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Exzellenz Start-up Center.NRW: for more university-based start-ups
Excellent research should also lead to excellent start-ups. To make sure it does, the state has set up the Exzellenz Start-up Centers.NRW, which are based in outstanding research locations in North Rhine-Westphalia.
A jury of experts appointed by the Minister for the Economy and Digitisation, Prof. Andreas Pinkwart, selected six universities at the beginning of 2019 for a grant to set up these Exzellenz Start-up Centers. Up to 150 million euros will be available until the end of 2024 for the universities and additional projects. These establishments include:
- RWTH Aachen,
- Ruhr-Universität Bochum,
- TU Dortmund,
- University of Cologne,
- Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (University of Munster)
- and the University of Paderborn.
In addition to these six Exzellenz Start-up Centers.NRW, funding is also provided for projects at the following universities:
- State-wide initiative for female entrepreneurs: Women Entrepreneurs in Science at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (University of Wuppertal)
- HHU Start-up Support at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
What is being funded?
Funding focuses on establishing and developing existing university start-up initiatives to become Exzellenz Start-up Centers.
The key activities involved in this include:
- raising awareness of entrepreneurship within the university,
- ensuring sufficient qualifications for start-up entrepreneurs,
- supporting start-up projects, and
- long-term integration of activities in research, teaching, transparent administration.
A tight network of economic partners, such as business angels, venture capital funds, start-ups, businesses, accelerators, research institutes and technology centres, also play a key role.
Universities and research institutions also play a prominent role around the world in successful start-up ecosystems in their capacity as the source of start-ups. With the ‘Exzellenz Start-up Center’ initiative, North Rhine-Westphalia’s start-up ecosystem is well on its way to becoming an international beacon and a role model for many universities and regions.
All information is available on the Exzellenz Start-up Center.NRW website (in German only).