We are looking for innovative startups
Do you have an innovative project related to the energy industry, mobility, or the circular economy? We will support you! Currently, the registration period for submitting applications has ended and we are evaluating all the projects received.
We are evaluating the proposals received in the eighth call for proposals for the Entrepreneurs Fund. In July, we will announce the chosen projects.
If you want us to let you know about all the news on the Fundación Repsol´s accelerator program, leave us your information in this form.
Up to 144,000 euros/year
Without any transfer of the company´s shares or intellectual property
From a team of mentors
Business, legal, and marketing
Work with Repsol's technology experts and, in some cases, get a chance to test your prototypes at our industrial facilities
Bear in mind...
If you have already submitted a project, you can find useful information here:
The deadline for presenting proposals to the 8th call for proposals ends at 23:59 p.m. CET on 4 March 2019. Submit your proposal as soon as possible!
The selected proposals will be announced in July 2019 and the acceleration program will kick off sometime around October 2019.
- WHO CAN TAKE PART?
Any natural or legal person who has an innovative energy project for the areas described in the the Terms and Conditions for Participation and meets the following requirements:
- Natural persons of legal age and companies at a pre-commercial or early commercial stage, provided their capital or voting rights are not controlled by (an)other company/ies which, separately or jointly, account for or exceed 25% of the company, or
- If the project is selected for the acceleration program, the applicants will have a period of three (3) months from notice of acceptance into the acceleration program to incorporate the company, in the event it is not already incorporated.
- The call for participation is open to start-ups from all countries.
- PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS
If your project fits into any of the scopes of the Terms and Conditions for Participation, you will be eligible to fill out the participation form until 4 March 2019.
The form requires basic information of a non-confidential nature regarding the project and the company (if incorporated) and is divided into four question sections:
- Contact details
- Information on the project being presented
- Information on the business
- Information of the team
It might take you a while to fill out the form. You don't have to fill it out in one go. You can save the draft and come back to it as many times as you wish.
The Application Preparation Document details all of the information you need to provide to register your project.
- ADVICE AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT
During the acceleration phase, Fundación Repsol offers:
- "Equity-free" financial support of up to €144,000 per year for Projects and (with the option to extend this aid for an additional year) and €24,000 for Ideas.
- Expert advice from a team of mentors.
- Specialised training in developing start-ups.
- Possibility of testing prototypes in industrial facilities.
Without any transfer of the company´s shares or intellectual property to Fundación Repsol.
The acceleration program has an initial duration of one year in the case of both categories, Projects and Ideas. At the end of this period, Projects have the possibility of extending the support for another year, while Ideas may reapply to the next Entrepreneurs Fund call for participation in the Projects category.
- SELECTION PROCESS
The proposals received are screened through an evaluation and selection process comprised of several stages:
- A preliminary analysis is performed in order to check that the proposal meets all the requirements set out in the Terms and Conditions for Participation.
- A detailed assessment of the information included in the application form, performed by experts in innovation in the energy and advanced mobility sectors.
- A personal interview in which the teams present the finer points of their initiative to the Entrepreneurs Fund panel.
- A pre-acceleration period in which entrepreneurs who have completed the previous stages receive training and guidance to improve their work plan, and to guarantee the technical and financial viability of the project.
- Lastly, the finalist teams must give a presentation to a jury, who decides which initiatives will take part in the acceleration program.
This process will begin in March 2019 and will end in July 2019 with the announcement of the selected teams. Fundación Repsol will keep the teams informed of the status of their proposals throughout the entire evaluation and selection process.
- REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ACCELERATION PROGRAM
If your project is selected, you will become part of the Fundación Repsol Entrepreneurs Fund's acceleration program, following the signing of an agreement between the parties.
Remember that the acceleration process is intense and you will need time to develop your project, so we will require that you have at least one person in your company who is exclusively devoted to the project´s development.
Fundación Repsol will provide the specified funding and will not receive any rights over your company's shares assets or intellectual property rights in exchange. However, we do wish to ensure that our contributions are put to good use. For this reason, you will have to sign a contract that regulates the rights and obligations of both parties, and you will have to accept audits on the use of the funds provided.
Important note: The contract can only be signed by a company. If you have not yet incorporated your company, you will have three months to do so from the time you are notified that you have been selected to take part in the acceleration program.
The requirements of the contract are as follows:
- Meet the contractual plan and hold monthly update meetings with the mentors and the Fundación Repsol coordinator.
- Your company must open a current account which will be used exclusively to receive and use the financial contributions of Fundación Repsol. This account will be subject to an audit to verify that the funding is being used for the purpose of developing the acceleration project.
- During the contract term, the company must be covered by a civil liability insurance policy, including employer liability in the case it has any employees.
- The team may receive funding, awards, loans, or subsidies from other sources while participating in the Entrepreneurs Fund acceleration program, as long as they continue to comply with the terms of the contract.
- Attend the training sessions that are held during the year-long acceleration period.
- Draft monthly reports on the development of the project detailing any progress or changes, in addition to a final report once the acceleration period is over.
- You will be responsible for managing your company and industrial and intellectual property and you must be in control of the management of your company at all times, as well as meet labour legislation.
- Actively participate in the various activities organised by Fundación Repsol to publicize the Entrepreneurs Fund and indicate the funding received from us in all communication materials.
Before submitting your application, we recommend you read the Terms and Conditions for Participation.
Fundación Repsol's startup accelerator program focuses on supporting innovative projects in one of the following six scopes:
- Efficiency in operations in the energy and chemical industry
Development of new processes, technologies and services, aimed at improving safety, reliability and availability of industrial plants, for example:
- Development of new technologies for the improvement of petroleum properties (naphthenic acidity, content in metals, asphaltenes, or others), to facilitate their processing and avoid problems of corrosion, fouling, deactivation of catalysts, etc.
- Optimization of traditional processes or development of alternative processes in the oil refining industry (catalysts, desulfurization, hydrogen production, coking, gas to liquids, production of aromatics, etc.).
- Reliability and maintenance of industrial plants (automation of operations, sensorization, predictive maintenance, artificial intelligence, drone inspection, etc.).
- Safety in operations (geolocation of people and equipment, detection of fatigue, early detection of leaks, etc.).
- Any other innovation in the field of 1).
- New materials and differentiated products
Technologies to obtain or use materials of greater added value or higher performance in the chemical and energy industry, construction, home or transport, for example:
- Construction and home (substitute materials, energy solutions, specialized polymers for cables, etc.).
- Mobility (materials for weight reduction in means of transport, to capture, store and generate energy, etc.).
- Health and nutrition (advanced materials for heat/cold control in food packaging, drug dosing, objects for medical use, etc.).
- Biodegradable plastics.
- New materials (3D printing, fire resistant materials, new applications, etc.).
- Any other innovation in the field of 2).
- Distributed energy resources
- New or improved technologies for energy storage.
- Small scale generation for nearby use, new technologies and business models in the field of distributed electricity generation and electricity self-consumption.
- Bidirectional vehicle to grid charging technologies.
- Smart electric charge technologies.
- Smart energy management systems.
- Virtual asset management systems.
- Technology for renewable generation centers near consumption points (for example, cities) which eliminates system inefficiencies.
- Any other innovation in the field of 3).
- Digitalisation and mobility
Innovative proposals in the mobility sector that create more value for people, for example:
- Personalization of the offer through a greater knowledge of the needs of the users.
- New business models associated with transport electrification.
- New technologies or business models associated to the connected car and the autonomous car.
- New customer loyalty platforms or payment technologies for mobility services users.
- Any other innovation in the field of 4).
- Circular economy and biotech
Proposals related to the recycling and reuse of waste and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the energy and chemical industry. Technologies for plastic-to-fuel/plastic conversions and for the production of biofuels, for example:
- Treatment and improvement of the quality of industrial waters.
- Reduction of CO2 emissions (energy efficiency in industry: optimization of steam systems and use of surplus steam, alternative technologies to energy intensive processes, etc.)
- Capture and use of CO2.
- Technologies for waste reuse.
- Value-adding technologies for plastics recycling.
- Business models based on the management of environmental sustainability in the energy industry.
- Technologies for the production of biofuels.
- Any other innovation in the field of 5).
- New oil and gas exploration and production technologies
Digital improvements, drilling and cementing, new materials, improvement of efficiency and safety in oil and gas processes and operations, for example:
- Digitization of oil and gas exploration and production (smart exploration and drilling, production field performance optimization, automation of operations, etc.).
- Drilling and completion technologies (monitoring sensors, drilling technologies, well control systems, etc.).
- New materials for oil and gas exploration and production activities (steel substitutes, fire resistant, unwelded joints and thermal expansion, cementing repairs, etc.).
- Technologies to improve processes and operations in pipelines (sensors that move through fluids, H2S and CO2 elimination processes, image processing to detect faults and spills, etc.).
- Automation of operations (drones, robots, etc.).
- Any other innovation in the field of 6).
- Fundación Repsol seems to give startups “money for free” −isn’t that too good to be true?
Last year, Fundación Repsol granted 8.6 million euros to diverse social projects in the areas of education, integration, culture and science, volunteering and entrepreneurship.
This accelerator program is one of Fundación Repsol’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 288,000 euros in up to 2 years plus mentoring and training.
We also do our best to help them gaining visibility with the Repsol company 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. Nevertheless, if you are admitted you will be requested to attend 3-day training sessions four times a year in Madrid (exceptions many apply for startups outside Europe). These sessions with include face-to-face meetings with your mentors.
- If I am admitted to the program, will Fundación Repsol or Repsol acquire any rights over my startup?
Fundación Repsol and the Repsol company no not get any equity or any rights over the intellectual property of the startups in exchange of being admitted to the acceleration program.
As stated in the Terms and Conditions for Participation, "Fundación Repsol reserves the preferential right to negotiate, with one or more of the selected applicants, its participation in the funding and the potential exploitation of the corresponding projects and their commercial results. To this end, Fundación Repsol shall propose the signing of the corresponding agreement, which shall include the basics of the aforementioned participation."
- I am not totally sure that my startup fits into any of the six scopes of the acceleration program. What do I do?
If in doubt, we recommend applying to the program. Application takes a few hours of form filling, 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 Fundación Repsol. 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 business project and convincingly explaining the deviations from the initial Plan;
- spend the grants received exclusively on the development of the business project, and to keep and submit the records that Fundación Repsol deems necessary for its proper justification;
- guarantee that at least two members of the startup team will attend the training activities four times a year in Madrid (exceptions many apply for startups outside Europe);
- inform Fundación Repsol 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, the 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 the evolution of the business project for a period of ten years.
On its side, Fundación Repsol undertakes the obligation of providing the grants and to appoint mentors to help with the development of the business project.
- 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 development progress and results. Startup financials. Conclusions of the follow-up meeting. Next actions.
- Does Fundación Repsol 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, Fundación Repsol 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 training. 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 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 six 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 (in our program we call that category “Projects”). We can also support earlier stage startups (category “Ideas”) to help them to compete for a seat in the upper category the following year.
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 Fundación Repsol taking into account the needs of the startup business project. All 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 and therefore pilots are not a formal part of our acceleration program. 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 Fundación Repsol.
- 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 four or six.
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 Venture Capital. Startups do not have any restrictions to engage in negotiations with any particular investor, that without affecting their acceleration process with Fundación Repsol.
So far none of the startups accelerated by Fundación Repsol has been invested by Repsol, but a few of them are engaged in conversations that could be conducing to it.
- You say funding is up to €6,000 a month for “ordinary” expenses and an extra €72,000 a year for other “eligible” expenses. What is eligible and what is not?
Near-market startups (what we call “Projects”) admitted in our program receive €6,000 a month (€72,000 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.
These startups can also apply for another €72,000 additional funds for “extraordinary” expenses. These must be expenses directly linked with the development of the product or service. As stated in the Terms and Conditions for Participation, the following, non-exhaustive list of expenses are considered non-eligible for extraordinary expenses: Taxes, Travel expenses, Subsistence allowance, Attendance to conventions, Office supplies and materials, Internal staff costs, Marketing and commercialization expenses.
Applications for extraordinary funds are discussed case by case to make sure that they are essential to achieve the milestones of the Working Plan.
On a different note, earlier stage startups (what we call “Ideas”), receive €2,000 a month (€24,000 along the year) as ordinary funds, and no extraordinary funds. The purpose of category “Ideas” is they will use these funds to develop their business project enough to compete the following year for admission in the upper category.
- 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.