U-START - Startup program by Veolia

Veolia Germany initiated the U-START program in order to foster the cooperation with innovative startups in the fields of circular economy, climate protection and resource efficiency, and to reduce the time to enter the market with new concepts for a better world.

Veolia is dedicated to helping your startup grow, by giving you the opportunity to engage directly in a co-innovation partnership with the company. Depending on your individual needs and level of maturity, we provide you different up-scaling opportunities: prototyping, testing facilities for your proof of concept, co-creation projects, access to our distribution channels etc. Since its beginning in 2016, U-START has led 12 cooperation with startups through 7 startup calls.

U-START Call “Stadtwerke reloaded”

Veolia is launching a new startup call with Thüga to digitize municipal utility services in Germany. Apply here from October 8th to November 24th 2019 to benefit from project funding, business coaching and industrial mentoring.


Our eighth U-START campaign is organized in partnership with Thüga, the largest municipal utility service provider in Germany. Together, we are service providers of over 100 municipal utilities (“Stadtwerke”) in Germany and partners of BS Energy, the municipal utility of Brunswick. We are responsible for the management and maintenance of the current city infrastructures and networks (gas, electricity, heat, water) as well as the development and planning of future city infrastructures and grids (IoT, LoRaWAN, local digital networks such as fibre optics, public WLAN, charging infrastructure for e-mobility, energy storing systems and cooling networks and systems).

Our aim is to foster long-term cooperation with innovative startups that develop new digital solutions and business models for municipal energy grids and infrastructures.


For this edition, we are focusing on sustainable ideas in the following key topics:

1. Innovative solutions to develop and maintain digital infrastructures and networks in cities

2. Innovative digital services based on municipal infrastructures as listed above targeting end consumers (B2C) but also organisations (B2B) such as real estate, commerce and manufacturing, city and administration

Who is eligible?

We are looking for entrepreneurs, innovators and companies with a venture at an early stage of its development that can serve as the basis for a viable new business. Entrepreneurs should be full-time on their venture. Participants can commit to relocate key staff to the Veolia office in Berlin or Braunschweig during the program’s duration.

Five good reasons to join the U-START program

#globalplayer: Team up with the world leader in resource efficiency services and the biggest municipal service providers in Germany
#projectfunding: Benefit from up to 100,000 € to test your solution 
#collaboration: Develop your project in a co-creation mode with our experts.
#testing: Test your solution on one of our 100 Stadtwerke (municipal utilities) in Germany.
#scaleup: Deploy your solution on the German market with our commercial teams.
#market: Accelerate access to global market through Veolia network

About the application process:

  • October 7th - November 24th, 2019: Application phase
  • December 2019: Internal evaluation of all applications 
  • Mid-December 2019: First feedback on your application - we will let you know if you are eligible for the next round
  • January 2020: Startup Village - selected applicants present their solutions in front of experts from Veolia, Thüga and BS|Energy in Brunswick.
  • February – March 2020: Second selection round after the Startup Village - in case you get chosen, you will elaborate a concrete joint innovation project with mentors from Veolia, Thüga and BS|Energy.
  • April 2020: Final pitch with top management representatives from Veolia, Thüga and BS|Energy - winners will be announced!

We are looking forward to hearing about your ideas!

If you have any questions regarding this call or the U-START programme in general, feel free to contact us per e-mail: de-ustart@veolia.com.


What is U-START about?


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