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MUT – DER GRÜNDUNGSPREIS NRW 2023 Now Accepting Applications

based on a German press release dated 19 June 2023 

Prize money totalling € 60,000 for founders from North Rhine-Westphalia

Düsseldorf. Founders from North Rhine-Westphalia can now apply for the prize recognizing the best business ideas. This is the twelfth time that the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and NRW.BANK are running the competition, but the first time it is taking place under the new name: MUT – DER GRÜNDUNGSPREIS NRW, which reflects the courage (“Mut” in German) that it takes to start a new business. The total prize money is € 60,000.

State Minister for Economics, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy Mona Neubaur: “Courageous founders spark progress leading to sustainable changes in society and the economy. Their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit help us to master the grand challenges of our time. MUT – DER GRÜNDUNGSPREIS NRW recognizes this outstanding commitment and the risks that young entrepreneurs are willing to take. It aims to encourage those interested in setting up their own businesses to take the plunge and implement their own business ideas. I am looking forward to many fantastic applicants from all over North Rhine-Westphalia.”

Eckhard Forst, Chairman of the Managing Board at NRW.BANK: “Young enterprises lead to new ideas on the market and indeed throughout the world. As the investment bank for NRW, we support founders in reaching their full potential – and in so doing, we contribute to the sustainable development of our state. Their courage to dedicate themselves to their entrepreneurial endeavours is recognized by the prize.”

Companies from all sectors that were founded between 2018 and 2021 in North Rhine-Westphalia can apply for this year’s prize. Traditional trade businesses, industrial companies, service provides with a sustainable service concept, or digital IT start-ups – all companies have an equal chance of winning the prize. Applications are now being accepted at The deadline for applications is 6 August 2023.

The jury chaired by Prof. Dr. Christine Volkmann, Chair of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at the University of Wuppertal, will decide on the final ten nominations, from which three winning companies will be selected. The assessment criteria in the second round include economic success, the creativity of the business idea, social commitment, environmental consciousness, and sustainability, as well as the compatibility of family life and career. The three winning companies will be announced at the award ceremony on 23 October 2023 in Düsseldorf.

About the competition

MUT – DER GRÜNDUNGSPREIS NRW is the most prestigious award of its kind in Germany. (1st prize: € 30,000; 2nd prize: € 20,000; 3rd prize: € 10,000).

The prize has been awarded to successful and creative start-ups in North Rhine-Westphalia since 2012.

The winners last year were Unigy GmbH from Essen, E-Lyte Innovations GmbH from Münster, and SalesViewer® GmbH from Bochum. Further information on the competition and the electronic application forms can be found at: