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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 takes place each year on 8 November in Berlin, as a part of the expanded programme of the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November.

Why should you join?

Falling Walls Venture is a platform to showcase the entrepreneurial potential in science. We provide an exclusive stage for 25 selected pioneering founders annually 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?

  • win a trip to Berlin (7-10 November) to present your start-up in front of a high-level jury of international innovation experts and investors (travel and accomodation stipend included for start-up presenter)
  • receive a ticket for the full Falling Walls programme and exclusive networking functions
  • if you become the “Falling Walls Science Start-up of the Year”, present your company in front of a high-level audience of 800 decision makers from business, finance, academia and government at the Falling Walls Conference
  • as one of 25 start-ups, get international visibility and media coverage
  • obtain personal advice from the jury
  • join the Falling Walls network of leaders and luminaries from science and business and make strong connections to successful entrepreneurs, corporate innovation leaders and investors
  • receive pitch coaching and preparation on the presentation

 

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
  • receive a ticket for the full Falling Walls programme and exclusive networking functions
  • join the Falling Walls network of leaders from science, industry and politics and meet entrepreneurs and innovators from all around the world

See what past participants and guests said.

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.
  • 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 January 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 protoype/proof of concept and and should already have received some funding.

How does the application process work?

In order to apply for Falling Walls Venture, every start-up must be endorsed by a nominating institution (university or research institution). Nominations are submitted online via our website. We will ask you for the name and contact details of a representative of the nominating institution. Applications will be open during May/June each year.

Once the deadline has passed, our advisory board will review all applications.

From all nominations, 25 start-ups will be invited to participate in Falling Walls Venture in Berlin on 8 November. Applicants will be notified by beginning of September.

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.

What does the programme of the event look like?

Falling Walls Venture is a pitch event. Every start-up will have up to 10 minutes of time.

The first minute is reserved for the endorsing institution and its reasoning why they believe their start-up should become the “Falling Walls Science Start-Up of the Year”.
After that, the founder has five minutes to present his business concept. In conclusion, up to four minutes of question time will be available to the jury and audience.

At the end of the day the jury will award the title “Falling Walls Science Start-Up of the Year”. The winner will get the opportunity to present their company to an audience of 800 institution leaders from business, finance, academia and government at the Falling Walls Conference on the next day.

The programme is complemented by the participation at the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November as well as attendance at a several exclusive networking functions like the Venture Lounge.

Falling Walls Venture will be held in English.

 

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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