Welcome to the CleanTech Challenge


The CleanTech Challenge is a free global business plan competition for ideas related to clean and durable technologies. We seek ideas that have the potential to make a significant environmental impact to promote sustainable ventures.

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 winner gets the opportunity to go to the international final in London hosted by London Business School and University College London.

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


With the help of multiple workshops and professional guidance, you’ll get to turn your idea into a start-up


Compete against the other teams in the Belgian finals and impress the jury with pitch and sustainable startup


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

Timeline CTC 2020-2021

Keep an eye out on our socials and website for further updates!

1st semester


Wed 28 Oct - Kick-off Event 2020-2021

Interested in innovative start-ups and clean tech solutions? Ready to make your mark in the entrepreneurial world? Look no further, as this year Academics for Technology Leuven – AFT and Academics for Development Leuven – AFD are again jointly organising the Cleantech Challenge Belgium! Come and join us at our online Kick-off on the 28th of October for more information and inspiring stories from our partners as well as insight into the workings of CTC through the stories of previous contestants. ???

Mon 1 Nov - "Ideation: from idea to growth" by Yannick Dillen

Vlerick Business School is a leading international school, consistently ranked amongst the top business schools in Europe. We practice what we teach, with a big dose of pragmatic insight. That’s why we are offering a workshop on ideation, given by Lecturer and Sr researcher Yannick Dillen. Yannick is active in our Masters and MBA programmes as lecturer and start-up coach and is amongst others involved in the Impulse Centre for Growth Management. In this workshop, Yannick will cover the four essential steps of entrepreneurship. From idea to growth.

Thu 12 Nov - AFD & AFT Leuven: "Tackling Innovative Problems"

Not sure yet if your idea is good enough or it’s still too vague? Don’t worry! In this workshop AFD and AFT will support your start-up journey with interesting cases to help solidify your business idea.

Tue 24 Nov - Umicore: "Sustainability in Practice" by Wouter Ghyoot

Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group and a global leader in manufacturing of Li-ion battery materials, automotive catalysts and precious metals recycling. Wouter is heading the sustainability team at the Umicore group and is based in Brussels. Sustainability is at the core of Umicore’s way of doing business and Wouter will explain with practical examples how sustainability is at the heart of business transformation and how it can contribute to create a competitive edge.

Wed 11 dec - Feedback Session 1st semester

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

2nd semester


17/02 - IMEC: "Financial workshop"

03/03 - Feedback session

10/03 - McKinsey & Company: "Pitching with Impact"

How to promote your project to the world? How to convince the jury that your idea is the best? McKinsey & Company will teach us more about some key pitching strategies to present with impact and tips to convince the jury of your startup idea! The workshop will be held at the offices of McKinsey & Company in Brussels..

22/03 - Belgian Finals "The Road to London"

During the finals all teams compete against each other. The teams get a chance to pitch their project to our Dragon’s Den jury. The most promising startup will be rewarded the golden ticket to London. Take a look at our socials for more information!

TBA - Global Finals @ London

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

Aftermovie CleanTech Challenge 2019-2020

For the aftermovie of the Belgian CTC final 19-20 and some testimonials from previous winners, go to Previous Editions!

Our team

The CleanTech challenge Belgium 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 to get students excited about technology and entrepreneurship. As the future will be all about innovation, our goal is to prepare the entrepreneurs of tomorrow through our workshops, events and international trips!
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!
Mathijs Hubrechtsen

Mathijs Hubrechtsen

AFD CleanTech Manager

Valerie Mennes

Valerie Mennes

AFD CleanTech Manager

Thomas Stevens

Thomas Stevens

AFT CleanTech Manager

Michiel De Maeyer

Michiel De Maeyer

AFT CleanTech Manager


Would you like your company here? Drop us a line below!

CONTACT US @ cleantechchallenge@aftleuven.be