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Founding and Innovation Center


Janneke Mertens-Fabian

Founding and Innovation Center

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  • Symbolbild: Laptop auf Schreibtisch, die Hände von zwei Personen sind zu sehen sowie Stifte, Kaffeetassen, Zettel.

    Start-ups receive comprehensive support at the University of Oldenburg – from help with business ideas and funding applications to building up networks. Photo:

Top ranking in the Start-Up Radar

The University of Oldenburg is among Germany's best universities for promoting start-ups, securing fourth place in the "Large Universities" category.

The University of Oldenburg is among Germany's best universities for promoting start-ups, securing fourth place in the "Large Universities" category.

The University of Oldenburg has once again achieved excellent results in the new Start-Up Radar (Gründungsradar) ranking list compiled by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors' Association for the Promotion of Science and Humanities in Germany). Oldenburg was ranked fourth in the "Large Universities" category. In the previous survey conducted in 2018, Oldenburg was in the "Medium-Sized Universities" category, where it secured the top spot. "It has now shown that it is also a front runner among the large universities," the new survey says. In the overall ranking of the group of 42 large universities with more than 15,000 students, the University of Oldenburg is just a few tenths of a percentage point behind the leading trio, the Technical University of Munich, the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the University of Potsdam.

"The University of Oldenburg is one of the best universities for start-ups in Germany – even competing with far larger universities in a nationwide comparison. This is confirmed in the latest Start-Up Radar, which certifies our exemplary performance in all the areas examined. An excellent result not just for the University, but for the entire region," said University of Oldenburg President Professor Hans Michael Piper.

Strengthening the start-up culture

The Stifterverband revised the set of indicators used in the new Start-Up Radar to take better account of recent developments in the promotion of university-based start-ups. The Radar now has six different indicator areas. The University of Oldenburg is among the top 10 in all of them. It did particularly well in the areas of Start-Up Support and Monitoring and Evaluation in Start-Up Support, securing first place in both areas. On the basis of these indicators, the University of Oldenburg received the seal of approval "Start-Up Radar – Exemplary Performance 2020".

The Founding and Innovation Centre (GIZ) at the Department for Research and Transfer coordinates and organizes the promotion of start-ups at the university, together with the Chair of Entrepreneurship. Launched last year, a key building block here is the "EXIST Potentials" programme within which the university will receive around two million euros over four years to provide regional stimulus for business start-ups. The aim of the project is to expand the existing network of start-ups and establish a "Start-up Region North West". The project strengthens the regional start-up ecosystem and ensures even better support for academic entrepreneurs on their path to independence.

The Start-Up Radar is a nationwide ranking which is now in its fifth edition and compares German universities' efforts to promote and support the culture of entrepreneurship and start-ups. It is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Marga and Kurt Möllgaard Foundation and carried out by the Stifterverband.

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