Which are
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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?

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 start-up?

Benefits for Finalist Start-ups

  • Networking opportunities with start-up investors, VCs, and potential strategic business and scientific partners
  • Expert coaching on digital pitching
  • Opportunity to significantly increase international reach and visibility of your start-up
  • A video spot on the upcoming Falling Walls online platform for breakthrough thinking
  • Chance to connect with other science-driven ventures and entrepreneurs from around the world
  • Access to the digital and global community platform – Falling Walls Connect

Extra benefits for the Top 10 winners

  • Promotion to a distinguished online audience and jury in a special online event at the beginning of November
  • Chance to become the Breakthrough of the Year 2020 in the category ‘Science Start-up’ (the winner will be featured in a virtual top-class award ceremony in front of an audience of global leaders on 9 November)
  • Become part of the Falling Walls Venture Community

 

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

  • boost your spin-off and your university’s entrepreneurship initiatives
  • get visibility for your university, including a slot on stage to introduce your start-up
  • join the Falling Walls network of leaders from science, industry and politics and meet entrepreneurs and innovators from all around 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 June 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. FINALISTS. Your nomination is immediately reviewed by us continuously. If it is accepted, we will ask you to:

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

You will receive further details on the necessary application materials shortly after your nomination was submitted.

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. CATEGORY DAY. A high-ranking jury will select the ten most promising start-ups, who will present to a global audience on the Category Day “Science Start-ups” at the beginning of 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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