London, UK – Next week Climate-KIC, the European Union's main climate innovation initiative, will kick off its first Start-up Tour of 2014 in Israel, as part of its role in supporting European cleantech innovators to expand their business opportunities outside of Europe.
In four days, from 25-28 May, 12 of Europe's most promising cleantech start-ups from across the Climate-KIC community will get a crash course in cleantech entrepreneurship in one of the world's biggest hotbeds for climate innovation. The select group of European cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs will also be given the chance to explore the market in Israel, find potential customers and partners, and look for investment opportunities.
The Israel Start-up Tour is the first time Climate-KIC has expanded its activity to the region as the organisation looks to help its start-ups tap into the success of Israel's cleantech industry. Israel has become a thriving start-up hotspot over the past ten years, with a strong focus on cleantech; Israel is a major centre of excellence for both water and solar technologies in particular.
Frans Nauta, deputy director of entrepreneurship at Climate-KIC, commented: "At Climate-KIC we have a clear assignment: support Europe's most promising cleantech start-ups to become tomorrow's leading firms in fighting global climate change. Israel is undoubtedly a great place for cleantech businesses and we firmly believe that Israel can play a valuable role in contributing ideas and insights to Climate-KIC's community.
"Our start-up tours provide European cleantech entrepreneurs with vital international experience, mentoring and networking opportunities. The 12 companies we have selected for the tour are some of the most promising cleantech businesses drawn from across Europe and they will benefit significantly from the activities we have planned for them in Israel."
The four-day tour will start with a course, 'Doing business in Israel for cleantech start-ups', hosted by experienced serial entrepreneur Eyal Banjamin at the Tel Aviv College. The course will also feature talks by other successful Israeli entrepreneurs, VCs and government officials. At the end of the course the participating start-ups will pitch their businesses up to a group of clean-tech VCs for the chance of direct funding opportunities. With time for start-ups to conduct further meetings with potential customers, partners and investors, the tour will conclude at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa where the participants will get an insight into its latest cleantech research.
The 12 participating start-ups have been selected from Climate-KIC's Accelerator Programme and feature a wide range of climate technologies – from battery technology for wind and solar energy, to electric vehicle charging infrastructure, aquaponic farming schemes, and low cost mobile hydro power plants.
Climate-KIC is the EU's main climate innovation initiative. It is Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership focused on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate-KIC consists of companies, academic institutions and the public sector.
The organisation has its headquarters in London, UK, and leverages its centres across Europe to support start-up companies, to bring together partners on innovation projects and to educate students to bring about a connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into products and services that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Climate-KIC is one of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the EU body tasked with creating sustainable European growth while dealing with the global challenges of our time.