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CleanTech Challenge Belgium

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Welcome to the CleanTech Challenge


The CleanTech Challenge is a free global business plan competition for ideas related to clean and durable technologies (CleanTech).

For Who?

Students from all universities and colleges in Belgium can apply. This includes Bachelors, Masters and PhDs, local and international students.


The Belgian competition is hosted in Leuven by AFT and AFD.


The CleanTech Challenge kicks off on November 5th and concludes in London in April 2019.

Tell me more!

The CleanTech Challenge is a cleantech business plan competition organised by London Business School and University College London to help students develop their cleantech ideas into credible businesses. The competition promotes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together technical and business students to develop their ideas with the help of industry expert mentors.

The Belgian competition, organised by Academics For Development Leuven and Academics For Technology, will determine who will be sent to the finals in London, and there they will compete for the £10.000 prize to fund their start-up.


form a team (3-5 pers.) or join alone, and participate in the belgian competition 

Deadline: November 5, 8 p.m.


get personal and professional help to turn your idea into a start-up


compete against the other teams in the belgian finals and impress the jury with your technology


during a two-day CleanTech Challenge Bootcamp the overall winning team will be chosen and will be rewarded with a £10.000 prize

Timeline of Events 2019-2020

Check again soon for an updated schedule!

01/10: Info-event AFC/AFD/AFT

Do you want to join the competition? Are you not sure yet? We will be present at the info-event of AFCDT to answer all your questions! Come and take a look to get a better idea of this amazing experience.

19h00 – Pieter De Somer Aula, Leuven (Charles Deberiotstraat 24, 3000 Leuven)

21/10: Young Talent In Action (YTIA) XXL beurs

‘YTiA XXL’, een exclusief talentevent voor leerlingen, studenten, ondernemers, jonge starters of werkzoekenden tussen 17 en 27 jaar. De derde keer al en opnieuw helemaal gratis. Speciaal door en voor alle jonge talenten die in hun toekomst willen investeren. Jij dus!

@ Bozar (Brussel)

24/10: LCIE event + SMU

LCIE supports students, professors and others with an entrepreneurial spirit.  CleanTech Challenge will be represented at this event, as it is a challenge where the focus lies on the entrepreneurial mindset.

SMU (Singapore Management University) will also tell something more about their worldwide start-up funding challenge!

19u45 – Promotiezaal Universiteitshal, Naamsestraat 22, 3000 Leuven

30/10: Women In Tech event (AFT)

Do you want to join the competition? Are you not sure yet? We will be present at the Women In Tech (WIT) from AFT to answer all your questions! Come and take a look to get a better idea of this amazing experience and learn more about the powerful women who are leading the biggest companies in our little country.

19u45 – Promotiezaal Universiteitshal, Naamsestraat 22, 3000 Leuven

Tue 05 Nov - Kick-off Event

Want to hear how last year’s participants experienced the CleanTech Challenge? Haven’t found a team yet? Want to meet the other teams? Need some ideas for your project? Meet us on the kick-off event!

19h30 – Radiohuis (Boekhandelstraat 2, 3000 Leuven)

Wed 13 Nov - Workshop Crossbridge: “Discover yourself & build your brand”

Come with us on a journey to discover your true self and the world around you! After all, before you can find the job of your dreams, you first need to know what those dreams are. We will introduce you to our online orientation platform, myShortlist, that will help you find out about your strengths and interests, career drivers and ideal working environment.

Furthermore, we’ll focus on how to create and deliver a strong elevator pitch, which will improve your chances of success during your job hunt.

Tue 19 Nov - Workshop Aquafin: “Brainstorming & ideation”

To make sure every team has a well defined Cleantech startup idea, the teams get the opportunity to brainstorm together. Aquafin will help the participants with some professional guidance!

Wed 27 Nov - Workshop Vlerick Business School: “Business Planning”

Vlerick will learn us about all the do’s and dont’s when developing your business plan and about the essence of entrepreneurship.The workshop will be held at Vlerick’s campus in Leuven!

Vlerick Business School is the 2nd highest ranked Business School in the Benelux and the 22nd in Europe.

Wed 11 dec - Feedback Session 1st semester

What kind of project do they want to elaborate? Is it realistic?

The objective is to give a short first pitch of the idea in front of a jury to adress the technical feasibility and improve based on their feedback. This will be the first test of your business idea.

Tue 11 Feb - Workshop KBC start it: "Financial Planning"

How to finance the project?

KBC Start it will tell us something more about the different investment sources and how to use them to make a comprehensive financial plan with the help of their template. This workshop will be held at thier offices in Leuven.

Wed 19 Feb- Workshop McKinsey: "Pitching Strategies"

How to promote your project to the world? How to convince the jury that your idea is the best? McKinsey will learn us more about some key pitching strategies to present with impact and tips to convince the jury of your startup idea!

Tue 3 Mar - Feedback Session 2nd semester

Last chance for the participants to pitch their idea to our partners and get feedback on their business and financial plan.

Wed 11 Mar - Belgian Finals

During the finals all teams compete against each other. The teams get a chance to pitch their project to an experienced jury. The best and most realistic project will be rewarded and will represent our country in the London finals.

Wednesday 11 March @ Groep T (Leuven)

23-24 Apr - Global Finals @ London

The London Business School and University College London welcome the best teams from all over the world. During a 2-day CleanTech Challenge Bootcamp, the overall winning team will be chosen and will be rewarded with a £10.000 prize.

Our team

This year the CleanTech challenge is organized by AFT Leuven and AFD Leuven.

The goal of AFD, or Academics For Development, is to offer students the possibility to have a social impact in a durable and meaningful way, by offering them the opportunity to contribute to real life issues in developing and developed countries.
The mission of AFT, short for Academics For Technology, is to promote technological entrepreneurship among students.
Together we can offer students a unique combination of entrepreneurship, technology, durability and social impact. Therefore we form the perfect team to organise the Belgian rounds of this global business plan competition about clean technology!
Bjarne Imbrechts

Bjarne Imbrechts

AFT Cleantech Manager

Caroline Eglème

Caroline Eglème

AFT CleanTech Manager

Lore De Valck

Lore De Valck

AFT CleanTech Manager

Julia Maes

Julia Maes

AFD Cleantech Manager

Marie Lemahieu

Marie Lemahieu

AFD CleanTech Manager

Sidorela Ukcamaj

Sidorela Ukcamaj

AFD CleanTech Manager


Demetex (2015)

CleanTech Challenge Belgium 2015’s winner was Demetex from Louvain-la-neuve. They represented Belgium in the global finals in London and went home with the main prize: a 10000£ check.

Demetex’s idea is to offer to farmers fertilization maps allowing them to know the optimal quantity of nitrogen to use given the position in the field. With the use of drones, we can collect pictures of the fields and then treat them to offer a diagnostic to farmers. Thanks to the diagnostic maps, the farmers make economies and reduce their impact on the environment.
The Cleantech Challenge has been a great opportunity for us. It allowed us to gain visibility for our projet and to broaden our network. The workshops were really interesting. We had the chance to have great mentors coming from the cleantech sector. The Belgian CleanTech team has been very supportive during the contest in London. They organised everything so that we could concentrate on our work.

Billi (2019)

CleanTech Challenge Belgium 2019’s winner was Billi. They had a great run at the London final, but sadly enough didn’t win. Their idea is actually quite simple and everyone has already thought about it: “Why do we print a receipt everytime we buy something?” After some research they found out that in Europa alone, we already produce one milion ton of waste by printing receipts! Billi wants to stop this by developing a platform to digitize receipts.

“I never thought that such a small idea on the kick-off event of the CTC would have such an impact on my career as a young entrepreneur/student. Thanks to all the interesting workshops and the guidance from the London Business School, we learned more about starting your own business and the risks and challenges that come with it!

The experience, knowledge and network that you can gain with the Cleantech Challenge is priceless!”

Frederik Cornelis (Founder of Billi & winner of CTC 2019)


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