This paper studies the Front End of Eco-Innovation (FEEL), the initial phase of the eco-innovation process. Incorporating environmental concerns at the front-end of innovation is important, as product parameters are still flexible. This paper investigates the FEEL for 42 small and medium sized eco-innovators in the Netherlands by using a survey. The results show that SMEs embrace informal, systematic, and open innovation approaches at the FEEI. Teams appear to be multidisciplinary, and creativity and environmental knowledge are essential. Experimentation played a significant role at the FEEI. The paper concludes with recommendations for future research and implications for managers.