DWNRW Hubs: the growth accelerators for digital start-ups

North Rhine-Westphalia wants to create even more enthusiasm around digital start-ups in the future. The NRW state government is aiming to increase the appeal of digital start-ups and spin-offs. This is designed to help build a start-up scene that tops the rankings both nationally and internationally.

Logo of the DWNRW Hubs

Many established companies in North Rhine-Westphalia recognise how important contact with the digital start-up scene is. This contact makes all the difference when it comes to expanding existing business models, tapping into new business areas and rapidly adapting to the latest technological developments. It is therefore definitely in their interest to have a vibrant start-up culture on their doorstep.

The five DWNRW digital hubs in Aachen, Bonn, Düsseldorf and the Münsterland and Ruhr (Essen) regions are the ideal entry points for start-ups with data-driven digital business models. As an example, the hubs offer support with launching digital products in the market through their accelerator programmes. They also connect start-ups with mentors, established companies and the investment scene. Established companies, in turn, receive access to start-ups and digital products.

In October 2022 the DWNRW hubs entered the third funding phase (information in German only). Each of the five digital hubs receives 750,000 euro in funding per year. The programme will run for another three years until at least September 2025. Befor that, the NRW state government provided each of the DWNRW hubs with 750,000 euro of funding per year until September 2022. Fifty per cent co-financing applies, which the hubs obtain from various partners that include universities, associations, chambers and businesses.

The DWNRW hubs have contributed demonstrably to the positive growth of the start-up scene and the NRW ecosystem.

The hubs have established a successful network since the end of 2016:

  • 1,100 institutional partners
  • 1,050 start-ups worked in collaboration with the hubs between 2017 and 2020
  • Between 2017 and 2020, approximately 900 events attracted a total of 55,000 participants.

The hubs not only offer advice on the premises, but also host a wide range of events. You can find out what’s on near you and everything else you could want to know by going to the DWNRW hubs website.