Black Sea ClimAccelerator to support 42 sustainable start-ups in Romania and Bulgaria

EIT Climate-KIC has partnered with  Impact Hub Bucharest and Innovation Accelerator to deliver the Black Sea ClimAccelerator, a regional accelerator driving green, scalable innovation in Romania and Bulgaria. Early-stage start-ups with scalable climate change solutions can benefit from targeted mentorship, grant financing of 300.000 EUR and access to a network of mentors, investors and professionals.  

Innovation performance across Europe tends to be geographically concentrated, with the leading countries located in the Northern and Western parts and emerging innovators located in the South and East. The 2021 European Innovation Scoreboard ranked Bulgaria and Romania last among all other EU countries, reinforcing the critical need to strengthen entrepreneurship in this region through programmes like the Black Sea ClimAccelerator. 

“Although Romania and Bulgaria are emerging innovators in the EU, the local untapped potential is high, and this is why Impact Hub Bucharest and Innovation Starter partnered up with EIT Climate-KIC to deliver the most ambitious acceleration programme dedicated to green start-ups in the Black Sea region,” explained Daniel Matei, Consortium Lead for the Black Sea ClimAccelerator. 

The fast-paced programme targets entities established in Romania and Bulgaria that are developing climate-positive solutions for cleantech, waste management, circular economy, carbon emissions reduction, green mobility and more. A total of 42 start-ups will be selected based on a range of criteria including feasibility, innovativeness, scalability, climate impact and long-term perspective. 

Stage 1 is suitable for early-stage start-ups and focuses on business fundamentals. This first stage offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to define and develop their unique selling proposition and business model, participate in one-on-one coaching sessions with diverse experts and receive a grant up to 5.000 EUR. 

Stage 2 is designed for start-ups with developed projects and focuses on marketing, finance and sustainability. Entrepreneurs will have their solutions assessed and validated via the Climate Impact Forecast, perfect their pitch and receive a grant up to 20.000 EUR.  

In Stage 3, preparation for investment readiness, scaling and building collaborations are the key pillars. These later-stage start-ups will be supported by a Venture Manager and groomed for further investment opportunities.  

The 2021 edition of the Black Sea ClimAccelerator supported a total of 42 start-ups, including:

EcoTree, a Romanian digital end-to-end waste management platform. To date, EcoTree’s Platform is under constant use by five multi-national and Romanian companies. By the end of October 2021, EcoTree had facilitated the recycling of more than 1,000 tonnes of waste, which translates into saving more than 2,940 tonnes of CO2. Also, EcoTree attracted 650.000 EUR of private investments in two funding rounds.  

R-Create is a B2B digital platform offering packaging-as-a-service to online stores, connecting e-commerce, couriers, and postal services on one platform. It launched an integrated solution for reusable packaging in the Romanian market with the delivery company DPD.  

ZeroWave is a young Bulgarian company engaged in the production of 100 per cent biodegradable tableware and food products made from the residual malt from beer production. The product has significant nutritional characteristics and ZeroWave uses it to produce crackers that are high in protein and fiber.  

The 2022 edition is delivered by Impact Hub Bucharest and its main partners Raiffeisen Bank România and OMV Petrom, as well as by Innovation Accelerator in Bulgaria. Interested candidates may apply via the Black Sea ClimAccelerator website.  

Romania Deadlines: 

Stage 1 (Early Stage): May 24 – July 24 2022 

Stage 2 (MVP): July 26 – September 26 2022 

Stage 3 (Growth): July 26 – September 26 2022 

Bulgaria Deadlines: 

Stage 1 (Early Stage): June 16 – August 17 2022 

Stage 2 (MVP): June 16 – August 17 2022 

Stage 3 (Growth): June 16 – September 30 2022 

For more questions, please contact: 

Daniel Matei, Business Development Manager Impact Hub Bucharest & Consortium Lead