Developing sustainable business models | 3rd International Boot Camp at Provadis Hochschule in Frankfurt

Promising "green" business ideas are inevitably needed to drive the necessary changes and developments for climate protection. Therefore, the goal of the Center for Industry and Sustainability (ZIN) at Provadis Hochschule is the support of cleantech start-ups and thereby enable them to be the creators of these changes. The cleantech start-ups have innovative, environmentally friendly business ideas, which are mainly from the fields of technology and software with a focus on climate, energy, resources, mobility and water.

Together with EIT Climate-KIC, Provadis Hochschule has developed the overall programme of the EIT Climate-KIC RIS Accelerator and is responsible for the coordination and implementation at European level. The EIT Climate-KIC RIS Accelerator is Europe's largest cleantech accelerator for early stage start-ups. In total, the 83 start-ups of the EIT Climate-KIC RIS Accelerator were selected from a pool of about 400 applicants via Live Pitches at regional partners in 12 European countries with representatives from the local partners, EIT Climate-KIC and Provadis Hochschule. Each regional partner is responsible for running the regional activities and coaching of the start-ups on-site. The overall goal is to get the start-ups ready for investors and customers and help them to scale-up their businesses.

The International Boot Camp (IBC) is a central pillar of the EIT Climate-KIC RIS Accelerator. The two-day IBC took place at Provadis Hochschule in Frankfurt on the 09th and 10th of May 2019. In total, 145 entrepreneurs from 83 start-ups participated in the IBC. The aim of the IBC was to give the young founders the opportunity to work on their sustainable business models and to exchange ideas with traditional industrial players. The IBC highlights three core elements of the programme:

  1. Experience the power of the European network
  2. Integrate sustainability into the business models of the start-ups
  3. Get access to external investments to make sustainability work

During the Boot Camp, 145 participants from 12 European countries did not only benefit from the expertise of the speakers and workshop trainers on sustainable business models, brand building and start-up financing, but also networked with each other and made contacts with representatives of the companies located at the Industriepark Höchst, one of the largest chemical and pharmaceutical locations in Europe. One participate emphasized the importance of the Climate-KIC network by saying:

For me, the whole Climate-KIC thing is not only about the trainings, which are very important, but especially the network itself is the biggest value.” - Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca, Gelatex, Estonia

In addition, participants highlighted the quality of the workshops, which were offered according to the needs of the respective start-ups. For instance for more mature start-ups, obtaining financial resources is highly important to further progress and scale-up their promising solutions:

The start-up funding strategy workshop was invaluable. Having real life examples from an experienced angel investor on valuation techniques and the messaging from start-ups that people like Nicolaj look for was incredibly insightful.” - Scott Waite, H2 Energy Systems, Cyprus

"We are delighted with the increasing popularity of the programme. For the first time, we were able to welcome over 80 international start-ups to Industriepark Höchst," says Prof. Hannes Utikal, Head of the Centre for Industry and Sustainability (ZIN) at Provadis Hochschule. "In the program, it is important for us to work with start-ups to develop sustainable business models that reconcile economic, ecological and social goals. Networking with industry players is also important. A key aspect for us is to bring innovation impulses from Europe to Industriepark Höchst."

A matchmaking site has been set up to present all participating teams and keep them connected beyond the Boot Camp.