Innovation Sprint – validate your start-up idea in the shortest possible time!
Application open: 20 October 2021
Deadline for applications: 10 January 2022
Target Group: The Innovation Sprint is for founding teams who want to develop a prototype, in cooperation with the University, to validate their start-up idea.
Click here for the application form.
The Innovation Sprint
Start-ups are of central importance for the future of the business location North Rhine-Westphalia. As driving forces behind structural change, innovative high-growth companies are defining the economy of tomorrow. RWTH Aachen University plays an essential role in transferring outstanding research results and inventions from its ecosystem into young, fast-growing companies, thus contributing to the preservation and further development of North Rhine-Westphalia as a location for business and innovation.
With its initiative “Exzellenz Start-up Center.NRW”, the NRW state government aims to strengthen the start-up culture at universities with strong transfer and science capacities in a sustainable way and supports the realisation of strategic concepts that encourage the founding of deep tech start-ups from research at RWTH Aachen University.
In the context of this initiative, RWTH Aachen University developed the Innovation Sprint, a new financing mechanism that provides researchers with the financial resources in a fast and unbureaucratic manner to support them on their way towards successful founding.
Selected founding teams can receive funding of up to 90,000 euros to validate the possibility of commercializing their research results in the context of product development in a very short time. The goal of this phase of development is to advance the product by creating a prototype and thus increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL). This improves the chances of further fund raising or investor participation and substantially supports the founding of the project. As part of the Innovation Sprint, all participants go through the Ideation Program of the RWTH Innovation Entrepreneurship Center, where they are taught the necessary basics to develop a viable business model. The Innovation Sprint should be completed within a couple of months. At the end of the Innovation Sprint, there will be a finished prototype which serves as a validation of the start-up project and will be evaluated at the end.
WHU Networking & Support
Additionally, there is the possibility of free business support in the application process from our university partner WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. Teams participating in the application phase of the Innovation Sprint and/or the subsequent funding phase have the opportunity to network with members of the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. In this way, RWTH projects have the chance to enrich their own team with business know-how from Germany's leading business school in the field of entrepreneurship and to benefit from targeted support in the application process without having to make any commitment. If you are interested, please contact us as soon as possible.
Further questions about the Innovation Sprint? Check out our FAQ.