Every startup needs an incubator

Accelerator and funding programs for startups in the Ruhr area (Update 2020)

Do you want to get off to a quick start with your startup or business idea? Then participation in an accelerator or incubator could be of interest to you.

There are also some funding programs for startups in the Ruhr area that are designed to help the founding team move forward faster with their business idea.

This article gives you an overview of startup accelerators, incubators and other funding programs in the Ruhr area, each with a different focus.

But first, let's briefly clarify the difference between an accelerator and an incubator.

What is the difference between an accelerator and an incubator?

Accelerator

Accelerators are funding programs for startups in the early phase, whose business model is already on reasonably secure feet.

The aim of the program is to accelerate the development and growth of the startup, especially with intensive coaching by mentors and with access to the network of the organization or company that offers the program. Some providers also include financial support.

The funding extends over a period of a few weeks up to three months. In return for the coaching, the startup usually surrenders company shares.

The program usually ends with a demo day, on which the startups have the chance to pitch their business idea in front of investors or companies.

incubator

Incubators are funding programs for startup teams in the early phase whose business idea or business model is not yet fully developed.

If a large company or corporation offers an incubator program, external start-up teams are often brought into the company for internal business ideas, which work out the ideas and start a company out of them. The term comes from medicine and means something like "incubator".

Unlike the Accelerator, the focus is not on accelerating growth. Rather, it is about creating ideal conditions for the founding team to start a successful business. The programs usually include intensive mentoring by coaches and the provision of jobs.

The support usually takes place over several months.

Accelerators and funding programs for startups in the Ruhr area

Cube 5 - Creating Security

The incubator Cube 5 is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and has specialized in the funding of start-up projects in the field of IT security. It is based at the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security at the Ruhr University in Bochum.

For whom?

Students and startups in the field of IT security

What is on offer?

  • 120-day accelerator program
  • Seminars for Bachelor and Master students
  • IT security pitch
  • Support with the StartUpSecure application for funding
  • Temporary jobs

Duration of funding

120 days

Contact, information and application

Cube 5 - Creating Security
Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security / Ruhr University Bochum
Building ID 2/138
Universitätsstrasse 150
44780 Bochum

Tel .: +49 (0) 234 32-29822
Email: [email protected]

You can find more information about Cube 5 here.


Data hub of the founder alliance Ruhr

The data hub is a project of the founder alliance Ruhr. He wants to promote regular collaboration between deep tech startups and established companies in order to enable data-driven innovations.

For whom?

Deep Tech Startups

What is on offer?

In a six-month program, the Data Hub works with partners to identify specific use cases, provide relevant data and develop pilot solutions with startups.

Contact, information and application

Data hub of the founder alliance Ruhr
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 030/208986661

You can find more information about the Data Hub here.


E.ON: agile

: agile is E.ON's accelerator and seed investor, the Startups from the energy sector supported. Based on E.ON's knowledge and network,: agile offers a three-month accelerator program which, in addition to financing, also includes training and individual coaching sessions.

The aim of the program is to build a long-term partnership. Startups receive seed investments and support in contacting E.ON's business units so that they can develop joint pilot projects after the accelerator phase.

For whom?

Early-staged startups (at least teams of two) with innovations from the energy sector

What is on offer?

  • Mentoring: Experienced industry experts share their knowledge, answer your questions and give you feedback.
  • Trainings: market research, UX / UI, customer communication, marketing and sales, business plans, agile project management, design thinking.
  • Funding & Office Space: Every startup receives up to 22,000 euros in funding and office space in Essen, Düsseldorf or Berlin.

Duration of funding

3 to 18 months

Contact, information and application

: agile accelerator GmbH
Brussels place 1
45131 Essen
Tel. +49 201 - 184 - 00
[email protected]

You can find more information about the program here.

Do you want to apply right away? Right this way.


Future Champions Accelerator Rhein Ruhr

The Future Champions Accelerator Rhein Ruhr is a funding and qualification program for Technology- and knowledge-based startups without a special industry focus.

It was initiated by the University of Cologne, the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf.

Participating startups benefit in the program from the expertise and networks of universities with those of industry and business.

For whom?

Be funded technology and knowledge-based early-stage startups. The founding teams should have a connection to the universities and the region.

What is on offer?

  • individual support from a startup coach
  • Support in business model optimization
  • Mentoring from the industry
  • Qualification program tailored to the founding team
  • Networking with companies, scientists and investors

Contact, information and application

Rhine-Ruhr Accelerator
Email: [email protected]

You can find information about the program and how to apply here.


Start-up grant NRW

The start-up grant NRW is an initiative of the Ministry for Economy, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to promote innovative business start-ups.

The aim is to support founders before and at the start of their business start-ups, so that they have the freedom to concentrate fully on the preparation and implementation of their business idea during this demanding phase.

For whom?

Founders who want to realize their business idea in the field of future-oriented technologies and innovative services as well as business models in North Rhine-Westphalia

What is on offer?

  • The founders receive funding from the time they are approved
  • 1,000 euros per month and person over a term of a maximum of one year
  • Coaching that is offered by accredited start-up networks to support start-ups: The coaches provided provide individual advice to the founders and work with them to create support schedules tailored to the business idea

Duration of funding

a maximum of one year

Contact, information and application

In order to apply for a start-up grant, you must first contact one of the accredited start-up networks. You are free to choose the network.

Here is an overview of the foundation networks.

You can find more information about the NRW start-up grant here.


Impact Factory

The Impact Factory is a program for founders who not only think about economic sustainability, but also about social, humane or ecological added value.

For whom?

Startups from the Green & Social Economy

What is on offer?

  • Networking with impact investors, funding partners, universities and innovation laboratories
  • Expert check
  • Coworking and Community
  • Own impact mentor as well as an experienced and motivated team of developers, graphic designers, sales professionals and other doers
  • No equity, no fees!

Contact, information and application

Impact Factory
A project by Anthropia gGmbH
Franz-Haniel-Platz 4
47119 Duisburg, Germany
Tel .: +49 (0) 203 39510241
Email: [email protected]

You can find more information about the program and how you can apply here.


Starbuzz

Starbuzz is the first independent accelerator in Germany for Startups in the field of eCommerce and logistics. The program focuses on B2B and B2C startups.

The aim is to promote innovative startups faster with the support of corporate partners from trade, production and logistics (including Tengelmann and Aldi Süd).

For whom?

Startups in the field of digital trade and logistics

What is on offer?

  • individual support for the respective startups
  • Mentoring
  • Conveying business know-how
  • Networking
  • Further development of the business model
  • Access to seed and growth funding
  • Development of business partnerships

Duration of funding

3 to 6 months

Contact, information and application

STARBUZZ
c / o Mülheim & Business GmbH
Economic Development Corporation
House of Economy

Wiesenstrasse 35
45473 Mülheim an der Ruhr
GERMANY

Tel .: +49 208/4848 59
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.starbuzz.ruhr

More information about the program and the partners can be found here.

You can apply here.


startport

startport is the accelerator program from Duisburg harbor duisport.

The funding is aimed at Startups with a focus on logistics and supply chain.

The aim is to develop and promote innovative ideas for Europe's largest inland port and the logistical landscape around it.

For whom?

Startups in the fields of logistics and supply chain

What is on offer?

  • Coworking space directly at the port of Duisburg
  • Access to the network of industry and logistics
  • Transfer of know-how
  • Mentoring

Duration of funding

12 months

Contact, information and application

startport GmbH
Philosophenweg 31-33
47051 Duisburg

Tel .: 0203 803-4370
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.startport.net

More information about the program can be found here.

You can apply here.


StreamUP

At streamUP, startups have the opportunity to receive intensive support and guidance for a maximum of 18 months. The teams benefit from the expertise of numerous partners, e. B. the Stadtwerke Menden, the economic development Arnsberg and the University of Applied Sciences South Westphalia. The project is led by the Center for Entrepreneurship & Transfer (cet) of the TU Dortmund.

We are looking for innovative ideas that strive for mobility solutions of any kind (data, goods, people, etc.). A special focus is on the exchange between teams and SMEs.

The project comprises three phases of six months each:

  • Phase 1: generating ideas
  • Phase 2: prototyping
  • Phase 3: Follow-up

For whom?

Individuals or teams who have an innovative idea on the subject of mobility or who would like to help improve mobility between urban and rural areas

What is on offer?

  • intensive support and accompaniment for a maximum of 18 months
  • Expertise from numerous partners, e. B. the Stadtwerke Menden, the economic development Arnsberg and the University of Applied Sciences South Westphalia
  • fully equipped workspace in our co-working space

Duration of funding

max. 18 months

Contact, information and application

TU Dortmund University
Center for Entrepreneurship & Transfer (CET)
Friedrich-Wöhler-Weg 6
44227 Dortmund

Email: [email protected]

You can find more information about the program here.


VISIONEST Accelerator

The VISIONEST program is the startup accelerator program of the Entrepreneurship Center Witten (EZW) and supports startups in the specification of the idea, the business model development and validation, the creation of prototypes, the market test, the foundation and the brokerage of financing.

For whom?

Students, graduates (up to 3 years) and employees of all German universities interested in founding a company

What is on offer?

  • individual and exclusive advice from experts and selected mentors
  • Advice on operational topics such as the development of ideas, marketing strategies, legal bases, financial planning and business plan preparation, as well as on personal topics such as team building, employee motivation and corporate philosophy
  • fully equipped workspace in our co-working space

Duration of funding

9 months

Contact, information and application

EZW Entrepreneurship Center Witten gGmbH
Bahnhofstrasse 63
D-58452 Witten

Tel: 02302 9830 699

Email: [email protected]

You can find more information about the program here.

PLANT X

WERK X is an industry-open incubator program that supports founders in developing their ideas into a market-ready startup.

For whom?

  • Founders who want to turn their business idea into a startup
  • Start-ups that were founded no more than a year ago by the application deadline
  • Participation is not possible if you are currently already part of another incubator or accelerator

What is on offer?

  • Scholarship: WERK X supports up to two founders of a team for six months with 1500 euros each for business projects. In addition, you will receive additional individually tailored services worth up to 6,000 euros.
  • Coworking: WERK X is located in the middle of Bochum City, where you get a workplace with meeting rooms, a flat-rate drink, WiFi, printer and many other free benefits.
  • Network: You get access to a team of experts who support you, for example, with initial design services or consulting units and with workshops on various topics. You also benefit from access to a large network.

Duration of funding

6 months

Contact, information and application

PLANT X
Maurice Reinhard
Tel .: 0234 / 6103-193
Email: [email protected]

You can find information about the application and the program here.