RWTH Wins Funding from EXIST Potentials Competition

EXIST-Potentiale Copyright: © Justus Gätjen

The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy BMWi has recognized RWTH for its internationally-oriented entrepreneurship initiative, entitled “The International Start-Up University.” Over the next four years, RWTH will receive up to 1.7 million euros in funding from the BMWI’s EXIST Potentials program to internationalize their start-up support offerings.


RWTH Aachen University had submitted its start-up support proposal in the “International Leadership” funding line of the EXIST Potentials competition, which supports universities in implementing an active culture of entrepreneurship.

The University now seeks to become the most attractive partner for scalable high-quality “deep tech” start-up ventures. In a first step, the University will establish an “International Entrepreneurship Office” to make it easier for international start-up companies to benefit from its start-up support programs. Furthermore, the collaboration with universities, investors and companies from abroad is to be enhanced.

“With the help of EXIST Potentials, we will position RWTH as a leading international start-up university in Europe, giving highly promising deep tech startups the opportunity to implement scalable business models,” explains Vice-Rector Malte Brettel, who is head of RWTH’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group and managing director of RWTH Innovation, the University’s central contact for innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs. Implementation of the initiative is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020.