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Start-up Radar: Founding is well anchored at the University of Cologne

According to the “Gründungsradar”, the University of Cologne is one of the top ten most start-up-friendly universities in Germany.

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Students and researchers who want to launch a start-up have the best opportunities at the University of Cologne: They are particularly well-qualified and supported by the university's Gateway Excellence Start-up Center. Prof. Dr Christian Schwens (Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Management), among others, offers an economic perspective on the board. The Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences also encourages its students to take advantage of these opportunities. In Germany, it ranks sixth among large universities with more than 15,000 students, and in North Rhine-Westphalia it is the best. This is the conclusion reached by the Stifterverband in its Gründungsradar, the largest comparison of start-up support at German universities, published on 15 February 2023.

The University of Cologne particularly excels in the qualification and support for founders, networking with other universities, the start-up environment and including partners from the business community. Last but not least, the university achieved the highest score in the area of start-up anchoring, with only two other large universities in Germany.

"The start-up radar confirms our concept: We want to inspire and enable students and academics to implement their own ideas - and thus shape a sustainable society with entrepreneurial means. In this way, we want to become the leading start-up university among the full universities with a broad spectrum of humanities and life sciences", explains Marc Kley, Executive Director of the Gateway Excellence Start-up Center.

The Gateway Excellence Start-up Center is the contact point for all those interested in founding a company and start-ups at the University of Cologne. The free services include start-up coaching, advice on funding, coworking spaces and an accelerator programme. In addition, students and researchers can acquire know-how in courses and workshops and establish contacts in the Cologne start-up ecosystem.

Since 2019, the University of Cologne has been one of six universities in NRW with an Excellence Start-up Centre (ESC). The state is funding the six ESCs and other individual projects with a total of 150 million euros over five years. Among the central measures is the establishment of nine new professorships with an affinity for start-ups, which will permanently anchor entrepreneurship, innovation and digitalisation in the faculties.

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