Become a Judge

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Volunteer to Judge

Typical judges are investment specialists, academics, researchers, business and venture professionals, environmental experts and legal professionals. The judging teams are local experts to pick the best start-ups who will progress throughout the Accelerator programme stages on to the national finals.

The selection process consists of round 1 and round 2 judging stages. Each round requires a new set of judges in one programme cycle.

  1. Round 1 Judging – Judging the Applications 

The objective of the first round of judging is to select the companies that will participate in this year’s GCIP’s programmes. Those companies you select will progress to the Academy as participants. At application stage, the Participants are not expected to look like a company that’s already completed the GCIP’s mentoring and training programmes.

  1. Mock Judges 

Mock Judging is held prior to the final presentations to expert judges. Mentors and other experts are invited to watch the semi-finalists’ practice pitches. The purpose of these sessions is to provide companies with comments and feedback that will help them focus on final updates to their messages and pitches prior to final evaluations. Mock judging is a practice run for the round 2 judging event. As a mock judge, any scores you provide will not count in any way toward any team’s score – but the feedback you provide will be key to their progress.

  1. Round 2 Judging – Participant Judging

The headline objective of the second round of judging is to select the companies that will progress from semi-final to finalist. The role as a judge is primarily to review the material the teams have created as part of this process, and ends when you provide an expert feedback and give precise recommendations on what the teams should do to improve their chances of success.

In second round, we are now looking for the participating companies to have made significant progress in identifying their first customer(s), understanding precisely how they will sell to them, validating their technology, building at least the kernel of a credible company, and polishing their presentation skills.

To volunteer as a Judge:

The main knowledge partner of the GCIP globally is the U.S. based Cleantech Open (CTO) who run the world’s largest cleantech business accelerator. CTO provides the online infrastructure to manage the participant, mentor and judge’s application process for the GCIP-SA.

Prospective participants, mentors and judges need to register in order to access the CTO system.

*Please note, there is NO APPLICATION FEE that applies to the South African Accelerator