Dutch CleanTech Challenge 2021
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.
To sign up for the newsletter and stay up-to-date about our upcoming events click here.
How it works
Find your own team with students from TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University and come up with a business idea.
Coaching from specialists in the field of sustainability.
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 2021 edition of the Dutch CTC. The Dutch CTC is hosted by Yes!Delft Students and the Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship 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 online Preliminary Kick-off on January 13th where you get all the information you’ll need to know to join this year’s CleanTech Challenge. We also invited some special guests to tell you about their experiences on the CleanTech Challenge.
Preliminary Kick-off CleanTECH Challenge 2021
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!
Speed Dating and Networking Drinks
At the speed dating session you will have the opportunity to get to know possible team members with whom you will start the challenge! If possible, this event will be held corona-proof at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and is aimed at all students who would like to participate in the challenge and are still looking for a team or team members.
DEadline team registrations phase 1
Make sure you have registered yourself and your team before January 31st to participate in the CleanTech Challenge 2021!
Kick-off CleanTech Challenge 2021
Congratulations, you officially take part in the CleanTech Challenge at this point! During the Kick-off you will get to know all the details about our coming events and also get a chance to meet the other teams and partners!
February 15th and 22nd
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!
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!
Get ready to present your idea to the world, the best 8 teams will go on to the 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!
The winners of the Dutch finals will advance to as the Dutch delegation towards London to pitch their idea in the global competition!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Interview and Aftermovie
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?
Who can participate in the Challenge?
We welcome everyone who is enrolled in undergraduate, masters, MBA or PhD programmes at the time of January 2021 to participate in the CleanTech Challenge 2021.
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”?
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, offering an opportunity to win an additional cash award of £10,000. 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 2020
- Introduction to a network of clean technology entrepreneurs, investors and potential partners
- Mentoring by experienced professionals
- Access to exclusive seminars
Note that this prize may be split among teams upon the recommendation of the Judges and at the discretion of the CTC Organizing Committee, for instance in the case of a tie.
How does the winner get selected?
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 2021, 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 21st.
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.
Unfortunately, I can't make it to the preliminary kickoff and/or speeddating session. Is it still possible to enroll in the CleanTech Challenge 2021?
The preliminary kick-off and speeddating events are not obligatory and you can register until the 31st of January. 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 and your team (if applicable) before January 31st!
How do I signup myself or my team for the challenge?
You can register here for the Challenge, either individually or with a team. The registration form can also be found on the top of this page. 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 email@example.com!
Get in touch with the CTC team
Feel free to contact us by mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through filling in the contact form below!