Strong partners for early-stage financing and
business development efforts of innovative companies

Since its inception in 2017, the Gründerfonds Ruhr has established strong partnerships with investors, development companies and leading corporations from various industrial sectors of our lead markets. Their business expertise and financial support enable us to promote young companies in the Ruhr area. We are continuously expanding our network and are always interested and open to discussions with potential new partners. Below, you can find a selection of our current partnerships.


The Brost Foundation is a non-profit foundation focused on strengthening the identity of the Ruhr area. The foundation supports various projects in the field of art and culture, youth and elderly care as well as charitable measures.


Evonik is one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies with a focus on attractive business in this sector, customer-oriented innovative strength and a trusting and results-driven corporate culture.

Initiativkreis Ruhr

The Initiativkreis Ruhr is a business alliance comprised of more than 70 companies and institutions. It aims to promote the development of the Ruhr area and to strengthen its future and competitive potential in a sustainable manner.

Future Energy Ventures

Future Energy Ventures is the venture capital investment and collaboration platform of E.ON, with €250 million invested capital in its portfolio. It invests in digital and digitally enabled technologies and business models that have the potential to redefine the future energy landscape.

Kötter Services

As a long-standing family-owned company, Kötter Services offers system solutions for security, cleaning and personnel tasks.


NATIONAL-BANK is one of the leading private and group-independent regional banks in Germany and serves distinguished private and corporate customers as well as mid-sized institutional investors in North Rhine-Westphalia.


DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank is the central bank and leading institution of approximately 1,000 cooperative banks in Germany. Its mission is to support local businesses and strengthen their competitive position. In addition, as a commercial bank, DZ BANK serves companies and institutions that require a transregional banking partner.


The NRW.BANK is North Rhine-Westphalia’s development bank and the largest state development bank in Germany. It supports North Rhine-Westphalia in its structural and economic policy tasks. NRW.BANK invests one third of its total promotion funds in start-ups and SMEs, promoting the digital turnaround and sustainability initiatives in NRW.


RAG-Stiftung bears the responsibility for financing the perpetual obligations resulting from hard coal mining in Germany by RAG Aktiengesellschaft. In order to safeguard the long-term financing of these activities, the foundation builds up assets through a secure but profitable programme of capital investment. This programme is reliably providing RAG-Stiftung with the necessary returns. In addition, the foundation promotes projects in the areas of education, science and culture that are related to the hard coal mining industry in Germany.


The news portal ruhr24 not only designs, develops and markets digital products on a variety of topics, but also supports start-ups and initiatives from the Ruhr region as a strategic partner and investor.


thyssenkrupp is a diversified industrial group with strengths in materials and a growing share of capital goods and service operations.

GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner