How It Works

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First Phase of Acceleration Preparing For Growth

Each applicant is shepherded through this phase by one volunteer assessor (assigned as ‘champion’ to the applying entrepreneur), with the task to prepare the applicant for the presentation to the steering committee at the engagement gate. Two different levels of commitment by the Greenhouse are distinguished in this phase:

Commitment Level I – limited to evaluating the current state of the startup, no effort required to further build out a business model because the entrepreneur is already prepared to do so; a fast-track validation through about three industry meetings

Commitment Level II – evaluating and validating current state of startup as in level I, but then extending our help to improve/develop the business model (using the ‘canvas’ framework) for those early-stage startups that need help with it. This may require the assistance of an advisory team rather than one assessor alone

Second Phase of AccelerationBuilding For Endurance

Each applicant is matched with a lead accompagneur and one or two additional advisors, forming an advisory team that accompanies the entrepreneur to graduation from the program.  This matching process is done in mutual agreement between the entrepreneur and the Greenhouse.

Commitment Level III – advisory team works with startup over a period of up to three years, meeting monthly; complemented by “floating” expert advisors as needed;  seed loan may be made available


Key evaluation criteria for acceptance into the core of the program:

  • Viability of business model, potential for success
  • Financials detailed enough to demonstrate viability of project
  • Plausible path forward over next three years
  • Definition of milestones to measure success
  • Ability of management team to execute the plan
  • Committed management
  • Coachability of the entrepreneur and management team
  • Number of green jobs to be created
  • Sustainability innovations and degree to which sustainability has been/will be incorporated into products, services and business practices
  • Triple bottom line impacts – financial, social, environmental
  • Ability of Greenhouse to help with formulation and execution of the plan

Specifically not expected

  • A full-fledged business plan
  • A fully validated business model
  • Functioning products
  • Customers and sales
  • Detailed financials with return calculations
  • An exit plan

Third Phase of AccelerationGrow And Share

Meant for companies who have left the core of the program but want to continue to benefit from the Greenhouse’s pool of advisors.

Open also for cleantech companies who are established but seek occasional advice.

This phase of acceleration is offered for a fee.