The RESPOND Accelerator is an international startup accelerator program that systematically advances how entrepreneurs lead, grow, and scale sustainable businesses.

RESPOND supports founders from across the globe to accelerate and scale businesses that help us transition towards a more sustainable, regenerative economy. We center our efforts on leadership development, providing entrepreneurs with the space they need to take a long-term, systemic perspective to building businesses that positively impact planet and people.

RESPOND is designed to equip entrepreneurs with a holistic set of skills that go beyond business and technology development. Entrepreneurs receive structured, highly individualized support to building and scaling businesses, and have access to our global network of experts, investors, entrepreneurs, and corporates. We provide visibility at various global events and leverage our positioning to create momentum for a new way of doing business.

So far, RESPOND has worked with 40 startups from 14 different countries across the globe. We have looked at 6,000+ ventures and received 1,300+ applications over the past four years.

Applications for the RESPOND 2024 cohort closed on December 17, 2023. After thoroughly evaluating all applications, finalists will be announced in March 2024. Please refer to below to learn more about the program, our selection criteria and process, and useful tips to know before you apply.

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For 2024, we’ve defined three Areas of Actions to accelerate the transformation of our economic system.

Throughout the RESPOND Accelerator program – starting with the startup scouting and selection, all the way to the delivery of our journeys and sessions – we will align our efforts with the Areas of Action to make sure we focus on the most important levers for change:

We’ve hit the limits of planet earth.

We’re looking for creative, tech-based innovations that support a move to a more regenerative (eco)systems approach. These can be, for example, solutions to work with and leverage nature to mitigate climate change impacts and help ecosystems to adapt and regenerate. We see huge potential in emerging technologies that apply nature-based solutions to capture and sequester carbon, reduce pollution, restore habitats, and promote biodiversity.

The industry logic of take-make-waste is failing us.

We’re looking for solutions that encourage fair and sustainable production and consumption patterns—whether by introducing sustainable energy solutions, extending the lifecycle of products, reconfiguring supply chains, or through other innovative approaches. Founders can contribute to this in several ways: from promoting transparent supply chains to implementing circular resource flows to designing sustainable processes and materials.

We need innovation for a system in transformation.

Innovative answers to our systemic crisis can help us rewire business and finance, redesign processes and governance models, and fundamentally align economic activity with planetary and social well-being. From decentralization, web3 and A.I to community-driven ecosystems and democratic participation, we’re on the lookout for technological answers to systemic problems.