A Weekend for the Entrepreneurs of the Future

© Heinrich Altmiks/GFW Duisburg
Enjoying forward-looking ideas: Participants, supporters and organizers of the first „Techstars Startup Weekend Duisburg – Quellen-Reiter gesucht!“

On the first “Techstarts Startup Weekend Duisburg“, 30 international young talents met at the Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center to discuss their innovative ideas. In the first steps to their own companies they inspired the jury with their elaborated business ideas and team spirit. There were no limits to creativity.


“This event is an innovation accelerator as well as a perfect example for teamwork in action – that’s why it fits perfectly into the inHaus philosophy. In a unique, future-oriented environment we experienced a colorful mix of creative ideas that can benefit us all”, tells Wolfgang Gröting, director of the Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center, impressed. The project team, consisting of representatives of the inHaus-Center, the GFW Duisburg and atelier Manfred Heise, looked for emerging talents and found 30 highly motivated participants who worked intensely on their business plans. There were participants from all over the world: from Germany, as well as Turkey, Japan, China, Malaysia and India. The business models were brought to life and ranged from time-recording systems over an international Food Truck concept, intelligent clothing for regulating body temperature up to virtual systems for learning new languages and travel apps for connecting with locals.


One first place – but many winners

At the end of the weekend five teams showcased their business plans in five-minute presentations. Afterwards the jurors Prof. Dr. Volker Breithecker (Faculty of Business Administration at the Mercator School of Management), Oliver Kuschel (managing partner and co-founder of Anthropia gGmbH) and Alexander Kranki (manager of the digital agency KRANKIKOM) had three minutes do discuss und evaluate the ideas of the participants.

In the end the group “Shift Watch“ won, followed by “XELP“ and “OM Food TRUCK“. While the winners can look forward to exhibit at their own booth at WestVisions, the runner-up group has a workshop for innovation and business model generation at the Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center on the program. The actors that developed the concept around the international food truck have the opportunity to work on a creative corporate design with atelier Manfred Heise. Both other teams “Tribe of Travelers” and “Kinabalu” won RUHR.TOPCARDs. “In the end, everyone won: new experiences, contacts and networks. We’re excited to see what the future brings for the teams and whether they will realize their ideas together. We are happy to assist with our services and matching offers wherever we can”, explains Annegret Angerhausen-Reuter from GFW Duisburg. “We’re excited to repeat this next year and thank all the participants and our supporters – none of this would have been possible without you”, adds Wolfgang Gröting. Aprt from the organization team, various local businesses supported the “Techstars Startup Weekend Duisburg – Quellen-Reiter gesucht!” 2019.


The Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center in Duisburg is a unique creative think tank. It works with several Fraunhofer institutes and many economic partners on the development of innovative products and systems. In the main focus are always humans and their needs. Innovative systems and products are being developed, tested and demonstrated in the creative think tank with cooperative research and development work in practical application laboratories. The focus is on people and their needs, especially in the areas of smart home and connected healthcare.