Program Overview

Application Details for the Fall 2021 Batch

Application Open: March 15, 2021

Application Deadline:  May 25, 2021

Launch Date Fall 2021 Batch:  August 3, 2021

Duration & Format: 4 months. In hybrid format - combination of digital & live events (no relocation required)

Start-up Selection Process: Promising applicants will first receive a 15-minute 'Get to Know Each Other' phone call, followed by a 30-minute in-person meeting with our selection committee at the beginning of June, 2021. The final decision will be announced to all teams by late June.

Do you have any other questions? Click here for the FAQ.

Apply now via our Application FORM!

Program Key Offerings

  • Clear and tailored offerings with a focus on early-stage deep tech start-ups
  • A final event – “A demo day” – when start-ups pitch their ideas to raise first big funding
  • We do not take an equity stake in your start-up
  • No relocation necessary as we can do the mentoring and workshops remotely
  • We connect you directly with our leading corporate partners and mentors 
  • Extensive coaching, mentoring, expert workshops & networking events

  • Access to Collective Incubator or digitalHUB Aachen co-working space & mechanic workshop


Target Group

Mature founding teams with an initial pre-seed investment (e.g. EXIST) or a remaining runway for at least 6 months that seek to make the next step in getting market ready & securing additional funding.


  • Motivated start-up teams with a clear deep-tech-focused business plan
  • Initial pre-seed investment (e.g. EXIST, bootstrapped) or a remaining runway for at least 6 months
  • Full-time commitment from founders, we expect to see at least one representative of the start-up in attendance at all program workshops and meetings. Participation will amount to approximately 3-5 hours per week
  • One does not need to be a current student or researcher of the RWTH University Aachen to qualify for the program - all founding teams from Europe are welcome to apply


Program Details

Throughout the incubation program, start-ups will receive support both from a business & technical perspective. On the business side, you will get all the support needed to further shape your business plan, plan your market entry and get investor ready. On the technical side, you get access to our six top-specific incubation verticals. These verticals include the relevant RWTH institutes and partner companies that will help you to develop and test your prototype, get access to required tools, experts & resources and give you the chance to leverage the right network for your start-up.

The program is flexible, catering for the individual needs of your start-up. Our aim is to help you:

  • Gain market access
  • Work on product-market fit
  • Close your next funding round

Program Elements

The incubation program consists of the following 6 Topic-specific Verticals:

6 Topic-specific Verticals

With the 6 verticals, we created topic-specific innovation ecosystems that will help you with product development & market expertise. Here, you may get access to existing labs, experts and a wide partner network:

Vertical 1: Future of Mobility & Urban Life

Vertical 2: Next Level Life Science, Health & Nutrition

Vertical 3: IoT, AI, Robotics & Communication Tech

Vertical 4: 21st Century Production

Vertical 5: Green Energy, Chemicals and Materials

Vertical 6: digitalStartups (non-deeptech) – powered by digitalHUB Aachen

Access to our Co-working Space

Be one of the first startups to access the co-working space of the Collective Incubator or digitalHUB Aachen. The co-working spaces provide office and conference spaces as well as a large open space for interdisciplinary exchange and events.

Exclusive Workshops and Trainings

We will provide in-person workshop formats with top investors, founders, lawyers and corporates from the European startup scene. We give you access to our structured, in-depth training curriculum – giving you the opportunity to learn the skills you need in online and in-person formats.

Mentoring Program

Our program offers you the opportunity to receive mentoring from successful founders & industry experts. It’s on you how to best leverage the power of our mentors. Our mentors are there for you to share their learnings from founding a company, guide you along your way and give you insights into their industries & networks.

You find our mentors here.

Individual Coaching

Personalized 1:1 coaching with one of our experienced start-up coaches – adapted to the needs of your start-up & guiding you throughout the program.

Cross-university Co-Founder Network

With our large EU co-founder network, we will help to connect you with start-up founders & aspiring entrepreneurs. Use the network to find co-founders, your next employee or connect with like-minded people in Europe.

Demo Days & Social Events

Our program will get you prepared for the Demo Day where you will get the opportunity to pitch your business to attract customers and investors. The Incubation Program will also host numerous events - designed to provide you with the very best start-up scene.


The program curriculum is organized according to five sprints, each addressing different challenges our start-ups face. Below is an overview of a typical program structure with the workshops covered in each sprint.

Apply now via our Application FORM!

Do you have any other questions? Click here for the FAQ.

Are you international?

Have a look at the offers of the International Entrepreneurship Office.

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