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Green Alternatives for European Autonomy


Lighting Europe's Energy Future Through Open Innovation

Apply to the multi-phase “Green Alternatives for European Autonomy” (GAEA) Challenge and receive support to establish your startup with an innovative solution that addresses the European Energy Autonomy.


GAEA (Green Alternatives for European Autonomy) is a comprehensive Open Innovation Program designed for innovators and idea holders eager to develop or refine an innovative concept into a startup. With our entrepreneurial supportive environment, the focus is on nurturing ideas addressing the challenges of European Energy Autonomy across eight countries.



The program consists of eight (8) respective regional innovation competitions by which the best teams will proceed in the interregional competition that will identify the teams that will be supported to establish a startup and commercialize their innovative idea.

Our Objectives:

  • Enhancing entrepreneurial skills
  • Interconnecting regional ecosystems with the pan-European market
  • Fostering innovation and startup generation in the energy sector
  • Hands-on experience in designing and developing “green”, innovative solutions
  • Building a support network for young entrepreneurs


Innovation Areas:


  • Application Phase
    11 March 2023 to 12 May 2024
  • Phase 1: Idea Generation & preparation for the Regional Innovation Competitions
    15 May – 31 May 2024
    Elevate your Skills at Bootcamp Trainings! Embark on an intensive learning journey and get a hands-on learning experience by strengthen your idea and transforming it in a real startup.
  • Phase 1: Regional Innovation Competitions
    12 June to 21 June 2024
    Pitch your ideas to your country's Innovation Competition!
    Join Phase 1 of the program and get prepared for the Regional Innovation Competition that will rank the best teams to proceed to the Interregional Innovation Competition!
  • Phase 2: Incubation
    July - October 2024
    The best five teams by each country proceed to Phase 2 and receive dedicated support before pitching their startup idea to the Interregional Competition.
  • Phase 2: Semi-Final Interregional Innovation Competition
    September 2024
    Pitch your ideas online to the Semi-Final and earn your spot in the finals held on-site in Athens, Greece.
  • Phase 2: Interregional Innovation Competition
    October 2024
    The grand finale where top ideas take the center stage. This is your moment to shine and make a real impact. The best five teams will proceed in Phase 3 to receive support for establishing their startup.
  • Phase 3: Acceleration & Startup Establishment
    November 2024 - September 2025
    The best five teams of the Intrerregional Pitching Competition will proceed in establishing their startup while also developing their Proof-of-Concept (PoC) with a leading industry and making their first sales.
    Dedicated support on go-to-market strategy, business operations and strategy planning, accounting and legal matters as well as networking with investors will be provided to support their first steps as entrepreneurs.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply.

This means whether you have an innovative idea or not and whether you have already a team or not, Phase 1 is open to everybody.

We could define (but not restrict):

  • Individuals from Business, Finance, Marketing, Technology, and Engineering academic sectors studying or recently graduated from any European University
  • Researchers and/or Ph.D. students in any relevant to the Innovation Areas science fields from any European University
  • Other individuals interested in teaming up with the above-mentioned categories

Be quick! The first 10 teams submitting an application can apply for a 300 EUR grant ti aid them in Phase 1!

Learn more about the programme:

Application deadline: 12 May 2024