We love to help you on getting the right information about the challenge. If you have a question there’s a good chance you can find your answer below. This will help in most cases. If not, you can also send us an email at info@cleantechchallenge.nl


Q: I am studying in Rotterdam. Is this challenge also for me?

A: 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.

Q: Who can participate in the Challenge?

A: The Challenge is for university students only, and is targeted at those currently undertaking a postgraduate degree (Masters or Doctoral) in a business, science or engineering discipline at a recognized Higher Education Institution anywhere in the world. “Current” means students who were enrolled in a degree programme as of the start of the competition.

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 

Q: How is the Challenge different from other business case competitions?

A: 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 CTC aims to create sustainable ventures.

Q: What qualifies as “Cleantech”?

A: 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.

Q: What awards and benefits will the winners receive?

A: The winner(s) of the Dutch CleanTech Challenge will receive price money including a ticket to the finals in London, offering an opportunity to win an additional cash award of £10,000. (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.) All winners from the first round will get:

Feedback on their ideas from world class clean technology venture capitalists
Introduction to a network of clean technology entrepreneurs, investors and potential partners
Mentoring by experienced professionals
Access to exclusive seminars


Q: Am I eligible for this challenge?

A: If you’re a student registered for degree programme in the Netherlands during the academic year 2019 / 2020, you are more than welcome to participate! We anticipate but do not require that students will be post-graduate (Masters or Doctoral).

Q: How do I submit my idea?

A: You can complete your submission form by clicking on this link. Once you have submitted your idea you will receive an email notification to confirm we have received it.

Q: Can I change my submission form after it is already submitted?

A: Once solutions are submitted, you will not be allowed to substantially change or edit them, though you are encouraged to continue to modify and develop them.

Q: How well-developed should my Cleantech idea be in order to be fulfil the requirements?

A: The outer workings of your idea should be clearly formulated. Upon the start of the challenge the most potential ideas will be selected to start on the competition. However, we want to keep the requirements at the start as low as possible.

Q: Can I submit more than one idea?

A: Yes, in fact this is encouraged! Please try to submit as many ideas as you want. However, individuals are only allowed to represent 1 team / idea for the finals.

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

A: We strongly encourage you to try to create your own ideas, even if they are rough sketch, and submit for Phase 1. 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. Post a message in this group with a request to join.

If you still don’t have even a sketch of an idea by Phase 1, you can technically join in Phase 2 if you get recruited by someone who has made it through Phase 1. That would be the third option. Ofcourse it’s more fun to try your hand at Phase 1, though, so we recommend you to do so.

You should also like the Challenge FaceBook page, so that we can keep you updated on the competition.
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