Nine start-ups selected for Zurich’s KlimUp funding program

The City of Zurich's new KlimUp green funding programme for start-ups and non-profit organizations in the field of climate protection and the circular economy was met with great enthusiasm. The program’s expert commission selected nine startups for awards in the first round.

The KlimUp funding program was initiated by the city of Zurich together with its implementation partner Bluelion, to support the development and implementation of innovative contributions to the city's climate target ("net zero") or the intelligent use of resources. Having launched the program in January 2024, the team has now selected the first cohort of KlimUp startups out of a pool of over 100 applications.

As part of the program, these startups will receive between CHF 35k and CHF 250k in non-dilutive funding from the KlimUp matching fund, business support from Bluelion Incubator, and access to an exclusive network of potential customers, investors, and experts. A total of CHF 14 million is available for the program that will run until 2028 (or until the credit is exhausted).

The start-ups receive a basic contribution of CHF 35,000. If they are able to raise funds from an institutional investor, the KlimUp contribution will also be increased. This means that the City of Zurich doubles the private investment up to a maximum contribution of CHF 215,000. Whether the companies receive further funding from the programme and the amount of the contributions depends on the success of the first financing round.

Applications for the next round of contributions can be submitted until 29 April 2024. The next award will take place in June 2024.

Zurich-based startups selected in the first KlimUp funding round:

Unbound Potential
Develop membrane-less redox flow batteries to facilitate the large-scale buffering of renewable energy, ensuring economical operation and security of supply.

Its proprietary production technology allows eightinks to combine scalable manufacturing, novel cell designs and high performance materials to build the most powerful lithium ion batteries.

Develops a floor slab system using widely available, locally sourced, low carbon materials – earth and timber – that are 100% recyclable.

Cotierra (formerly Terra Preta)
Swiss-Colombian carbon removal and AgTech startup pioneering decentralized biochar production for carbon removal and emission reduction.

Tackle agricultural waste and climate change by turning waste into biochar with their Biochar Carbon Removal Factories.

Offer sustainable plant-based egg replacement solutions for the food service and food industry.

Fabas Foods
Have been producing exclusively regional food from pulses in organic quality since 2021 - together with around two dozen organic farmers.

Support wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with innovative services to achieve and harmonize objectives relating to climate change, energy consumption and water protection.

Develops an earth-worm-like drilling robot for geothermal probes, to accelerate the heat transition for the net zero goals.

In addition to the nine applications from start-ups, five project applications from non-profit organisations were approved. In addition, three operating grants were awarded to NPOs.

(Press release / SR)