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Europe's leading climate innovation accelerator
The Greenhouse is one of Undaunted's flagship activities: we support the growth of young, sustainable businesses looking to tackle climate change.
When startups join Undaunted, they become part of a thriving environment that is designed to grow ideas into impact, where they can experiment, test and refine their ideas; work with experts in the fields of climate science, engineering and entrepreneurship; and plug into cutting edge research developments. This setting is unique to Undaunted and strengthens the science behind startups’ solutions, setting them up for future success.
What makes The Greenhouse unique?
We are pioneers in nurturing climate innovators
- Over the past 12 years, we have developed and refined our model for accelerating applicable, practical and adaptable solutions that make a difference on a global scale.
- We build a bridge from the experimentation and discovery stage of climate technology, nurturing innovation until it is ready to be scaled up. Our activities stimulate the commercial sector to follow and develop a wider ecosystem where green solutions can flourish.
- A proven success record: Undaunted startups have raised more than $1 billion in investment since 2012 and created over 1,500 jobs in 30 countries - meet some of our alumni community.
A proven 12-month programme focused on climate solutions
Our holistic programme of support takes place over twelve months and includes:
- Masterclasses, workshops, webinars and events that will develop the key skills and contacts you need for success
- Up to £20k in equity-free grant funding – we don’t demand equity from our founders helping us attract top calibre candidates
- Free of charge office and meeting space in the heart of London
- Bespoke and personalised business coaching and mentoring from our Greenhouse team who have over a decade of climate innovation experience
Access to a unique investor network and wealth of expertise
- Investors: early engagement and networking with active climate innovation investors who make up a key part of Undaunted's community
- Startups: learning from Greenhouse alumni who have scaled their businesses successfully
- Access to Imperial College London’s resources and facilities including: world-leading researchers, world-class technical facilities and unique scale-up space at Imperial’s campus within the White City Innovation District
Tackling the climate crisis is our focus
We take the planet’s point of view at every stage of climate entrepreneurship and because of that, we do things differently.
Grown in Imperial’s Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, we have climate expertise, science and passion for the planet in our DNA.
The Greenhouse is fully independent and wholly motivated by public good.
Join our flourishing climate innovation ecosystem
As our community of alumni startups grows we are increasing our scale-up support service to help companies flourish during the next, crucial stages of their development.
We work closely with Imperial’s Institute for Deep Tech Entrepreneurship to translate their groundbreaking research in this area into practical support for climate startups.
We engage thoughtfully with our startups and wider community to understand the barriers they face and amplify these in wider political and industrial arenas, and we are founding members of Cleantech for UK, a new initiative to supercharge UK innovation.
What are we looking for?
Inspiring and intelligent cleantech, deeptech and fintech
Teams will have a breakthrough idea that has the potential for significant climate impact and commercial growth. We support a broad range of technical solutions that cut across many industries such as agriculture, fashion, the built environment, transport, energy and greenhouse gas removal (including C02 removal).
Passion and commitment
We love to support people who are passionate about climate change innovation, looking to learn, and 100% committed to achieving their vision. We expect applicants to have a clearly thought-out idea, a good understanding of how their technology or product will work (you don't necessarily need to have a working prototype yet), and ideally at least one founder working on the idea full-time.
We're proud of the innovation community that we're building, and it's really important to us that the startups on The Greenhouse fully engage with us and our programmes - from selection, through the programme, to graduation and beyond.
Adaptation and mitigation
We are interested in tech that supports both adaptation to, and mitigation from, the effects of climate change.
More details about eligability criteria can be found below.
- The startup must be a legal UK entity: not normally more than 12 months old (or register as a UK entity immediately upon selection).
- You must be a UK-based team, with your headquarters registered in the UK (or be willing to register in the UK upon selection). The Greenhouse is open to UK-registered companies – founders don’t need to be based in London – but would need to be available to travel for occasional in-person activities in London during the twelve month programme.
- Each team will ideally have more than one founder.
- State Aid regulations – teams will be required to submit a declaration confirming that the support from The Greenhouse will not result in exceeding €300,000 in State Aid over a 3-year rolling period. More details under Using the De Minimis Regulation.
- In most cases, we expect companies not to have raised commercial investment yet.
- You must have the time to fully commit to the programme.
- The Greenhouse is a ‘physical first' programme, and participating teams need to be able to attend coaching sessions, workshops and other required activities at our headquarters in the heart of London.
- If your team has already participated in an ‘accelerator’, or similar innovation programme, you may still be eligible for The Greenhouse. However, we ask that you think carefully as to whether you will benefit from the educational elements of the programme before applying.
If you are not sure of your eligibility or have questions, please join of our informal Q&A sessions or email us at email@example.com. While we may make exceptions to the above, this is rare and will be considered on a case by case basis.
At The Greenhouse, we recognise the positive value of diversity in innovation and in society - we strive to uphold equality and aim to challenge discrimination. We welcome and encourage questions and applications from people of all backgrounds. You can come from any university (or none at all) and have any kind of educational or professional background.
We recognise that we have an under-representation of women, Black and other minority ethnic groups, and disabled persons in our startup portfolios, and encourage more applications from people who identify as part of these groups.
The application process
Applications for Cohort 6 have now closed
Stay in touch
Selection for the Bootcamp
Teams will be assessed on the basis of their application forms and submitted pitch decks, and scored against the following criteria and quality of application:
- Climate impact / relevance
- Strength and uniqueness of innovation / IP
- Potential to scale / Likelihood of market success
- Team capability
- Overall suitability for The Greenhouse
We will also assess each application on the basis of how much the team is likely to benefit from our support. This is a key criterion, and where there are a number of similarly-ranked teams, this will be the deciding factor.
The selection panel is formed by Richard Templer and Naveed Chaudhry from the Centre for Climate Change Innovation. We may also involve others from the british cleantech ecosystem.
The bootcamp takes place instead of a formal interview process. It gives us an opportunity to get to know the teams better than we would otherwise be able to do so in an interview while providing a number of teams with an opportunity to learn and network.
The bootcamp is a 2-day event and will be focused on your business model, getting to know your founder team and presenting to the other shortlisted startups for peer feedback. We expect the startup founder(s) to attend the bootcamp in-person.
Following completion of the bootcamp, the final selection of up to 15 startups for The Greenhouse will be made.
The bootcamp for Cohort 5 will be held on 22 and 23 August 2023.
Selection for The Greenhouse
Selection will be based on the startup's application form and their interactions, engagement and outputs from the bootcamp. As part of this, we will assess how much each team is likely to benefit from our support. Where there are a number of similarly ranked teams, this will be the deciding factor.
Offers will be contingent on a fully engaged and committed approach to The Greenhouse, which will need to be maintained throughout the programme in order to remain a participant.
While we do not normally conduct interviews as part of the Bootcamp selection process, in certain circumstances we may choose to do so.
The Selection Panel will be formed by Professor Richard Templer and Naveed Chaudhry from Undaunted.
The Germination Phase
This phase lasts six months and will focus on customer discovery. Startups will test their business model through meeting and interviewing hypothetical customers. This is supported by intensive coaching to help startups redesign their business and technology models in response to feedback. More formal, foundational support is provided through masterclasses and workshops.
Key deliverables for this phase are evidence of market meetings with customers, partners, and others, and a validated business model. Furthermore, startups will develop a realistic plan of how they will develop their idea such that it is market-ready and can ultimately achieve commercialisation.
Teams will receive an equity-free grant upon commencing this phase. Progressing from this phase will be subject to a review, and a positive outcome will lead to the Propagation Phase of the Greenhouse.
The Propagation Phase
The Propagation phase moves from a period of foundational training and iterating of the business model, to a focus on more specialist skills (such as pitching) and commercialising the business model.
This period also lasts up to six months and is supported by business mentoring from experienced professionals, who help and advise the startups as they execute their strategies to commercialise. The phase culminates with a Demo Day with investors, held in the prestigious Royal Institution lecture theatre.
Key deliverables for this phase will include evidence of investor and/or customer traction and a fully developed business plan. Teams will receive the second equity-free grant upon commencing this phase.
Progressing from this phase will be subject to a review, and a positive outcome will result in graduating from The Greenhouse.
Tackling climate change with innovation
Meet Naveed Chaudhry, Co-Founder of The Greenhouse. Here, he discusses the role of entrepreneurs and startups in tackling climate change, and how innovation can help create a cleaner, greener future.