What is CleanTech?

“Technology is not the goal, it is the way toward sustainable global prosperity.” CTC organizing team

The Cleantech Challenge is a worldwide competition in which teams of (ex)students develop a business plan  around  sustainable  development,  aiming  at  the  price  of  £10,000  in  the  London  finals  at  the London Business School. The organizations AFD (Academics for Development) and AFT (Academics for Technology) from Leuven, are responsible for the selection of the Belgian team. Only one team will be selected to participate in the London finals.

Our goal is to provide students with practical experience through the development of their own sustainable project, in addition to the theoretical knowledge they’ve acquired at the university. Coming  up  with  good  and  creative  ideas  that  have  potential  is  one  thing, putting  it  into  practice  is another. In this concept, AFD and AFT want to guide these students by organizing four workshops on the following subjects: (1) business plan modeling, (2) technical feasibility, (3) financial resources and (4) pitching strategies.

In  the  first  semester  there  will  be  two  workshops planned: business  plan  modeling and  technical feasibility. In  the second semester, the participants will learn more about how to aquire financial resources and learn more about pitching strategies. These are followed by the Belgian finals in march. Here the best team, with the most promising idea and best developed business plan, will be selected to participate in the London finals.The winner goes home with the prize of £ 10,000.

AFT and AFD are looking for motivated students who want to learn how it’s like to develop, together with us, their own idea. On their way to the finals, they will be coached with different workshops and feedback. It is therefore not only a competition, but also a very instructive and practical experience for both bachelor’s and master’s programs. Students from business schools and other post-master programs are also more than welcome. The only requirement is that the idea is sustainable and can contribute to the creation of a ‘better world’. Either  by Internet  of  Things,  or  by  making  car batteries more efficient, purifying water better, et cetera. The ideas can go into a lot of directions, let the creativity do its work! We are already very curious!

For more information, be sure to check our info-event  that is scheduled on the 1st of October. The Kick-Off event, where you can look for teammembers if you do not have a team yet, or where you can just have a chat with other students with an entrepreneurial mindset, will take place at the Radiohuis in Leuven on the 5th of November.

Previous Winners

Here are some previous winners, who illustrate the many facets of CleanTech nicely and talk about their experience with the competition.


1st place CTC 2019 Belgium
Developing a platform to digitize receipts


1st place CTC 2018 Belgium

Building furniture with recycled plastic building blocks


1st place CTC 2017 Belgium


1st place CTC 2015 London

Develop fertilization maps for farmers to predict the optimal quantity of nitrogen to use given the position in the field with the use of drones


New startup: Turbulent (since 2015)

1st place CTC 2014 Belgium
2nd place CTC 2014 London

SubC: Anchor that can actively dig itself in the sand using a hydraulic system.

Turbulent Hydro: Off-grid electricity generation through efficient hydroplants with vortex turbines.


2nd place CTC 2013 Belgium


1st place CTC 2012 Belgium
2nd place CTC 2012 London

Now it’s up to you. Look around you. Look at what you know. There’s a way to do it better. Find it!

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