FAQ

1. What is Falling Walls Venture?

Falling Walls Venture is a global forum for science based start-ups to present their breakthrough business concepts to high-profile investors, opinion leaders and a distinguished jury. The winner will get the opportunity to introduce her/his business model to an audience of 700 guests at the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November.

Falling Walls Venture is brought to other cities worldwide with qualifying rounds hosted by local partners. The most innovative science based start-ups are selected to be among the 20 presenting enterprises that travel to Berlin to attend the grand Finale of Falling Walls Venture.

 

2. What is my benefit if I participate?

Above all, Falling Walls Venture is a platform to showcase outstanding scientific research and its entrepreneurial potential.

 

Why should you apply for an international Falling Walls Venture qualifying event?

  • You get the chance to qualify directly for the Falling Walls Venture Finale in Berlin on 8/9 November.
     
  • Travel to Berlin on 8/9 November (travel cost are covered) and enjoy free entrance to the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November where some of the world’s most prominent scientists from around the world present their current breakthrough research in 15 minutes each .
     
  • Get the chance to be awarded the title „Science Start-up of the Year“ and speak at the Falling Walls Conference in front of leaders from the worlds of science, industry and policy-making.

 

Why should you join the Finale in Berlin?

  • You receive free entrance to the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November where you will meet some of the world’s most prominent scientists.
  • Enjoy meetings with international investors who are looking for business opportunities.
  • Visibility and media coverage - locally and international
  • Get personal advice from the renowned jury and our investment committee
  • 1:1 coaching session and intense preparation on the presentation
  • Strong connections to top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, company builders and corporate innovation leaders from around the world

3. 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 is endorsed by a nominating institution. This can be a university, a research institution or venture capital company. Only if you apply for the Falling Walls Venture Finale in Berlin directly, a nominating institution must be named. Among all applicants 20 finalists will present their breakthrough businesses on 8 November in Berlin.

4. How does the application process work?

Go to our website, choose your city and fill out the registration form. Registration for Berlin will presumably open in June. Start-ups that wish to apply directly for Berlin need a nominating institution and are not able to self-nominate. Once the respective deadline has passed the nominated start-ups will be evaluated based on the following three criteria:
  • Level of innovation – does the project have potential for innovation, does it have a groundbreaking idea, does it represent a breakthrough?
  • Commercial potential – could the project change the market situation?
  • Social Impact - could this idea/product change the life of a large part of the world’s population?

The start-ups matching the above criteria best are chosen to participate in Falling Walls Venture in Berlin on 8 November.

5. Do I need to be nominated by a hosting institution if I apply for one of the international Venture qualifying rounds?

No. If you participate in a qualifying, the host of the event will take the part of the nominating institution.

6. 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. Therefore, start-ups with a purely commercial focus and background should not be nominated. 

7. What does the programme of the event look like?

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 has the most impressive breakthrough potential. Following on, the founder has five minutes to present his business concept. Thereafter, 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” and the winner will get the opportunity to present his/her business model to an audience of 700 guests at the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November.

Falling Walls Venture will be held in English.

8. Is there time to discuss my breakthrough with the jury?

Every participant has 5 minutes time to present her/his breakthrough business model. The jury will ask questions or make comments following the presentation. If participants would like to further discuss the research work or business idea, several breaks allow for deeper discussions.

9. My start-up is in a very early phase, can we apply?

We also welcome start-ups in early stage and seed phases. The minimum requirement is a stage beyond proof of concept. A start-up should be able to present a business plan or a prototype. The company should be founded by the time of the event.

10. My startup is not founded yet, can I apply anyways?

Yes, but your company needs to be registered by the time of the event.

11. Can the Falling Walls Foundation pay for my travel?

The Falling Walls Foundation is unable to bear any travel and accommodation expenses. We kindly ask participants to make their own travel arrangements.

12. Are there any costs for participating?

There are no costs/fees for participating.

13. 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 was not selected to participate in a contest, she or he can apply for another one.

14. 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.