Gateway Accelerator

A new chapter: We make ideas work – in six months with you!

Are you part of a young start-up team, from the University of Cologne or with a strong connection to one of our partner universities, and are about to set up your company? Then the Gateway Accelerator is the right place for you. We advance and sharpen your social or knowledge-lead and technology-based business model so that soon everything points to success and growth.

Who can apply?

University start-ups from Cologne or with a strong connection to the city

Start of program?

second half of 2021

Program length?

6 months

Get in touch with us

Frederik Lindner


Resilient, Quick, Successful

The Gateway Accelerator is a tailor-made program for knowledge-lead and technology-based start-ups from the university scene. We foster start-ups to be resilient, to be quicker and of course to be successful! We want you to succeed and we want to make your ideas work, together with you.

Gateway Accelerator: Starting anew but following through

Therefore, the Gateway Accelerator draws experience from three batches of start-ups who graduated from the Future Champions Accelerator program. This program has three great batches to show for. We now turn over a new chapter, but honor the expertise and network we developed throughout the last three years together with the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.

Going forward, we’re proceeding with a new batch of start-ups who will be batch number 4. Based at the University of Cologne the program will follow a completely new approach.

7 challenges we know university start-ups in early founding stages need help with

1. Your team has already received initial funding, but lacks the final push.

2. Your start-up has already been founded and might need extra development for follow-up financing.

3. Your experiencing problems with market entry or market entry seem like a challenge you need help with.

4. Your team needs developement to realize its true potential.

5. Your business model still needs work or market testing.

6. Your marketing & sales strategy need more consideration.

7. You never thought enough about the international opportunities your business model might have.

Challenge accepted!

The Gateway Accelerator is a university-based program that knows the challenges of university start-ups by heart. We help you address these stumbling blocks and rise above and beyond. We provide you with with a customized program that addresses your needs and questions.

What we focus on together with you

Gateway Accelerator follows an international approach to get your start-up ready for international markets.

We help you to build a team that brings all the important skills to the table.

We look at modern leadership culture with you and help you to find your HR-strategy.

We help you get ready for market entry or if you already took that step we help you to refine your market strategy.

What you can look forward to

Analysis of your business models & challenges to your strategies


Coaching & Mentoring


Deep Dives & Events 


Focus topics each month, e.g.: Finance, Marketing/PR, Sales and more

4 the win – be our batch #4

We are excited to meet you! Applications start May 2021!
Check here soon to find out everything about the terms of application


3 Years Future Champions Accelerator

DEMO DAY 2021 – Meet Batch #3

For one year 8 teams worked hard on their businesses and developed their start-up even further with the help of coachings, mentorings and workhops. Get to know the batch #3 of the Future Champions Accelerator and let yourself be inspired by their ideas und passion for their start-up businesses.