50 Startups From 20 Different Countries in Startup Competition


The competition of RWTH and HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management welcomed twice as many participants this year. An Aachen-based spin-off was successful.


A total of 50 startups from more than 40 universities based in over 20 European countries came to Berlin for the second Stage Two startup competition, which was initiated and organized by RWTH Aachen University and HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. They saw the number of participating spin-offs double since the last competition, while three times as much money was distributed compared to the first competition. The prize money awarded in various different categories exceeded the 3 million euro mark with two additional prizes from the startup fund HTGF and venture capital investor Earlybird.

HBOX Therapies, the team nominated by RWTH, took home over 600,000 euros from one of HTGF’s two Deep Tech Awards. HBOX Therapies is a spin-off of the Institute of Applied Medical Engineering. The team led by Niklas Steuer, Dr. Matthias Menne, and Dr. Peter Schlanstein developed an innovative solution for acute lung failure.

Before the final round in Berlin, a local university round (Stage One) took place, in which the entrepreneurship centers of the participating universities each selected their best startup, which then had to compete at international level. The main event is embedded in a growing international community of startups, universities, companies, and venture capitalists. Stage Two is funded by corporate partners and the EXIST program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to support and promote universities and their entrepreneurship centers in creating an active and sustainable startup culture.

After Stage Two, the initiators from RWTH and HHL report that they are pleased with the competition: "This event was a success on all levels," says Professor Malte Brettel, Vice-Rector for Industry and Business Relations at RWTH. "This is just the beginning. Looking at the success stories that developed after last year's event, we are very excited to see how the teams will do this year. Stage Two is not just a competition, it's a launching point for businesses, a launching point for change."

More information and all Stage Two winners