9TH CALL ENTREPRENEURS FUND
Do you have an innovative project in the field of energy industry, mobility or circular economy?
We support you!
Apply from January 15 to March 4, 2020.
- See the terms and conditions for participation
- Fill in the form at F6S
We offer you:
- Up to 120,000 euros/year
- Possibility of pilot trials with Repsol
- No need for startups to move from their current location
Bear in mind...
If you want to apply, you can find useful information here:
- Repsol Foundation seems to give startups “money for free” -isn’t that too good to be true?
Last year, Repsol Foundation granted 9.5 million euros to social projects in the areas of education, integration of socially vulnerable groups, culture, science, employee volunteering and entrepreneurship.
This accelerator program is one of Repsol Foundation’s flagship projects. Our mandate is to contribute to the energy transition process by supporting pre-commercial startups with high impact potential.
- How many startups do you select each year?
Our strategy is to concentrate our resources in a small number (6-8) of meticulously selected startups to which we give up to 240,000 euros in up to 2 years.
We also do our best to help startups gaining visibility with Repsol in case they are looking to engage early adopter customers in pilot tests or trials.
- If my startup is admitted to the program, will I be requested to move to Madrid?
No, it is not necessary to move from where you are. It could only be required to attend some occasional event or meeting organized by us.
- If I am admitted to the program, will Repsol Foundation or Repsol acquire any rights over my startup?
Repsol and its Foundation do no not get any equity or any rights over the intellectual property of the startups in exchange of being admitted to the acceleration program.
- I am not totally sure that my startup fits into any of the four technological scopes of the acceleration program. What do I do?
If in doubt, we recommend applying to the program. Application takes some time to fill a form, but that is a good investment considering the benefits of being admitted to the program. We guarantee your application will go through a very thorough, professional and respectful evaluation process.
- The Terms and Conditions for Participation say that if I am admitted to the acceleration program I will have to sign a formal agreement with Repsol Foundation. What are the contents of that agreement?
By that agreement, startups undertake the obligation of:
- Being diligent with the accomplishment of their acceleration Work Plan and to submit a monthly follow up report and a closing report at end of the acceleration period describing the progress of the startup and convincingly explaining the deviations from the initial Plan.
- To spend the grants received exclusively on the development of the Working Plan, and to keep and submit any records that Repsol Foundation deems necessary for its proper justification.
- To inform Repsol Foundation of any other grants, awards, loans, or subsidies received as well as any offers received from investors and/or any foreseeable changes in the startup’s shareholding structure.
Additionally, startups admitted to our program must get a civil liability insurance policy, including employer liability if the startup has any employees, with a minimum coverage of 100K euros.
Finally, startups are requested to collaborate with the program dissemination activities and to report twice a year a few indicators of its evolution for a period of ten years.
On its side, Repsol Foundation undertakes the obligation of providing the grants and to appoint mentors to help with the development of the Working Plan.
- Startups must present a monthly report to get the monthly grant -how is that report like?
The monthly report must cover the following issues: deviations from the Working Plan, justification and contingencies adopted. Technology development progress and results. Business model development progress and results. Startup financials. Conclusions of the follow-up meeting. Next actions.
- Does Repsol Foundation guarantee the confidentiality of the information provided in the application process?
We require not to submit any confidential or commercially sensitive information in the application process. In the final stages of the selection, and in some specific cases, it may be necessary to share more information for a better understanding of the potential of a startup. In these cases, Repsol Foundation will suggest signing a confidentiality agreement.
- I need funding for my startup, but I don’t really need any mentoring or training. Is this program adequate for me?
We believe we can better help startups that not only need funds but also need good quality mentoring and pilot trials to demonstrate their innovations. If you believe you are not in need of any coaching, you may rather look to other financial support schemes or to venture capital investors for your business project.
- Does country of origin of the startup matters in your selection?
No, we do not give any preference to startups from any particular country.
- Do you select startups trying to cover each one of the four technological scopes of your program?
No, we are not looking at selecting one startup per scope; we do not give preference to a particular scope over any other.
- What about maturity level of the startup? Is that considered in the selection process?
Yes, it is considered. We believe we can better help startups that are ideally 1-2 years away from having recurring customers.
Startups that already have recurring customers have access to investors and therefore will normally be too mature for our program. We have the mandate to help startups in earlier stages, with fewer financing alternatives.
- Who are your mentors and how is your mentoring?
Mentoring is one differential feature of our accelerator program.
Each startup gets a team of 5 mentors. Two of them are ex Repsol high-rank executive retirees volunteering for this job. This people have been in charge of huge energy industrial projects for decades and, on top of it, they receive specific training to complement their corporate experience with startup-specific issues. These are “dedicated” mentors. They usually make themselves available anytime the founders need them.
The other three mentors are Repsol professionals. They may be available for the startup on request. They can provide technology support and market information and insights and, when possible, they would help startups to pave the way for a pilot trial with Repsol.
- How are the mentors assigned? Is it possible to ask for mentors with a particular expertise?
Mentors are appointed by Repsol Foundation considering the needs of the startup business project. Dedicated mentors are ex high rank managers with a long career in the energy sector volunteering for this job. They receive specific training to complement their corporate experience with startup-specific issues.
If the relationship with the mentors does not work, please let us know and we would take care of it. We also encourage mentors to let us know if that happens. In our program, mentoring must be a fulfilling experience for mentors and a valuable resource for founders.
- If I am admitted to the program, will I be able to do pilot tests with Repsol?
Startups admitted to our program do not have any restrictions to do pilots with any early adopters, in fact, we encourage startups to contact customers the earlier the better to (in)validate the hypothesis of their business models, and pilots are an advanced stage of that process.
We know pilots are difficult to get for industrial startups and we try to facilitate trials with Repsol, but that is not always possible. When trials are possible, and depending of their characteristics, Repsol may request startups (under acceleration in our program or other) to formalize the pilot with an agreement. Startups do not have any restrictions to accept, negotiate or turn down such agreement, that without affecting their acceleration process with Repsol Foundation.
- What can be expected from Repsol venture capital?
Repsol Corporate Venturing manages a €85 million fund to invest in commercial-stage startups around the globe. They look at some 600 startups a year aiming at investing in some four to six of them.
Members of the Repsol Corporate Venturing team participate as mentors in the acceleration program. They give their feedback from their investor perspective and, because they are work together with Repsol technology experts and are in close contact with Repsol business units around the world, they can also facilitate technology support, market information and insights, and their opinions can pave the way for startups to get pilot trials with Repsol.
If a startup in our accelerator program reaches the commercial stage, it would have more chances to attract venture capitalists, among them, Repsol Corporate Venturing. Startups do not have any restrictions to engage in negotiations with any particular investor, that without affecting their acceleration process with Repsol Foundation.
- You say funding is up to €5,000 a month for “ordinary” expenses and an extra €60,000 a year for other “eligible” expenses. What is eligible and what is not?
Startups admitted in our program receive €5,000 a month (€60,000 along the year) for “ordinary” expenses. These grants are to be spent in reasonable salaries, rent, energy, communications and the rest of the ordinary expenses of a company.
Startups can also apply for another €60,000 additional funds for “extraordinary” expenses. These must be expenses directly linked with the development of the agreed working plan.
Applications for extraordinary funds are discussed case by case and it is up to Repsol Foundation to accept or not accept the extraordinary expense application.
- You say some startups can get a second year of acceleration with the same funding -what are the criteria to grant that extension?
Every quarter, mentors evaluate the progress of the startup according to 6 dimensions: team performance, legal issues, product development, customer development/sales, business plan and fund raising. After the first three quarters of the acceleration period and, in view of the progress of the startup, mentors may recommend the extension of the acceleration program for a second year.
- My startup is working in two or more different technologies or business models. How should I apply?
There is no limit to the number of applications you can submit. If you are working in two or more technologies or business models, you may consider submitting an application for each one of them.
- Our project has already received funding from another source and/or we have submitted other requests for public/private support schemes. Can we apply?
Yes. We do not impose any kind of restrictions in that respect as long as the founders keep in control of the startup and the Working Plan is not negatively affected.
If you have any doubt, please do not hesitate to contact Entrepreneurs Fund's team through LinkedIn or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.