Climate-KIC Start-up Tour 2012 USA

15 June 2012


In September 2012 Climate-KIC, whom ECCI partnered with in January for the Low Carbon Entrepreneurship & Investment Workshops, will be organising the first Climate-KIC Start-up tour to the USA.

So what's it all about? Climate-KIC says:

For Whom

It's a trip for start-ups that have a good reason to look outside of Europe for new opportunities. You want to explore market opportunities in the USA, find customers and partners and maybe even seek investments. You need to be able to talk and pitch freely about your product or service. And you want to learn from the way start-ups operate in the USA.


Since this is our first tour, we're officially in beta-modus. Just so you know: we need your help to make this a great trip and make it even better next year.

It is not a 'full service innovation hotspot'-tour. You can't sit back and relax: it's going to be a 'hands on' program. The Climate-KIC will provide the core of the programme, but most of the programme will be determined and arranged by you. You are an entrepreneur, after all.


Tour: 4-13 September

Prep-meeting: 4 July at Schiphol

The central preparation for the trip is on July 4th at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. If you can't be at Schiphol, you can't join the tour.

The Programme

  • 4-8: Silicon Valley / Boston
  • 9-10: Washington /  ARPA-E
  • 11-13: Boston


The tour starts on September 5th in the Bay area. On day one we have a programme at the Haas School of Business in Berkeley. This day will be like an 'Entrepreneurship Guide to the Silicon Valley ecosystem'. We end the day with a session with Steve Blank. The rest of the week is up to the start-ups, with central elements and specific meetings with potential investors, business partners and customers.

Saturday 8th is a free day, Sunday 9th we re-group in Washington. There we hope to meet representatives of the Embassies related to the five Climate-KIC centres. On Monday 10 will meet with key people at ARPA-E to gain insight in the priorities of the US government for climate change and the business opportunities that arise from that. Late in the afternoon we fly to Boston.

In the Boston area (11-13 September) our kick-off on Tuesday is at the MIT Deshpande Center. The day is co-hosted by the Harvard Business School's Innovation Lab and Entrepreneurship Ventures. Like at Berkeley, it's an introduction into clean tech in the greater Boston region. From there on, the start-ups will organise their own programme. Some elements of the programem will be open to all start-ups, and some will be specific meetings that are of interest to the individual ventures.


All participants arrange their own travel to San Francisco and at the end of the trip from Boston back home. Climate-KIC takes care of hotel costs, air fare for the flights to Washington and Boston, programme costs and some group dinners. Last minute cancellation costs will be invoiced.


This start-up tour is open to all European clean tech start-ups that -in terms of maturity- are at least in stage 2 of the Climate-KIC Incubation ProgrammeThe Climate-KIC Entrepreneurship team will select the applicants up to a maximum of 15 start-ups for this year's tour.

Start-ups that have participated in other Entrepreneurship activities (Venture Competition, Masterclasses, Incubation Programme) get bonus points in the jury process.

The application form is a 1-pager in the format that is commonly used by venture capital firms. Submit the form before 18 June to your localEntrpereneurship Lead or Marjan Heijkamp. 

Download the form (PDF)

Download the form (Word)