FAQ

1. 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.

 

 

2. What is my benefit if I participate?

Falling Walls Venture is a platform to showcase the entrepreneurial potential in science. We provide a stage for pioneering founders who have 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 2019) 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.

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

  • Falling Walls is about breakthroughs in science and society that have a positive impact on our future.
  • Falling Walls Venture targets entrepreneurs and scientists whose start-ups are based on scientific research and advanced technology/engineering.
  • 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 2014 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 have received financial funding (e.g. government funding like the German EXIST or other funding up to Series A).

4. 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 from 6 May until 30 June 2019. Once the deadline has passed, the nominated start-ups will be evaluated based on the following three criteria:
  • Level of innovation (how innovative/unique/novel is the science/technology behind the product?)
  • Scope of impact (impact on industry, society, environment, market situation,..)
  • Commercial potential (market size, product-market fit, competition,..)
  • Business planning and presentation (Go2market strategy, investment & use of funds, team, storytelling,..)

From all nominations, our selection committee will choose 25 start-ups who will be invited to participate in Falling Walls Venture in Berlin on 8 November. Applicants will be notified by beginning of September at the latest.

5. 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 or advanced technology.

The criteria are:

  • Level of innovation (how innovative/unique/novel is the science/technology behind the product?)
  • Scope of impact (impact on industry, society, environment, market situation,..)
  • Commercial potential (market size, product-market fit, competition,..)
  • Business planning and presentation (Go2market strategy, investment & use of funds, team, storytelling,..)

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

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

6. 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 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.

Falling Walls Venture will be held in English.

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

Yes. Every participant has 5 minutes time to present her/his company and business model. The jury will ask questions or make comments following the presentation.

For a more detailed discussion on your research work or business idea, exclusive networking events and several breaks allow you to make meaningful connections and engage in deeper exchange with our judges.

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

We also welcome start-ups in early stage and seed phases. The company must be founded by the time you apply and cannot be older than 5 years (i.e. founded between 1 January 2014 and the date of application). Start-ups should at least have a protoype/proof of concept and should have already received some funding.

9. 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.

10. 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.