— We help innovators and entrepreneurs regenerate the world
New technologies and business models underpinning a regenerative economy are urgently needed to respond to the global challenges our Earth and Society are facing.
Be part of the solution
Context and Goals
A paradigm shift is urgently needed to reverse the negative trends in global environmental and social issues (such as loss of biodiversity, scarcity of natural resources, climatic changes, increased pollutants and wastes, economic and social disparities, etc.).
Sustainability initiatives will not be sufficient to save our civilization and the Earth as we know it today. A rapid transition towards a regenerative economy is required.
To this end, Tech4Regeneration fosters collaborations between different stakeholders to help disruptive startups deploy and scale-up their technologies through regenerative business models and strategies. Founded and managed by the EPFL Innovation Park, the accelerator programme aims to reach a critical mass of gifted and skilled leaders, partner institutions, and corporations, to accelerate the mass adoption of regenerative solutions. This is taking place within an ambitious program project to build a “House of Regenerative Economy” physically hosted at EPFL Ecotope and connecting a large international community of like-minded pioneers.
The French-speaking part of Switzerland is a breeding ground for innovation in this area, with the emergence of numerous startups from the EPFL and the universities, and the presence of many international organizations and corporations which act as sounding boards.
Beyond Cleantech/Greentech, the focus is on technologies for the regeneration of essential resources and systems. While clean technologies aim to reduce damage to the environment, regenerative technologies aim to restore and regenerate it.
Benefit for startups
Embark on a transformative journey of development and scale-up for your startup:
- join an international community of leaders and partners
- access invaluable resources, contacts, and expertise
- add your contribution to a global movement defining a new paradigm of regeneration, collaboration, and inclusive prosperity, substituting the traditional neoliberalism story and its focus on perpetual economic growth
- get tailored support to help refine your business model, develop effective industrialization and go-to-market strategies, connect with investors and customers, and gain international visibility
In September 2023, an international team of scientists quantified, for the first time, all nine processes that regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth system.
These nine planetary boundaries were first proposed by former centre director Johan Rockström and a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists in 2009.
Since then, their framework has been revised several times.
Now the latest update not only quantified all boundaries, it also concludes that six of the nine boundaries have been transgressed.
Regenerative solutions refer to a set of practices, processes, systems and technologies that aim to restore and revitalize natural systems and resources, rather than simply exploiting or transforming them.
The goal of regenerative solutions is to create positive impacts on the environment, communities, and human well-being, e.g. by regenerating and restoring ecological systems, soil fertility, clean water, and other vital resources.
Regenerative technology often involves using natural systems as a model for technological solutions and emphasizes the importance of creating closed-loop systems where waste is minimized or recycled, and resources are conserved and regenerated. It is a holistic approach to technology development that recognizes the interconnectedness of all living systems and seeks to create positive, sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our planet and its inhabitants.
We are looking for any technical solution or service capable of generating a net positive impact in at least one of the 7 categories of the programme (Natural Resources, Food & Agriculture, Energy, Infrastructures, Transportation, Circular Economy and Enabling Technologies such as Green IT, materials and chemicals, etc.)
The programme aims at accelerating the deployment of regenerative solutions to fill societal needs while reversing the breaches of our planetary boundaries.
Image: Kate Raworth and Christian Guthier/The Lancet Planetary Health
More information: The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries (2017)
It takes a holistic approach to create truly regenerative businesses. Creating a positive impact with a specific technology is not sufficient if it is counterbalanced by the production of highly negative social or environmental externalities.
But addressing the impact of all the activities of your company in a comprehensive approach is precisely the aim of the program. All you need to have at the beginning is a regenerative tech and a strong vision for your venture, as well as unwavering determination, boldness and pugnacity, combined with the open, empathic and collaborative attitude required to develop a new – and vital - regenerative economy.
Regenerative Entrepreneurship consists in developing solutions and businesses that contribute to the transition to a regenerative economy.
" The ‘take-make-waste’ mode of organizing is not sustainable, it’s time for a new work culture that prioritizes human resourcefulness and resilience.
" A regenerative economy means moving away from extractive business models and unlocking the potential for positive contributions for nature and society.
" Regenerative Entrepreneurs and Positive Impact Companies (PICs) have emerged in recent years with a new way of doing business. They adopt a 360°approach and have a social and environmental purpose at the core of their businesses. They go beyond current notions of sustainability, shifting our economy away from its roots of extraction and exploitation towards caretaking and Regeneration.
" Regeneration is the process that delivers sustainable living systems as the outcome of that process.
" Regeneration is the process of rebuilding or renewal of the common good — taking an asset, resource, ecosystem, individual, family, organization, community, or place, from crisis and collapse to recovery and regeneration.
For more information:
Participating startups must already have a technical product or service to get the most out of the programme.
They should at least have demonstrated the feasibility with an operational prototype and possibly already get some first customers.
The programme does not aim to help develop your technical solution, but rather build and implement successful business strategies for existing products or services.
Our experts from various specialized fields may possibly help improve your existing solution to adapt to new systems, applications, regulations or markets.
But more importantly, they will help develop sound go-to-market strategies, manage overall impact, grow the company structure and culture, prepare communication plans, and raise funds.
By joining the 9-month Tech4Regeneration programme, you will gain access to a leading Cleantech ecosystem.
To develop and unlock the full regeneration potential of your business, you will receive personalized coaching and mentoring, and participate in specialized workshops and roadshows.
You will benefit from unique expertise and network from our partners, and will receive direct feedback from a panel of business and technology experts from the EPFL network and partner Universities.
Additionally, the programme offers opportunities to develop pilot projects with partner companies, connect with potential customers and access to international investors.
The programme is still under construction and will be announced by the end of the year.
The main events will be the opening ceremony in March 2024 (kick-off event) and the closing ceremony in November 2024.
In between, a few roadshows, 8-9 thematic workshops, as well as regular peer-to-peer meetings and coaching sessions will be organized.
The call for application will be launched on December 15th, 2023 with the deadline to apply being February 1st, 2024.
The first cohort will follow the programme from March to November 2024.
The programme will include virtual, hybrid and physical events.
Startups from all over Switzerland and even other countries can participate, but shall be able to attend in-person a few important events at EPFL or some Swiss or International Roadshows.
Participation in the programme is completely free, including the application process.
The programme is fully sponsored, and we do not require any equity in return.
Selection will be solely based on the quality of the applicants' proposals with regard to the impact potential.