Johannes Wessels (University of Münster), Carsten Schröder (FH Münster University of Applied Sciences), Thorsten Wiesel (REACH), Matthias Günnewig (muensterLAND.digital), and Thom Palstra (University of Twente) (from left)
Creating entrepreneurship structures together, developing start-up ideas together: This was the motto of yesterday’s presentation of the new Euregio Start-up Center "REACH" in Münster (Germany). Representatives of the University of Münster, the University of Applied Sciences Münster, the University of Twente and the Digital Hub münsterLAND discussed with company representatives from the region and entrepreneurs how can innovations from universities become start-ups and therefore increase the region’s economy by creating jobs. "The University of Münster, the University of Applied Sciences Münster and the University of Twente complement each other with their excellent research," emphasized the Rector of the University of Münster, Johannes Wessels. "With this transnational cooperation for science-based spin-offs, we are creating a joint platform for universities to better transfer research results into companies in the future".
The aim of the center is to mobilize students and scientists in the EUREGIO and examining their scientific results from a business perspective to found start-ups. During the event, start-up teams presented themselves. One, for example, develops ultra-powerful light detectors for precise measurements based on their scientific results or offer technologies for virtual realities to tell audiovisual and spatial stories. The founding teams emphasized above the individual and structured coaching process of the start-up center as well as the exchange of ideas among the start-ups in order to advance their founding idea.
The company representatives praised the fact that the educational institutions in cooperation with the Digital Hub münsterLAND can now map all phases of a start-up from the idea to the development of a business model. "At REACH you can sense a strong doer mentality and the will to change things. Access to scientific knowledge as well as innovative thinkers are the key to the necessary innovation in companies", emphasized Felix Fiege, CEO of the logistics company FIEGE. The Mayor of Münster Markus Lewe described the cooperation as "a new milestone in further deepening the already intensive city partnership". Onno van Veldhuizen, Mayor of Enschede, emphasized: "This project is important for the innovative strength of the EUREGIO. We are pleased about the close cooperation between the universities of Münster and Enschede as well as between the start-up centers Novel-T and REACH. This is how we secure innovations for the region and establish new business models."
Background information: In January 2019, the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that it was funding the establishment and operation of a start-up center under the leadership of the University of Münster (WWU) with a total of around 20 million euros until 2024 - this is where REACH was developed. The start-up center provides the necessary infrastructure and resources to support those interested in setting up their own start-ups in the universities.