GUIDE - Business Idea Competition 2023

The aim of the GUIDE Business Idea Competition is to transform innovative and creative solutions from the university into business ideas and to promote their implementation. Therefore, all members of the university are called upon to submit their business ideas from May 2nd to July 21st. Start-ups from UDE members with a founding date after November 1st, 2022 also qualify for submission.

Throw your business ideas into the ring!

The GUIDE Business Idea Competition is an opportunity to find out if there is business potential in implementing your research results or general ideas. The Center for Start-Ups and Innopreneurship (GUIDE) invites all members of the University of Duisburg-Essen and the University Hospital Essen to participate in the GUIDE Business Idea Competition 2023. Together with our partners from the start-up ecosystem, we award a broad range of prizesto support the implementation of your own business idea.

Every idea matters!

We are looking for innovative and creative business ideas from all faculties and institutions of our university. All students, employees, and researchers of the university (UDE & UKE) are eligible to apply - solo or in a team - who have a business idea and submit it in the form of an idea sketch.

We encourage everyone to shape and further develop their ideas, submit them as business ideas and maybe even transfer them into a real start-up.

How to participate?

Simply download the participation form, fill it out including your business idea sketch and submit it as a PDF by email to during the application period from May 2nd  to July 21st. Up to 3 additional graphics in JPEG format with a maximum size of 1 MB each may be attached to the email.

It is self-evident that we handle the submitted business ideas confidentially!

What can participants win?

Participants not only gain recognition for their business idea – they can win cash prizes and attractive special prizes to support the start-up idea through our partners from the start-up ecosystem.

Cash prizes for 1st-3rd place:
• 1st place:       €1,500
• 2nd place:      €1,000
• 3rd place:      €500

Sponsored by NRW.BANK



Special prizes from the start-up ecosystem:
These are awarded regardless of a ranking in 1st - 3rd place and aim to provide projects in dedicated fields with the right support from thematically suitable  ecosystem partners to boost their own start-up project.

The special prizes will be awarded by the respective expert juries, consisting of GUIDE and the partners from the start-up ecosystem, provided there is a thematic match of the projects and an added value through the special prizes.

The complete list of special prizes will be communicated at this point from May 4th.

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H2UB: Wildcard for participation in the H2UB BOOTCAMP or the H2UB SPRINT, depending on the phase of the start-up
Ant Logo Rgb Black Ohne Claim _002_ Anthropia: Wildcard for participation in the selection camp for Anthropia batch 10 (on 05. and 06. December 2023)

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Chemstars: Wildcard for participation in the pitch day for the Chemstars Support Program
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EWG: Wildcard for the EWG Business Builder (prerequisite: already founded in Essen or planing on founding in Essen in 2023)
Coco Finance: A 4 hour consulting contingent on finance topics with Coco Finance Rhein Ruhr
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startport: Wildcard for participating in the next pitch for startport batch 8 (on 15.08.2023 - winner:in will be informed early).


Save the date for the award ceremony!

After the evaluation process by our jury, we will invite a selection of up to 8 business ideas for pitch presentations andannounce the winners of 1st - 3rd place as well as the special prizes during an award ceremony.

The award ceremony will take place live and via Zoom. All participants and, of course, all those interested in start-ups at UDE are invited.

When? August 16th from 5 p.m. in the library hall on the Essen campus.

Further information will be announced.

Participation, confidentiality, and requirements

• Students, employees, and researchers of the University of Duisburg-Essen and the University Hospital Essen are eligible to participate.
• Participation is possible as an individual and as a team.
• Existing projects may only be submitted if their founding date is not before November 1st, 2022.
• The business idea sketch created must have been independently developed by the participants and must not infringe on the rights of third parties. Each business idea sketch may only be submitted once per annual GUIDE business idea competition.
• Participation in the GUIDE Business Idea Competition 2023 starts on May 2nd, 2023 by submitting a business idea sketch using the participation form provided on the website. Only applications that are received in writing, in German or English, completely and on time by July 21st, 2023 (2:00 pm) can be accepted.
• The winners of the GUIDE Business Idea Competition 2023 will be announced during the award ceremony and on the GUIDE website as well as on the GUIDE LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Publications on the content of the award-winning contributions will be made exclusively with the consent of the participants.
• Participation in the competition includes agreement with the terms and conditions stated here.
• Participation is confidential, i.e., the jury members sign a non-disclosure agreement. The personal data of the participants will not be disclosed to unauthorized third parties by the organizer.

Any questions?

The GUIDE start-up coaches are happy to answer questions and act as sparring partners for the business ideas in advance. Simply book a GUIDE XPresso appointment on our website.