The Freiburg

Startup Competition

Welcome to SPARK, the startup competition that empowers you to transform your boldest ideas into viable products with real world impact.


Use the unique opportunity to connect with students from different backgrounds.
 Computer Science, Design and many more. Also you will have the chance to learn from successful local entrepreneurs that will guide you through the first steps as you develop your initital idea to a working business model. You can work on any idea you want, as long as they don’t violate basic human rights! Get ready for a 11 week journey with plenty of insights and the chance to connect with the most interesting people from Freiburg. Who knows maybe your future co-founder is among the fellow participants! As bachelor student you can earn 4 ECTS, the startup competition is accredited as BOK course by the University Freiburg.


To ensure that you can gain all necessary skills to build a company we have composed a versatile program. The Kickoff and Demo Day are mandatory, the workshops are not. However we recommend to visit at least three of them.


2nd May 2020

Workshop 1 - Business Models

9th May 2020

Workshop 2 - Rapid Prototyping

16th May 2020

Workshop 3 - Website

23rd May 2020

Workshop 4 - Law

30th May 2020

Workshop 5 - Classic Finance

6th June 2020

Workshop 6 - Alternative Finance

13th June 2020

Workshop 7 - User Testing

20th June 2020

Workshop 8 - Online Marketing

27th June 2020

Workshop 9 - Pitch Training

4th July 2020

Demo Day

11th July 2020


In our opinion the complementary composition of a team is a key factor for its success. To ensure that every team has the abilties to build a working prototype we have 3 categories of participants. For each we have reserved 20 spots.


A designer plays an important role in every project. You always need people with visions and a sense of creativity and astetics. You study media management, design, theater, fashion or something comparable or you're a self taught designer.


After a while you will see that an idea is not worth so much. It is about execution. Tech students have the competencies to translate a mere idea into something more concrete e.g. a click dummy, a prototype or a working application.


Business talent Welcome: On one hand you make sure that the service or product doesn't exceed certain costs and on the other side you look for appropriate sources of money like public grants, impact investors or traditional VCs.

Wild Cards

You bring crazy ideas into the game. You’re keen to bring them to life. In this category we pay attention to a very diverse field of applicants. You can come from any background as long as you're enthusiastic about changing the status quo.

Your Mentors

You will never walk alone. In our program we will connect you and your team with a seasoned, successful and local entrepreneur or a person with special expertise. These persons have exactly the knowledge that you need to start a company from scratch. Throughout the competition they provide you with insights, help you with their network and they will constantly challenge your ideas. At the kickoff event we will match the right mentor for your venture. In total there will be 10 mentors for 10 teams. Here you can see a little abstract:

Lucas Spohn

« CEO Idana »

Founder & CEO of Idana, the eHealth company that accelerates and digitazies the anamnesis process. Lucas succesfully managed the biggest crowdinvesting campaign in Freiburg ever.

Laila Berning

« CEO Noor Medical »

Laila is a social impact entrepreneur who co-founded Noor Medical, a safe surgery enterprise dedicated to improving healthcare outcomes in Low and Middle-Income countries. Photo Credit

David Hübner

« Initiator Freiburg AI »

Founder of Freiburg AI. He was a PhD student in the Brain-State Decoding Lab at the University of Freiburg. He worked on unsupervised machine learning methods that can calibrate itself only by using unlabeled data.

Emanuel Zettl

« CEO Mäuschen App »

Emanuel is the founder and CEO of a venture in the field of children education. He has a big passion for seamless user experience, web design, information architecture and the latest web trends.


What woud a startup competition be without awards ...? Right that’s what we think too. We award prizes in three categories: Sustainability, Scalability and Social Impact. Each reward is associated with a trophey money of 2000€. Still the focus of this event is on cooperation and peer learning. You will see there is a huge potential in learning strategies and techniques from other participating teams!


Freiburg is the Green City and of course there is a Green Award! For ventures that show that a good business model is compatible with nature and the responsible use of resources.


For those who believe that the sky is the only limit! We award one team that proves that their product can disrupt a whole industry in a short period of time. Other people play, you scale.

Social Impact

Your mission is not to maximise profits, your mission is to create value for your target group. You have an unstoppable thirst to better the world we live in. We think this is awesome!


Standing on the shoulder of giants. We are very humbeled that three outstanding personalities support us in the making of this startup adventure. We will benefit from their network, their expertise and their passion for innovation!

Prof. Rolf Backofen

« Science »

Dean of the Technical Faculty, University Freiburg

Hagen Krohn

« Business »

Founder and Co-CEO of the Startup incubator Grünhof

Martin Horn

« Politics »

Lord Mayor of the student town Freiburg im Breisgau

Are you ready for your personal startup adventure?

First period of application: Until 15th of March 2020

Second period of application: Until 15th of April 2020

A huge thanks to our partners and sponsors: