Submit your application to be considered for a place in the Clean Air Accelerator
The world's first startup accelerator focused on clean air technologies to prevent spread of COVID-19 and other airborne diseases
In the 19th century, cholera was eradicated by removing deadly bacteria from water supplies. Today we wouldn't dream of drinking water that's contaminated by human faeces. Yet we still breathe air that could contain deadly viruses when we share indoor spaces such as offices, shops and schools.
The pandemic has shown us that the world needs to bring in a new paradigm of clean indoor air to combat COVID and other airborne diseases.
We believe that in the future it will be unthinkable for people to breathe air contaminated by pathogens. Breathing clean air will be considered an essential human right in the same way as we expect to drink clean, safe water.
We are already in the early stages of a global clean air revolution, with a growing number of countries introducing new standards for clean indoor air. However, widespread impact will require a range of new and improved technologies as well as better uptake of existing products and services.
The Clean Air Accelerator is a not-for-profit startup accelerator that will support the development and implementation of technologies that can provide clean air to the world.
Our first cohort will start in July 2023. Ten startups will be selected to receive mentoring and guidance from experienced startup founders and investors, and deep domain input from some of the world's leading scientific and industry experts.
The accelerator will support teams working on high-impact solutions in the following areas:
CO2 monitoring, real-time detection / visualisation of virus particles, air quality displays.
Domestic, commercial and specialised HEPA filters, kits and DIY systems. High CADR, low noise.
Improved domestic and commercial HVAC systems to reduce risk from airborne viruses inside buildings.
Domestic and commercial systems for sterilisation and inactivation of airborne viruses.
P2 / N9x respirators, elastomerics, new mask materials, more breathable masks, affordable PAPRs, masks that look good and will be worn by more people.
Online tools to visualise air quality, provide alerts, display air quality of venues.
Tools for building owners and operators to achieve and maintain indoor air quality.
Projects / education campaigns / documentaries that inform people about airborne virus transmission and the importance of safe indoor air.
If you're working on something that doesn't fit any of the other themes, but could be a game-changer, we'd like to hear about it.
The Clear Air Accelerator not a traditional startup accelerator. Given the diversity of groups working on clean air solutions, and the urgency of addressing indoor air, the accelerator is open to a wide range of applicants - including startups, scale-ups, researchers, engineers, clinicians and corporate innovation teams.
Preference will be given to teams that can move fast and will benefit most from taking part in the program.
We are agnostic as to whether applicants are for-profit or not-for-profit, proprietary or open-source, as long as you can show a path to becoming self-sustaining and having near-term global impact.
Idea stage, prototype, MPV, early product release.
Product in market, ready to scale or add new product lines.
Teams with deep domain knowledge, developing new technology. Potential for near-term commercial application.
Projects that sit within a large company but can be run like a startup.
The Clean Air Accelerator is delivered entirely online and available to teams anywhere in the world.
We'll soon be releasing details of our real-time masterclasses with the aim of fitting with as many time zones as possible.
Workshops led by experienced startup coaches and clean air domain experts to provide the best possible guidance and insights.
Regular one-on-one sessions with experienced startup mentors to help you develop your commercial plans.
Individual input and advice from leading experts on air quality, matched to each startup.
Online startup course to ensure you follow startup best practice and avoiding mistakes that cause many startups to fail.
Leverage the accelerator's global network to tap into a wider group of experts, investors, partners and customers.
End-of program event to pitch solutions to an online audience of investors, customers, policy-makers and industry leaders.
Indicative program dates below. Final dates to be advised shortly.
Submit your application to be considered for a place in the Clean Air Accelerator
Applications will be assessed by a panel of judges drawn from the program mentors
We'll let you know if your application has been successful
All teams take part in weekly masterclasses, mentoring and group discussions
All teams to have prepared a pitch deck, customer pack, media pack and launch / growth plan
All teams to pitch to an audience of investors, customers and policy-makers
The Accelerator will continue to work with all teams in a lower-intensity mode to ensure they keep making progress
The Clean Air Accelerator is supported by a group of experienced startup mentors and some of the world's leading experts on clean air. This combination of skill sets provides founders of clean air startups invaluable guidance as they take their companies global.
We're expanding our mentor and advisor group. Contact us if you'd like to be involved.
Applications will open in Q2 2023. Submit an expression of interest now to be notified as soon as the program is open. Your EOI will also help us to refine the structure of the program and select mentors and domain experts that will add maximum value to startups selected for the program.
We are looking for:
COVID is an airborne virus. It is transmitted primarily by aerosols, which are microscopic particles produced by breathing. When a person with COVID exhales, they expel aerosol particles containing the virus into the air. Anyone who inhales these virus-laden particles can potentially become infected.
Aerosols can travel long distances and can remain suspended in the air for hours in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, similar to cigarette smoke. A person can be infected by breathing in virus particles regardless of how far away they are from the infected person, and even if the infected person is no longer in the room.
Breathing clean air is going to be a major part of the long-term solution to the COVID pandemic, and to preventing spread of other airborne diseases. It will also address other common indoor air pollutants such as particulates, VOCs and mould.
Just as cholera was eradicated in the 19th century by ensuring people had clean water to drink, the world now needs to bring in a new paradigm of clean air to combat airborne diseases.
No single change will fix indoor air. A reduction in the spread of airborne diseases will require a multi-layered approach that includes ventilation, filtration, sterilisation, monitoring, masks and education campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of safe air to breathe in all indoor environments.
This article in The Atlantic and this paper in Science do a great job of explaining the importance of clean air to the future of human health. These reports by the Lancet COVID-19 Commission's Safe Work, Safe School and Safe Travel Task Force highlight some of the latest developments and recommendations for improving air quality.
COVID is without doubt the biggest public health challenge of our lifetimes. Since late 2019 it has killed more than 20 million people worldwide and left millions more with chronic disease, including an estimated 65 million people with Long COVID.
COVID is not a cold or flu. It is a long-term multi-system disease which affects the entire body.
Over the last three years scientists have made a number of concerning discoveries about COVID. A COVID infection can cause damage to organs including the lungs, heart, brain, liver and kidneys. COVID increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes. It has also been found to cause noticeable cognitive impairment. These increased risks are found even in healthy people, and even with a mild or asymptomatic infection.
Scientists also now know that a COVID infection gives very little protection against re-infection, and the risk of more serious outcomes increases with multiple infections. Each re-infection further harms the immune system and increases the risk of serious outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and brain damage, and increases susceptibility to other diseases.
This article summarises what we currently know about the short- and long-term health impacts of COVID.
The only way to avoid the short-term and long-term harm from COVID is to reduce transmission.
The first cohort will get underway in July 2023. Sign up to the newsletter so we can keep you updated on timing.
Three months intensive support followed by a further three months of continued light-touch support.
To apply you'll need to complete a short online application form by the closing date. You'll be asked to tell us about your startup or project, why it could have a significant impact on clean air, and why you are the right person or team to make it happen. We'll also ask you to upload a two-minute video in which you tell us why you should be selected.
Applications will be assessed by the program team and successful applicants will be notified by email.
We are currently accepting Expressions Of Interest. By submitting an EOI now you will be notified as soon as the program is open. Your EOI will also help us to refine the structure of the program and select mentors and domain experts who will add maximum value to the startups selected for the program.
All teams in the Accelerator will take part in weekly masterclasses and group discussions (delivered via Zoom), individual mentoring from experienced startup coaches (also via Zoom), input from domain experts relevant to their field, and help in securing customers, partners and investors.
At the end of the program you'll pitch to an audience of investors, customers and policy-makers as part of an online showcase event.
Following the three month program you'll be able to continue tapping into the Accelerator's mentor group on a lower-intensity mode for a further three months.
No. The Clean Air Accelerator is a not-for-profit initiative and does not take an equity stake in any of the companies accepted into the program.
We are working with partners to secure funding for the most promising teams. Funding will be awarded to the teams that have made the most progress in the program and that have the greatest potential for impact on clean air globally.
We hope to be able to announce something exciting very soon!
The Clean Air Accelerator was founded by Colin Kinner, an experienced startup coach and mentor from Australia who also has a strong commitment to addressing COVID via improving indoor air. Read Colin's posts about COVID.
The accelerator is supported by a world-class group of startup mentors who have themselves been successful entrepreneurs and investors, and by a group of industry and scientific advisors with deep domain expertise across the Clean Air Accelerator's nine themes.
All information you provide in your EOI or application will be treated as strictly confidential. Each of our mentors and advisors is required to sign a confidentiality agreement and to declare any potential conflicts of interest.
We will notify successful applicants in June 2023.
The Accelerator is delivered entirely online using a combination of Zoom (for masterclasses, group discussions and individual mentoring) and our learning management system for the online course content.
The learning component of the Accelerator is based on Startup Onramp's Founders Course - a high quality online course covering essential startup concepts and featuring deep dives with a diverse group of successful founders, investors and subject matter experts. The course has now been taken by over 1,000 founders from around the world.
The Accelerator is open to individuals or teams of up to four co-founders.
No, as long as you can join the masterclasses via Zoom. We'll be releasing times shortly and aiming to make these sessions time-zone friendly for as many regions as possible.
Get in touch via email or Twitter, or fill in the enquiry form