FAQ

You have questions regarding applying to or participating in Falling Walls Venture?
Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found below.

When and where does Falling Walls Venture take place?

Falling Walls Venture will be hosted as a digital event this year as part of Falling Walls Remote 2020.

From July to October, we will continuously announce the finalists and display their videos and make their outstanding work recognised to foster a scholarly and public debate about the contribution of science to society – via social media, newsletters and on our growing library at falling-walls.com, as well as on the platforms of our partners.

At the beginning of November, Falling Walls Venture will then hold an online event as part of Falling Walls Remote 2020. The online event will recognise and discuss the ten respective winners, as identified by a distinguished jury. At the end of the day, the Falling Walls Science Start-up Breakthrough of the Year 2020 will be selected (but will not be announced before 9 November 2020).

On 9 November 2020, the anniversary of the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, the ten Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year (one per category) will be made public, and the people and institutions who made them possible will be honoured in a live digital session. In this event, a “Global Circle“ of distinguished world leaders will also discuss the post-corona agendas of the various fields. All material will be made available permanently and for free on our new falling-walls.com library to allow yearlong and global access and inspiration to the most outstanding science based start-ups around the world.

Why should you join as a start-up?

Falling Walls Venture is a platform to showcase the entrepreneurial potential in science. We provide an exclusive stage for selected pioneering founders who have successfully turned science into business, creating entrepreneurial solutions for today’s most pressing challenges.

What can start-ups win?

  • Networking opportunities with investors, VCs and business partners
  • Extended global reach and exposure across our online platforms
  • Coaching on digital pitching
  • Opportunity to present their start-up before an online audience during the winner’s session on 6 November
  • Tailored advice from a distinguished jury
  • Chance to win the Falling Walls Science Start-Up Breakthrough of the Year 2020 award and be featured in a virtual award ceremony on 9 November

Why should you join as a nominating institution?

Falling Walls Venture is a platform to showcase the entrepreneurial potential in science. We provide an exclusive stage for selected pioneering founders who have successfully turned science into business, creating entrepreneurial solutions for today’s most pressing challenges.

Why should you join Falling Walls Venture as a nominating institution?

  • Boost your spin-off and your institution’s entrepreneurship initiatives
  • Amplify the reach and visibility for your institution or university
  • Join our network of leaders from science, industry and politics, and meet entrepreneurs and innovators from across the world

Eligibility criteria for start-ups: Who can apply for Falling Walls Venture?

  • Falling Walls Venture is open to entrepreneurs and scientists whose start-ups are based on scientific research.
  • Applications are open to all scientific disciplines (biotech, data & AI, cleantech, new materials, engineering, healthcare, food & agriculture, …).
  • Each start-up must be endorsed by a nominating institution. This can be a university or a research institution.
  • The company must be founded (incorporated) by the time you apply and cannot be older than 5 years (i.e. founded between 1 July 2015 and the date of application)
  • If you have already participated in Falling Walls Venture as a presenter on stage, you cannot apply again.
  • Start-ups should at least have a prototype/proof of concept and should already have received some funding.

How does the nomination and application process work?

1. NOMINATIONS. Ask your university or research institution (i.e. VP Innovation, Director Technology Transfer, Head of university accelerator or a professor) to nominate your start-up as the Science Start-up Breakthrough of the Year 2020 here online by 1 September 2020 at the very latest. Please note that you will have fewer time to submit your application materials the later your nomination is submitted. Nominations before 1 August 2020 are higly encouraged.

2. APPLICATIONS. Nominations are immediately reviewed by us continuously. If your start-up meets the eligibility criteria, we will ask you to:

  • fill in the application questionnaire (preview here),
  • send us your pitch desk (PDF) and
  • a pitch video to complete your application (video requirements and recommendations here).

You will receive further details on the necessary application materials shortly after your nomination was submitted. Then, you do have about two weeks to submit your application.

3. GLOBAL PERCEPTION. Our selection committee will screen your application. If selected, Falling Walls will announce your start-up as a finalist, share your video and make your outstanding work recognised – via social media, newsletters and on our growing library at falling-walls.com, as well as on the platforms of our partners.

4. WINNERS SESSIONA high-ranking jury will select the ten most promising start-ups, who will present to a global audience. The winners session “Science Start-Ups” with all ten selected ventures will take place on 6 November.

5. FALLING WALLS DAY 9 NOVEMBER 2020. On 9 November 2020, the anniversary of the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, the “Science Start-Up Breakthrough of the Year 2020” will be announced, and the people and institutions who made them possible will be honoured in a live digital session with distinguished world leaders and high-ranking industry representatives.

What are the things the Falling Walls Foundation is looking for in a start-up?

Falling Walls Venture is committed to science based start-ups, i.e. new companies that are founded by researchers and based on new research insights.

The criteria are:

  • Level of innovation
  • Scope of impact
  • Commercial potential
  • Business planning and presentation skills

Start-ups should at least have a protoype/proof of concept and and should already have received some funding.

Can I apply more than once?

The participation at Falling Walls Venture is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Therefore, participation is allowed only once. By applying, the candidate confirms that she/he has never participated in Falling Walls Venture as a presenter on stage before. If a candidate applied in previous years, but was not selected as a finalist, she or he can apply again.

Who can I contact in case I have a question about Falling Walls Venture?

Please contact the Falling Walls Venture Team in Berlin at venture@falling-walls.com.

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