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 help your startup growing, 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.

Circular Call 2019

Go Circular! The excellent results of the three previous U-START calls have paved the way for launching the next call on circular economy together with EIT RawMaterials. Startups can apply here from April 1st to May 31st 2019.

Our seventh U-START campaign is organized in partnership with EIT RawMaterials, the largest and strongest consortium in the raw materials sector worldwide. Together, we aim at developping cooperation with early stage startups with sustainable business ideas in circular economy.

Since 2016, U-START has led 12 cooperation with startups, 7 startup calls with up to 5 startups accepted per call.
For this edition, we are focusing on sustainable ideas in the following key topics:

  1. Innovative recycling concepts for electronic waste (PCB, Li-ion batteries etc.)
  2. Alternative upcycling valorisation routes for secondary products (Recycled paper, glass fibre composites, recycled carbon fibres etc.)
  3. New technologies for sorting and recycling composite materials (Mixed plastic products and metal-plastic composites)

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 startup camp in Berlin during the program’s duration.

Five good reasons to join the U-START program

#globalplayer: Team up with the world leader in energy and resource efficiency services for municipalities & industries.

#seedfunding: 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 > 200 industrial sites 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:

  • April 1st to May 31st: Application period
  • June 3rd - June 14th: Internal evaluation phase of all applications
  • Last week of June: First feedback on your application - we will let you know if you are eligible for the next round
  • Beginning of September: Veolia Startup Village in Hamburg - where selected applicants will pitch their ideas in front of Veolia experts (about ten startups are invited)
  • After the Startup Village: In case you get chosen (second selection round), you will elaborate a concrete joint innovation project with mentors from Veolia and EIT RawMaterials
  • Around the end of October 2019: Final pitch in front of top managers from Veolia and EIT RawMaterials - 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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