Gateway Accelerator

We make ideas work – in six months with you!

Gateway Accelerator is the team and leadership accelerator.
By focusing on the professional and personal development of all start-up team members our tailored program creates value beyond providing standard start-up knowledge.

With our strong ties to the University of Cologne, we offer a broad, international network and mentors from our science and alumni community.

Who can apply?

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

Start of program?

Application deadline: August 15, 2021

Start: September 2021

Program length?

6 months

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 needs developement to realize its true potential.

2. Your experiencing problems concerning market entry seem like a challenge you need help with.

3. Your business model still needs optimization or market testing.

4. Your marketing & sales strategy need more consideration.

5. Analysis of the international market potential of your business model.

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

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

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

We look at modern leadership culture with you.

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 and strategic challenges


Coaching & Mentoring


Deep Dives & Events 


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