Innovation Sprint – Validate Your Start-Up Idea in the Shortest Possible Time!

Logo Innovation Sprint  

The Innovation Sprint

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 for short. 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.


We are looking for researchers who bring along innovative ideas with market potential as well as the corresponding entrepreneurial spirit and aim to actively shape the future of the business location NRW. Therefore, we want to encourage excellent scientists of today and visionary entrepreneurs of tomorrow to apply for the Innovation Sprint.