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A prototype is always an essential part of developing a start-up idea. By a prototype, we mean a first, rough transfer of your idea into a product. We have the means to help you financially with the implementation of your prototype.


KickStart funds

KickStart@BO is a funding program that supports individuals or teams within the University of Bochum in developing a prototype for their innovative idea.


  • Up to €7,500 for the procurement of materials for your prototype creation
  • 6 months duration -> during which time the prototype will be developed


  • Schedule a meeting with us to discuss your idea.
  • Create a concept for prototype development with our assistance.
  • Submit your concept.
  • Build your prototype and gather initial feedback

Sign up for an initial consultation:


Who can be eligible for funding?
  • Individuals or teams can be eligible for funding, provided that they all have a legal affiliation with the university: enrolled students, alumni, (academic) staff, professors, doctoral candidates, and auditors.
  • Already established companies or self-employed individuals cannot be funded.

What can be funded?
  • Goods and services for the production of one or more prototypes.
  • Specific consulting services are eligible for funding.
  • Licenses for creating an app or software can be acquired (no subscription), as long as the creation of these digital items is an additional product related to the prototypes.

Not funded are:

  • Team members/employees/external individuals cannot be financed through the funding.
  • Personnel expenses are not eligible for funding.

How can I apply for Kickstart funds?
  1. With our assistance, prepare for the application process. Create a brief description of your idea, define the research question you want to answer with your prototype, and compile a list of materials you need for implementing the prototype(s).

  2. Submit proof of your legal affiliation with the university and, if applicable, your team's status (enrollment or employee status).

  3. Submit your concept.

How long does the application process take?

Your application is submitted together with other KickStart applications to the project sponsor. They first check if funding is possible. If it is, they forward the application(s) to the ministry, where the final funding approval takes place. Afterward, we can initiate the procurement. The entire process, from the submission of the KickStart application to the project sponsor, takes approximately two weeks.



Are there deadlines for applying? / When can I apply?

In principle, you can contact us at any time and apply for KickStart funds. We usually gather applications from several individuals or teams before forwarding them. This can result in varying lengths of time before the applications are submitted for teams or individuals.

How long does the funding last?

The funding lasts for six months. During this funding period, we offer tailored workshops and coaching that align with your individual needs and aim to support you in achieving your goals. Additionally, you will have access to our workspaces and laboratory areas to bring your idea to life. You can, of course, reach out to us at any time with questions or challenges.



Is the funding provided in cash?

No. The procurement of goods and services is done exclusively by the StartUpLabs@BO team and is carried out through the university's purchasing process.


Can I combine Kickstart funds with other funding opportunities?
  • The Start-Up Scholarship NRW can be applied for concurrently.
  • Kickstart is suitable as preparation for further funding, such as the EXIST Start-Up Scholarship.
  • Already funded teams (e.g., through the EXIST Start-Up Scholarship) cannot be funded by Kickstart, even if they are in the pre-founding phase.

What is KickStart@BO?

KickStart@BO is a funding program that supports individuals or teams within the University of Bochum who are interested in developing a prototype for their innovative idea. This program is open to both students and all other members of the university. Upon successful application, idea creators receive funding for a period of six months, up to 7,500 euros, and access to a coaching program to bring their prototypes to life.


What is behind KickStart@BO?

The funding program is a central component of the StartUpLab@BO project. It is a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) at the University of Bochum with the aim of establishing a central hub for entrepreneurial activities at BO and supporting and guiding experimentation and exploration for all individuals at the university.



What is a Prototyp?

A prototype represents a functional model of a planned product or service that has the key components of the future product/service and can be quickly and easily created. Prototypes can be used to engage with potential future customers and gather valuable feedback.

Prototypes are used in various fields:

  • In engineering, they are used, for example, to illustrate specific components or features of a product.
  • In software development, they can be runnable sections of the software that demonstrate planned functions or mockups that show the appearance of the software.
  • In the case of services, prototypes enable the experience of the offering for future users and the observation of user interaction. Additionally, they can be used to analyze weaknesses.