• Event for: Students Staff Wissenschaftler*innen
  • Event type: Contest

Startup your Idea Contest

im Ship Cologne

Startup your Idea Contest

Do you have an innovative, creative and trend-setting start-up idea, but don't yet know how to implement it?

We believe in your idea!

The Startup Your Idea Contest of the Gateway Excellence Start-up Center and the WiSo Faculty is the perfect opportunity to turn your idea into reality. And this year in collaboration with all Cologne Gateway Universities - TH Köln, DSHS Köln and RFH Köln!

The best ideas will be awarded with a prize money of up to 5,000 Euros! No matter if your idea is a service or a product. Or whether it is an idea for a non-profit or the use of scientific results for a societal purpose.

Do you have an innovative, creative and trend-setting start-up idea, but don't yet know how to implement it?

We believe in your idea!

The Startup Your Idea Contest of the Gateway Excellence Start-up Center and the WiSo Faculty is the perfect opportunity to turn your idea into reality. And this year in collaboration with all Cologne Gateway Universities - TH Köln, DSHS Köln and RFH Köln!

The best ideas will be awarded with a prize money of up to 5,000 Euros! No matter if your idea is a service or a product. Or whether it is an idea for a non-profit or the use of scientific results for a societal purpose.

What is the Startup Your Idea Contest?

The contest is organized for the fourth time by Gateway ESC and the WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne.

The aim is to promote innovative, creative and trend-setting early stage start-up ideas from all disciplines.

How does the contest work?

The application phase begins in July 2022 and ends with the closing date on October 9, 2022.

In December 2022, all applications will receive feedback. The five final teams will be able to prepare for the grand finale in January 2023.

Wer sind die Finalist*innen Teams?

  • SmartSwimPal (DSHS) - digitaler Schwimmlehrer als App für einen strukturierten und effektiven Schwimmunterricht
  • Future Box Pinball (TH) - Flipperautomat, der Digitales mit Analogem zu einem neuartigen Spielerlebnis vereint 
  • RheinSharing (TH) - Kleinwasser-Strömungskraftwerke im ufernahen Bereich in Ballungsräumen
  • Acoon (UzK) - biologisch abbaubare Polymere zum Speichern von Wasser und Nährstoffen zur klimaresistenteren Nahrungsmittelproduktion 
  • Save the Grain (UzK) - Bekämpfung von Ernteverlusten in Subsahara Afrika durch Bereitstellung von Informationen und Innovationen als auch Implementierung von Genossenschaften

Who can participate?

Students from all universities can participate, provided that at least one student per team is enrolled at the University of Cologne, the TH Köln, the DSHS Köln or the RFH Köln.

Excluded from the competition are start-up ideas that have already been used as the basis for establishing a corporation and commencing business operations by the closing date on October 09, 2022.

This year, the contest is also open for start-up ideas and start-up projects that are/were mentored in one of the following incubators/accelerators:

Gateway Accelerator, Gateway Inkubator, KickStart@TH Köln, Inkubator Südstadt, Cologne Game Incubator, Future Champions Accelerator, EO Accelerator Programm, Acceleratorprogramm StarS-Kader of the DSHS Köln, Promotoren Think Tank of the DSHS Köln, Startup@RFH and project cologne of the RFH Köln.

The teams from these programs should check in advance by email if participation is possible. Please feel free to send us an email in that case. These cases will be considered on an individual basis.

How is the idea evaluation done?

Your idea will be evaluated on four criteria:

- The start-up idea 30%

- Customers & competitors 25%

- Competence of the team 25%

- The potential and feasibility of the start-up idea 20%.

Why should you participate?

In addition to obtaining valuable feedback from experienced jury members with many years of entrepreneurial know-how, you will have the opportunity to present your start-up idea to the public.

Simultaneously, you will be able to make new contacts and expand your professional network.

Last but not least, you have the chance to win one of five designated prize moneys* with your start-up idea:

1st place: 5.000 Euro

2nd place: 2.000 Euro

3rd place: 1.000 Euro

Not only the jury awards a prize! The audience will vote on their favorite idea in the finale and select the team with € 1,000 in prize money*.

We are also pleased to award the social / sustainability prize for social and / or ecological involvement with 1,000€ this year. This prize is open to all submissions.

*The prize money consists of non-cash compensation (hardware, consulting vouchers, participation in events, etc.) worth the stated equivalent value. Subsequent to the award ceremony, the winning teams will receive the first half of the respective prize money. The second half of the prize money will be paid six months after the award ceremony, provided that the teams can prove they have continued working on the idea. Legal recourse is expressly excluded.

Check out the pics and videos from the last contest!

Powered by

Gateway Exzellenz Start-up Center Universität zu Köln

Exzellenz Startup Center NRW

Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences

in cooperation with

University of Cologne

TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences

German Sport University Cologne

RFH – University of Applied Science

Entrepreneurs Club Cologne