International flagship project for start-ups launched

Worldfactory-International complements the RUB's existing excellence start-up support.

Die beteiligten Partnerinnen und Partner trafen sich am 21. August 2020 zum internen Kick-off an der RUB. Vanessa Vaughn (Mitte) übernimmt das Projektmanagement für Worldfactory-International. © RUB, Marquard

There was great jubilation when the RUB received the additional funding decision of almost 1.8 million euros for "Exist Potentiale - International überzeugen" from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy in Berlin in December 2019. It was particularly pleasing because only ten universities in Germany received this prestigious funding.

The project, which is funded under the "Exist Gründerkultur" program for a period of four years, was launched on August 1, 2020. The aim is to develop the RUB, the city of Bochum and the entire region into an international flagship for innovation and start-ups. In the process, the global competitiveness of the location is also to be strengthened and the advantages of the region in terms of transfer made more visible. Moreover, international entrepreneurs should be offered attractive opportunities to choose the Ruhr region as the center of their ventures. The expansion of the existing international partner network will also be intensified.

Cooperation with strong partners from the region

The project is led by the Prorector for Research, Transfer and Young Academics, Prof. Dr. Andreas Ostendorf, and by Marc Seelbach, Head of the Transfer and Entrepreneurship Department at the RUB. In order to achieve the set goals, they carry out various activities with the internal project partners Cube 5 and International Office as well as with the external partners Ruhr:HUB and Business Metropole Ruhr. In terms of content, the project activities will be closely linked with the Worldfactory Start-up Center (WSC). The start-up incubators will play a special role in this context, as internationalization is to be strengthened not only in the thematic focus of IT security, but also in the incubators' other focal points, namely smart systems, chemistry, health and material sciences.


The four central activities of the project at a glance

  • Ruhr Summit international: The annual Ruhr Summit (the largest B2B start-up event in Germany) is being expanded into an international networking event by creating additional offerings for international start-ups. The international start-ups and those interested in setting up their own business are given the opportunity to establish contacts with companies, investors and the region's ecosystem via various formats (including pitch challenges or expos).
  • Boot Camp "Entrepreneurship Explorer Ruhr" for international people interested in setting up a business: During the two-week program, participants receive support for the implementation of innovative business ideas on site and gain access to the regional ecosystem.
  • Global Start-up Ecosystem Networks: On four delegation trips to Canada, Japan and the USA, the international partner network is expanded and the development of international cooperation projects is promoted.
  • Global Entrepreneurship" university program: In order to highlight and develop the transfer potential of their own research, RUB researchers are given the opportunity to invite international scientists with an affinity for start-ups or application-oriented scientists to the RUB and to strengthen and expand contacts and cooperation in an individually designed guest program.
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