You’ll need a team in order to participate in the CleanTech Challenge 2024, this team can contain anywhere between 2-5 people as they’re eligible for the challenge. You can sign up yourself (and your team members, if applicable) via the registration form on the website. If you are still looking for other team members we advice you to attend the speed dating sessions on January 14th.


Are there any limitations for submitting your idea?

We do accept ideas that have been developed in collaboration with individuals who are not students (or no longer students), but your team that will be competing in the Challenge must entirely be comprised of eligible students. We allow — and encourage — participants to seek external input into the development of their ideas, as the aim of the competition is to help students further develop and refine their idea!


I don’t have an idea, but I would like to participate. How can I join the competition?

We strongly encourage you to try to create your own ideas, even if they are rough sketch. Do some research and see what is being said about CleanTech – maybe you will find some inspiration.

Option 2 is to find a team that has already formed an idea over here. The kickoff and the speeddating session give you the opportunity to get know possible teammates and interesting ideas you could work with. In the registration form you can tell us wether you have an idea already, are willing to join an existing team or you are looking for some extra team members.

It’s also a good idea to follow our LinkedIn and/or instagram page, so that we can keep you updated on the competition.

Unfortunately, I can't make it to the preliminary kickoff and/or speeddating session. Is it still possible to enroll in the CleanTech Challenge 2023?

The preliminary kick-off and speeddating events are not obligatory and you can register with your team until the 2nd of February. However, we really encourage everyone to attend these events if you are looking for extra team members or want to join an existing team and also to get a good overview of what you can expect from the Challenge.

What's the deadline for registration in the challenge?

Make sure you’ve registered yourself before January 17th and your team (if applicable) before February 2nd!

How do I signup myself or my team for the challenge?

You can register here for the Challenge individually and here with a team. In case your team exists out of multiple people, only one team member has to register the team. This person will become the contact person and will receive all the necessary information about the Challenge from us.  If problems occur during the registration process, shoot us a mail at info@cleantechchallenge.nl!

Get in touch with the CTC team

Feel free to contact us by mailing us at info@cleantechchallenge.nl or through filling in the contact form below! 

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