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The Road to UAE

Are you a climate entrepreneur? New Energy Nexus and COP28 have teamed up to bring you a one-of-a-kind climate tech program leading up to COP28, the global climate summit this year hosted in Dubai.

The program is designed to accelerate early stage climate startups and small businesses with a focus on those from the Global South. Our mission is to:

  • support the growth of your startup
  • increase financing and commercial partnerships
  • support expansion in new geographies.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis.

What’s in it for my startup



  • 5-week online accelerator designed to boost your soft skills, validate your business model and help you access creative capital
  • Access ‘Ask Me Anything’ Office Hours
  • Access Speaker Series with leading climate organizations, investors, partners and startups


  • Curated COP28 Startup Guide for exclusive events
  • Access to NEX Slack network of funders, investors and startups
  • Subscription to NEX monthly newsletter for monthly funding and program opportunities
connecting innovation ecosystems


  • Access to UAE partners on-site at COP28
  • Opportunity to participate on the Tech-Stage in the Technology and Innovation Hub (T&I Hub)
  • Opportunity to access reserved Startup Village kiosks at COP28 (limited, first come first serve)

Who should apply

Who should apply

  • Early stage climate startups and businesses building innovations in the following COP28 Presidential Action Areas: Renewable Energy I Energy Storage I Energy Efficiency I Built Environment I Carbon Capture I Transportation and Mobility I Climate Finance & Architecture I Food I Agtech and Water
  • Entrepreneurs with a strong desire to build their company into a successful and sustainable business and connect and learn from startups from around the world with a similar mission
  • Pre-Series A companies that have developed a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP)




Selection criteria


Applicants should clearly lay out their product, value proposition, business model and why they are interested in joining the program.

Market Potential

Differentiates from existing solutions and has both economic, social and environmental benefits.

Problem Statement

Ideal candidates should have a clear problem statement and have clarity on what challenge is being addressed.

Business Model

Business plan and model is based on credible and real life assumptions.


The team should be diverse in skillset, perspectives and abilities.


cop28 timeline & map

Upcoming events

Discover our Impact

Members of Langala Pe Lony, a Village Loan Saving Association supported by New Energy Nexus in Nwoya, Uganda.

New Energy Nexus is the world’s leading clean energy ecosystem builder. We provide funding, accelerators, and training to help diverse entrepreneurs build a 100% clean energy future, from emerging tech through to clean energy adoption and distribution.

The regions and sectors we operate and partner in are strategically selected based on a number of factors, including: our potential and unique impact, current and projected energy use, rates of energy access, and the opportunity for us to grow an inclusive and diverse clean energy startup ecosystem.

New Energy Nexus team

COP28 team



How many startups will be selected for the accelerator program?

100 startups in total will be selected for the accelerator program.

What does the ‘Global South’ imply?

We will accept merit based applications from startups that are based in or significantly operating in Global South countries.

See which countries form part of the Global South.

How many kiosks are available for startups at the Startup Village in the Green Zone?

There are 4 kiosks reserved for startups that join our accelerator program. These very competitive spaces and costs for this will have to be borne by the startup.

Who will judge the applicants and select finalists?

New Energy Nexus and the COP28 organizing team will be reviewing the applications and selecting the participants. New Energy Nexus will facilitate the process and conduct an initial due diligence check.

What if my question is still not answered in the FAQ?

If your question cannot be found in the FAQ, please contact Andrew Chang via email:  andrew.chang@newenergynexus.com. We will reply as soon as possible.

When should I be expected to find out if I am a finalist?

We will notify you by email if you have made it to the interview round.

Can I still apply if I don’t have a working prototype?

Yes, your application will still be accepted, however, it is preferred that you have a validated concept and a working prototype. Please be sure to describe where you are in the process towards developing a working prototype and what associated challenges you are facing.

I am a later stage company. Can I still apply?

Yes. We encourage all companies or teams who see value in participating in Cop28. Please highlight why you are applying even though you may not be one of the targeted groups of startups.

Will we be signing NDA?

We will not be signing an NDA for this program as we are not requiring startups to reveal specific intellectual property details to be accepted into the program.

Please see the full terms and conditions here.

Is a video interview necessary during the selection process?

Yes. Once the application window closes, we will shortlist and contact the applicants to arrange a video interview. Interviews for this program will be conducted virtually.

Where can I see the full terms and conditions?