The TCBL 2017 Call for Startups is actively looking for innovators interested in the entrepreneurial discovery of opportunities and markets triggered by the transformation of the T&C sector. TCBL believes that start-ups are an essential part of an innovative ecosystem and, for this reason, it has first identified clear market needs through the activity of its Labs and Business Cases. These needs are published on the ARCA Consortium’s Wave platform, which allows candidates to share ideas and develop proposals together with the innovation community.

If you or your team develop a sufficiently attractive business concept based on these or other needs related to design, production, and distribution in the T&C sector, the TCBL Project invites you to submit your proposals following the procedure for Expressions of Interest described below. Applications can be submitted by any interested party, including post-graduate students, PhD students, young researchers, those in a research role in industry, makers, or anyone with an innovative idea in the fields of design, textile production, fashion distribution, clothing production, logistics and any other aspects of textile and clothing industry to be developed though the launch of a start up company.

The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest for the 2017 Call for Startups is May 12th, 2017. The TCBL evaluation team will then select 36 proposals for the second phase, which will further develop your business models together with the support of the TCBL mentors and innovation community. The final selection will identify a maximum of 7 Startups to fully develop their business concepts towards market launch, using the services and facilities of the TCBL Startup Partners.

So if you believe you have a good idea for a new business targeting T&C innovation, don't think twice. Get on board!

Market Needs in TCBL

The TCBL Labs and Business Cases have identified some precise needs for new products and services in the course of their interactions with T&C Associate Enterprises.

These innovation needs are being published on the ARCA Consortium's Wave open innovation platform, in a special section dedicated to developing TCBL related business concepts.

Innovators interested in applying for the Startups call are invited to consult this section (you'll need to register or Log in with TCBL) and get inspiration. Some of the ideas published to date include:

The Wave platform has also published the TCBL Business Cases as Projects, in order to attract ideas from other innovation communities.

Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions below carefully before you enter the Competition. By submitting an entry, you accept these Terms and Conditions and agree to comply with them.



Who can enter the Competition: Post-graduate students, PhD students, young researchers, those in a research role in industry, makers, or anyone with an innovative idea in the fields of design, textile production, textile innovation, fashion distribution, clothing production, logistic and any other aspects of textile and clothing industry to be developed through a start up company.

Ideas should comply with the TCBL community values and seven Principles as illustrated here.

Submitting an entry

We recommend you first sign up to the TCBL website, if you are not a member of the TCBL community, sign up by clicking here,

Then send a mail to: and you will receive the application form. In order to submit an idea, you will be asked to fill in all the mandatory fields and answer all questions in the form.

Submission for entries starts the 26th April 2017. Submission deadline is midnight of 12th May, 2017.

Please note that we are not responsible for computer, network or any other reasons that may lead to lost, damaged or late entries.

Entries must be submitted in English.

What happens next – timeline

After initial entries have been submitted, the Competition will be run in accordance with the following indicative timeline. We reserve the right to change any of the timeframes indicated here below, with due notice through the project website and its weekly email newsletters.

Evaluation of applications will follow a rigorous peer review process, which will involve teams of 3 reviewers each, with each reviewer belonging to a different TCBL partner organization.

The selection will be based primarily on the innovativeness, potential impact, market and technological readiness (TRL) of the proposed idea. Maturity of the technology to be used, market traction, lack of barriers will be assessed, but also the coherence of the business strategy with TCBL set of principles.

The evaluation procedures will be managed under the responsibility of the TCBL project consortium, in compliance with principles of openness, fairness, and transparency.

Whenever we need to contact you in connection with the Competition, we will use the contact information provided by you in the application form. We are not responsible for incomplete or incorrect contact information provided. Decisions, made by the Selection Team, are final. No correspondence will be entered into. The composition of the jury may vary.

Selecting the winners

The Selection Team will decide which entry best meets the assessment criteria, as set out on the Competition Website. In the first step a maximum of 36 ideas will be selected with respect to textile production, textile innovation, fashion distribution, clothing production, logistics and any other aspects of textile and clothing industry to be developed though a start up company.

These most promising start up ideas, will be contacted and  assigned to facilitators that will remotely assist the teams by informing and coaching, in order to improve, reinforce and give substance to their innovative projects.

In the second step a maximum of 7 start up ideas will be selected among the pre-selected ones. The selection will take place through a validation by the Selection Team of the business ideas by quality of the value preposition, maturity of the technology, market traction and entrepreneurial attitude of the team.

The ideas not selected will be published on the open innovation platform WAVE and promoted within TCBL community to be matched with potential solution seekers.

If you're a winner...

Selected innovators will:

  • Receive the TCBL start up package: 12 months attendance at local TCBL Lab with technical and commercial assistance and coaching.
  • Participate free of charge in the TCBL ecosystem, joining an international business community of innovating enterprises.
  • Become part of a closed user group that will test innovative value chains and approaches for the revitalisation of the T&C sector.
  • Work together with TCBL business Associates to co-design innovation services best fit for business.
  • Residences or study visits at TCBL Labs (with reimbursement of travel expenses) .

Successful applicants will be invited to participate in the second annual TCBL Conference, taking place in Athens in June 2017. Three exemplary winners will be identified by the Conference organizing committee as invited speakers (with reimbursement of travel expenses) for one of the Conference workshop sessions.

Intellectual property rights, information and publicity

You confirm by entering the competition that you own all Intellectual Property Rights (“IPRs”) subsisting in your entry to the Competition and that your entry does not infringe any third party’s IPRs. You are responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions from third parties to use their IPRs in your submission. We reserve the right to disclose your identity to any third party claiming material posted or uploaded by you to the Competition Website constitutes a violation of their IPRs, or their confidentiality/privacy rights. We reserve the right to ask for additional evidence or documents to validate that all information you supply is true and complete.

Subject to the terms of this clause 7, we recognize your ownership of the IPRs subsisting in your entry to the Competition.

Changes and Competition cancellation

We may cancel the Competition or vary these Terms and Conditions at any time at our discretion. We will post any changes to these Terms and Conditions on the Competition Website.

We also reserve the right:

  • to suspend the Competition at any time
  • to change the form and substance, dates for deadlines and events, locations or specification of the Competition and/or Prize
  • not to award the Prize.

Personal Data

Unless stated otherwise, information (including personal information) submitted in any entry will be used by TCBL Consortium, and our Partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

By submitting your entry to the Competition, you give us permission to use the information provided by you in your entry and during your participation in the Competition, including your personal details, for the purposes of administering and judging the Competition, for any purpose connected to the Competition and in accordance with you for promotional purposes. We may share this information with our jury members, our project partners and other members of the TCBL community.


If you have any further questions about the operation of the Competition, please contact us at:


Call Opens:


Submissions of applications Closes:


Identification of most promising business ideas and second step starts:


Communication of outcomes of the evaluation