Successful Joint "EXIST-Potentiale" Bid by Hochschule Geisenheim University and EBS Universität: Funding for Start-Up Center in the Rheingau Region

Dr. Elena Siebrecht (r.) at the ceremony in Berlin © BMWi / Bildkraftwerk

Together with its affiliated partner EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht, Hochschule Geisenheim University is to receive funding as part of the "EXIST-Potentiale" initiative by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to foster knowledge-based business start-ups. The application was made for funding amounting to around 1.3 million euros. With their "Rheingau Start-up Center " project, the partners achieved convincing results in the "boosting potential" category.

Thomas Bareiss, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, announced the funding decisions in a ceremony held in Berlin on December 3, 2019. A total of 220 state and private universities and colleges applied for funding for their projects in the three categories "boosting potential", "regional networking" and "convincing international audiences". The 142 applicants selected will receive funding amounting to around 150 million euros over the next four years.

"Together with regional partners, the aim of our first joint project is to give talented young people the space to generate innovative business ideas at our start-up center in the town of Geisenheim", explained Prof. Dr. Markus Ogorek, President of EBS Universität. Prof. Dr. Hans Reiner Schultz, President of Hochschule Geisenheim University added: "we want to inspire, motivate and train our students. They should be empowered to have a long-term impact as entrepreneurs or to be available to companies in the Rhine-Main region, and thus also the Rheingau, as qualified employees with an enterprising spirit."

The Rheingau's status as an economic and scientific region is to be strengthened by joining together the agricultural, food technology, logistical and environmental competence at Hochschule Geisenheim University with the business management and legal expertise of EBS Universität. "Innovation comes about from the interaction of various disciplines and subjects," says Dr. Jan Christoph Munck of the Strascheg Institute for Innovation, Transformation & Entrepreneurship (SITE) at EBS Universität, who has been commissioned to oversee the project. 

The objective of the project is to coordinate the regional ecosystem of business and science within a joint start-up facility so as to develop entrepreneurial ideas and to give students the confidence to set up their own business. "Networking with the right cooperation partners from industry and the start-up ecosystem in the region, as well as access to the infrastructure of the Hochschule Geisenheim University, will provide a fertile breeding ground to facilitate more scientific start-ups. This can help to strengthen the economic stability of the region on a sustainable basis", says Dr. Elena Siebrecht, from the Research and Innovation Services Department at Hochschule Geisenheim University, who is leading the development project on the Geisenheim side. In addition to innovative start-up ideas, the center also intends to devote itself to the topic of business succession in order to meet the needs of all students and to address the topic of start-ups from all angles. The official start of the project is planned for early summer.

The two Rheingau-based universities are being assisted in implementing the project by the town of Geisenheim, Rheingauer Volksbank and a number of partners and companies in the region. Both institutions have declared their commitment to promoting regional development in a framework agreement and intend to contribute to this at a number of levels. The two Presidents also announced their intention to extend cooperation to other areas.


EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht and the Strascheg Institute for Innovation, Transformation & Entrepreneurship 

EBS Universität is the oldest private business school in Germany, located in Wiesbaden and Oestrich-Winkel, in the Rheingau region. Around 2,200 students and doctoral candidates are currently studying at three faculties. The European Business School, the oldest private business university in Germany, has been training leaders with an international perspective since 1971. The EBS Law School, the most recently founded law faculty in Germany, has been offering a fully-fledged, conventional law degree program since 2011, with the aim of obtaining a state examination and specializing in commercial law, as well as an integrated Master in Business (M.A.). The EBS Executive School's continuing education program supports specialists and executives from business and industry. Since July 2016, EBS Universität has been part of the non-profit foundation SRH, a leading provider of education and health services.

The Strascheg Institute for Innovation, Transformation & Entrepreneurship (SITE) under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Ronald Gleich is one of the leading, nationally and internationally recognized institutions with core competences in Innovation Management, Transformation Management, Entrepreneurship, and Security Management. In line with its slogan “creating and managing success through innovation”, SITE focuses on creating, implementing, steering and securing innovation, whereby it aims to enable businesses to increase their competitiveness by supporting them to strengthen their innovation capacity, achieve sustainable growth, and continously train professionals and executives.


Dr. Elena Siebrecht
Hochschule Geisenheim University
Forschungsförderung und Wissenstransfer
Von-Lade-Str. 1 
65366 Geisenheim
Tel. +49 6722 502 635

Dr. Jan Christoph Munck
EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht
Strascheg Institute for Innovation, Transformation & Entrepreneurship (SITE)
Rheingaustr. 1
65375 Oestrich-Winkel
Tel. +49 611 7102-1380 


The applicants selected in the "boosting potential" category © BMWi / Bildkraftwerk
Thomas Bareiss, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy © BMWi / Bildkraftwerk