Building industry leader Holcim, along with cutting-edge corporate partners — Acciona, Amazon, BloombergNEF, Cambridge Cleantech, EU Business School, Mott MacDonald, and Suez — bring you Season 4 of the Holcim MAQER Ventures Accelerator.

This year’s theme, Circular Construction, is all about igniting a circular revolution in the industry. Holcim invites ambitious startups from every corner of the globe to apply and stand a chance to scale their innovative solutions.

Explore the Holcim MAQER Ventures Accelerator: Season 4

This transformative six-month acceleration program is designed to fuel innovation in the construction sector, with valuable technical and market insights from Holcim and top-tier corporate partners. Holcim seeks applications from aspiring startups worldwide driving circularity within the construction industry.

The first part of the program involves the application submission and selection processes. You can find more information about these on the website. Once selected, the startups will go through the following phases of the accelerator program:

Onboarding & Sprint Days

During the onboarding sessions and sprint days, all corporate partners will be virtually taking part, grouping several challenges from similar time zones across the globe. You will actively create/finalize your accelerator roadmap.

The selected startups will get together with the corporate partners to refine the action plan for the six-month program to address specific challenges. At the end of the sprint days, startups & corporate partners are expected to deliver a description of the action plan including a timeline and a 10-minute pitch via a slide presentation.

The Six-month Accelerator Program

The selected startups will be developing their solution during these six months together with their corporate partners. Depending on each challenge, there will be external mentors available, as well as relevant resources and follow-up meetings/online events.

At the end of the accelerator program, startups are expected to deliver their PoCs or pilot tests, a detailed study of business cases, and a 10-minute pitch via a slide presentation.

Final Demo Days

The selected startups will finally pitch their solutions and showcase a demo of an MVP in front of the different stakeholders — sometime in January 2025. This will be a two-day onsite event at Holcim’s Innovation Center in Lyon, France.

Click here to submit your application.

Season 4 of the Holcim MAQER Ventures Accelerator focuses on Four Circular Construction Themes

The accelerator program invites applications from any startup that can devise new solutions or adapt their existing ones to address the theme of circular construction. This year, the four main challenge areas are as follows:

Construction Waste Integration Challenge:

This challenge aims to address key aspects of construction waste management. Each of these points contributes to the goal of creating a more sustainable and circular approach to construction waste.

  • Market and Supply Chain Development: Proposals should create systems that enhance the traceability and reliability of waste flows.
  • Quality Improvement of Construction Waste Streams: Solutions should optimize the separation and classification of materials to ensure that the waste stream is of the highest quality.
  • Processing Parameters Optimization: This includes identifying ideal ratios, innovative mixing techniques, and implementing quality control measures to achieve a sustainable blend with new materials and robustness of the mixes.
  • Exploration of Alternative Uses: Creative solutions may involve repurposing methods, innovative construction materials, or applications that contribute to a circular economy.

Low Carbon Concrete Challenge

This challenge invites startups to pioneer groundbreaking solutions in the realm of concrete production by focusing on the identification, utilization, and integration of new by-products and sustainable supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs).

  • Identifying and Using New By-Products as SCMs: Identify environmentally friendly alternatives that contribute to the circular economy and reduce the reliance on traditional raw materials.
  • Developing Markets and Supply Chains for Industrial By-Products: Solutions should enhance traceability, reliability, and sustainability in the supply chain.
  • Increasing Proportion of Waste-Based SCMs in Concrete: Proposals should focus on optimizing the performance and characteristics of waste-based materials to meet or exceed industry standards while maximizing their waste reduction potential.
  • New Mix-Design Enhancing the Use of Biochar in Concrete: Biochar, a sustainable and carbon-negative material, holds potential benefits for concrete properties, and participants are tasked with exploring and optimizing its integration.

Cement Recycling Challenge

This challenge invites startups to reimagine the cement industry by focusing on two critical aspects: developing processes to recover cement from waste concrete and changing the composition of cement to enhance recyclability.

  • Developing Processes for Cement Recovery from Waste Concrete: Proposals should outline methods for the extraction, purification, and reintroduction of cement from discarded concrete structures.
  • Changing Composition for Improved Recyclability: Proposals should identify alternative materials or adjust existing formulations to make cement more compatible with recycling processes.

Construction of Tomorrow Challenge

This challenge invites startups to explore advanced sensors, data analysis, and predictive models to accurately evaluate essential aspects of concrete, optimize its usage, reduce the need for additional repairs or reinforcement, minimize the water footprint, and enhance sustainability through innovative applications.

  • Advanced Sensors, Data Analysis, and Predictive Models: The goal is to accurately evaluate crucial aspects of concrete, including structural integrity, durability, and performance over time, to feed the predictive models to optimize maintenance costs of infrastructure.
  • Optimizing Concrete Usage and Reducing Repair Needs: The goal is to improve strategies and technologies for optimizing concrete usage, reducing repair needs, and extending structural lifespan.
  • Reducing the Water Footprint: Proposals that contribute to sustainable water management in concrete-related processes.
  • Lightening Structures with Biochar in Vegetalized Applications: Explore the benefits of integrating biochar into construction systems to enhance structural properties while promoting sustainable, vegetalized urban environments.
  • Improving Traceability in Demolition Processes: Proposals for better technologies, protocols, or systems that enable efficient tracking and documentation of materials for responsible waste management and recycling practices.

Why join Holcim MAQUER Ventures Accelerator Season 4?

The selected companies will have the opportunity to scale up internationally with the support of Holcim or other corporate partners. Some of the key benefits for selected companies include:

  • Opportunity to address the challenge of circular construction and create high-impact solutions.
  • Gain valuable real-world insights from top players in the industry, enhancing your understanding of current trends and best practices.
  • Network with experts and other stakeholders from the construction industry.
  • Present your solution to important industry stakeholders and receive high visibility within the industry
  • Implement your solution and collaborate with one or more corporate partners: Holcim, Amazon, Acciona, Bloomberg NEF, Cambridge Cleantech, EU Business School, Mott MacDonald, and Suez.

Key Dates & Program Timeline

The deadline to submit your application is on the 30th of April 2024. Following an evaluation period, the rest of the schedule includes:

  • Pre-Selection: up to 15th May 2024
  • Final Selection: up to 31st May 2024
  • Onboarding & Sprint Days: up to 15th June 2024
  • Accelerator Program: Six months from 16th June 2024 to 15th December 2024
  • Final Demo Days: January 2025

The Holcim MAQER Ventures Accelerator Boasts a Strong Track Record

Now in its 4th edition, the Holcim MAQER Accelerator has successfully accelerated 31 startups from its first 3 editions. See what alumni companies of the accelerator have to say about their experiences.

Romuald Vigier, CEO of Modulatio, France, says, “The season of the accelerator was both a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of our technology and to establish first-rate professional and human contacts. Having been selected to participate, then having won, put our startup in the spotlight and greatly contributed to improve our credibility among many stakeholders.”

Vivian Tam, CEO of CO2 Concrete, Australia, says, “CO2 Concrete has gained invaluable experience under the Holcim Accelerator Program S3, not only from the technical perspective, but also the crucial criteria for business and commercialisation.”

Matthias Leschok from SAEKI Robotics, Switzerland, says, “Our journey with Holcim accelerator has been transformative, uniquely positioning us at the forefront of innovation in the construction industry. The program’s access to diverse markets, top-tier mentoring from industry leaders, and opportunities for co-creation and pilot testing have been instrumental in our growth. We wholeheartedly recommend Holcim accelerator for its ability to blend entrepreneurial, business, and technical expertise, fostering significant advancements in our product development.”

Learn more about this unique construction industry program and send in your application today!




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