FAQ Venture

Do you have questions about Falling Walls Venture or your participation in the Falling Walls Global Call? 

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions below or contact our team via email at venture@falling-walls.com.

What is Falling Walls Venture?

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

Each year, innovative science-based start-ups from all over the world take part in the Falling Walls Venture competition and get the chance to become the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year in the “Science Start-Ups” category.

When and where does Falling Walls Venture take place?

The Falling Walls Venture Pitches constitute the first day of the Falling Walls Science Summit 2024, which takes place from 7 to 10 November 2024 in Berlin.

The Falling Walls Science Summit 2024 agenda includes: 

7 November: Falling Walls Pitches

A day of live pitches in the following categories: Emerging Talents (Falling Walls Lab) for the next generation of outstanding innovators. Science Start-Ups (Falling Walls Venture) for the science start-up community. Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage) for inspiring science engagers.

8 November: Falling Walls Circle – Challenges and Foresight

Falling Walls Circle is a format to connect science and society. Researchers, policymakers, and business leaders, and society discuss the biggest challenges we face and the foresight that scientific breakthroughs can offer.

9 November: Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year

On the anniversary of the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, the grand finale provides a stage for outstanding research presented in inspiring presentations. For the 16th time, “the brightest minds on the planet“ (BBC) will showcase their work.

10 November: Falling Walls Unconference

Filled with insights from some 500 well prepared summit speakers the new fourth day of Falling Walls on 10 November schedules the unplanned. The non-agenda-conference is shaped by the audience in the very morning to investigate the freshest thoughts and set the agenda for the next year.

Why should you join as a start-up?

As a start-up, you get the chance to:

  • Get selected as one of the 25 Venture Winners, participate in the Falling Walls Science Summit in Berlin from 7 to 10 November, and have your accommodation and part of your travel costs covered
  • Get coached on pitching and present your work to a distinguished jury, global leaders and a selected audience during the Falling Walls Venture Pitches on 7 November
  • Become the “Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year” in the “Science Start-Ups” category
  • Present your work in front of an audience of global leaders at the Falling Walls Breakthrough Day on 9 November
  • Expand your network with investors and business partners and become a part of the Falling Walls Community
  • Extend your global reach and be spotlighted across our online platform

Why should you join as a nominating institution?

  • As a nominating institution, you get the chance to:
    • Boost your spin-off and your institution’s entrepreneurship initiatives
    • Amplify the reach and visibility of your institution
    • Join the Falling Walls Science Summit in person and be inspired by visionary scientific breakthroughs
    • Meet leaders from science, industry and politics, and get in touch with entrepreneurs and innovators from across the world

What are the eligibility criteria for start-ups?

  • Falling Walls Venture is open to start-ups that are based on scientific research
  • Falling Walls Venture is open to all scientific disciplines (e.g. 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, a research institution, or another type of organization, like an accelerator or incubator
  • The company must be founded (incorporated) by the time you apply and cannot be older than 5 years
  • Start-ups who have already participated in the Falling Walls Venture Pitches are not eligible to participate again
  • Start-ups should already have a prototype/proof of concept and primary funding

How does the nomination, application and evaluation process work?

1. NOMINATIONS. For nominating institutions: nominate one or more start-ups as the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year in the “Science Start-Ups” category.

For start-ups: ask your university, research institution, or another organisation, like an accelerator or incubator, to nominate your company as the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year in the “Science Start-Ups” category.


2. APPLICATIONS. For start-ups only: after you have been nominated, you will receive further details on the necessary application materials.

The application will consist of:

  •       An application form (see a preview here)
  •       Your pitch deck (as a separate PDF file)
  •       Your pitch video (see requirements and recommendations here)


3. FINALISTS. All applications will be reviewed and evaluated. Should you make it through the pre-selection process, you will qualify as a Falling Walls Venture Finalist. Finalists will be announced in the middle of July. Our Advisory Board will screen the applications of all Finalists and select the most promising start-ups, which will become Falling Walls Venture Winners.


4. WINNERS. Divided into three clusters (Sustainability, Engineering of the Future, and Health Solutions), the 25 Falling Walls Venture Winners will be invited to the Falling Walls Science Summit in Berlin, where they will pitch their work to a distinguished Jury and selected audience on 7 November. Winners will be announced in the middle of August. As a Winner, you will also receive a high-quality video as well as photos of your live pitch which you can share with potential investors and partners after the event.


5. FALLING WALLS SCIENCE BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR IN THE “SCIENCE START-UPS” CATEGORY. After the live pitches on 7 November in Berlin, the Jury will select one Cluster Winner for each cluster and, among them, one “Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year in the Science Start-Ups category”.  The selected start-up will present again on the big stage of the Falling Walls Breakthrough Day on 9 November, alongside other “Science Breakthrough of the Year” laureates.

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

The evaluation criteria for the science start-ups are:

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

Can I apply more than once?

Start-ups and start-up representatives who have already participated in the Falling Walls Venture Pitches in Berlin are not eligible to participate again.

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

Please contact the Falling Walls Venture team at venture@falling-walls.com.

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