RheinMain Startup Factory: Project of the Rhine-Main Universities reaches the next round in the national competition


June 7, 2024

Great success for innovation!

TU Darmstadt and its innovation and startup center Highest, together with the universities of Mainz and Frankfurt, have won the flagship competition EXIST.

Frankfurt a. M. / Darmstadt / Mainz, June 7, 2024

In the “Startup Factories” flagship competition of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the RheinMain Startup Factory project has successfully passed the first selection process and will receive funding for the concept phase starting July 1, 2024. The RheinMain Startup Factory will be established as a GmbH by a consortium of strong partners: the Rhine-Main Universities (RMU) – the strategic alliance of Goethe University Frankfurt, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and Technical University Darmstadt – as well as the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management (FSFM), the Polytechnic Society (PTG), and Futury.

The RheinMain Startup Factory initiates, supports, and accompanies technology and knowledge-based startups, spin-offs, and innovation projects from the Rhine-Main metropolitan region across two federal states. The goal is to develop the Rhine-Main region into a unique startup and innovation hotspot for sustainable, technology, and knowledge-based entrepreneurship in the heart of Europe in the fields of Greentech, Deeptech, Biotech, and Fintech. To achieve this, the RheinMain Startup Factory combines the potential of the universities in the form of their diverse excellent research and highly trained talents with the economic strength of their powerful corporate partners and successful family entrepreneurs.

Harald Holzer mit Melissa Ott und Charlie Müller von Futury nach der Urkundenverleihung. (Foto: HIGHEST/Claudia Becker)

RMU-Teampower in Berlin (Foto: HIGHEST/Sascha Heisig)

“The funding of the RheinMain Startup Factory is a great success for the Rhine-Main Universities consortium and illustrates their innovation potential! Successful innovations are due to outstanding scientists and sustained support for excellent fundamental research. This demonstrates once again that the RMU is a research-strong, innovative, and attractive consortium. The RheinMain Startup Factory also strengthens the biotechnology and life science location of Rhineland-Palatinate, offering and bundling access to a pool of talents, innovations, and capital throughout the Rhine-Main area. The entire location will continue to benefit from the international appeal of the consortium,” said Clemens Hoch, the Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Science.

The RheinMain Startup Factory focuses its core tasks in three clusters, understood as business fields. Structurally, they focus on universities and research institutions (Cluster “Innovate”), startup support structures such as accelerators (Cluster “Create”), and capital providers like venture capitalists, corporates, and public funders (Cluster “Scale”).

As part of the Federal Government’s startup strategy, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has initiated the “Startup Factories” flagship competition to significantly increase the number and quality of knowledge-based spin-offs. The aim is to establish regionally and internationally visible startup factories as flagships. The concept phase is followed by the project phase, for which the startup factories can apply until the end of February 2025. The selection process involving a jury will take place in April 2025. Funding for the project phase is planned for June 1, 2025.

About the RMU

Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and Technical University Darmstadt form the RHINE-MAIN UNIVERSITIES (RMU). With approximately 98,000 students and over 1,500 professors, they closely cooperate in research, studies, and teaching. As renowned research universities, they shape Frankfurt-Rhine-Main into an integrated and globally visible science region.

For more information: www.rhein-main-universitaeten.de


Harald Holzer und Prof. Dr. Thomas Walter

At TU Darmstadt, we consistently embrace change through multilog with our partners – true to the spirit of xchange for innovation. This dynamic exchange with representatives from academia, society, business, and politics benefits not only the involved research communities but the entire innovation ecosystem in the vibrant Rhine-Main metropolitan region and beyond. With the RheinMain Startup Factory as a catalyst, we continue on this path with focus and commitment.

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