Prof. Dr. Malte Brettel at the finale of the 3rd Stage Two
The finals of Stage Two, a pan-European competition for early-stage university start-ups organized by RWTH Aachen University and HHL Leipzig, took place in Berlin for the third time. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck was the patron of the event, at which almost 50 start-ups from over 20 countries presented their innovations to over 100 investors. The prize money of over 3.8 million euros was increased compared to the previous year.
Robert Habeck emphasized the importance of Stage Two as a platform for entrepreneurs who want to create impact and praised the rapid development of the competition into a leading event for university start-ups in Europe. The event underlines the importance of university research and innovation promotion. Professor Malte Brettel from RWTH Aachen University, co-founder of Stage Two, emphasized the need to transfer knowledge and technologies from the university to the economy and society.
Within three years, Stage Two has grown from an initial pitch contest to Europe's largest and best-funded competition for early-stage start-ups from universities. This signals a positive trend in the willingness to invest and underlines the importance of university research for future innovations.
One outstanding start-up, IonKraft, developed a recyclable plasma technology for plastic packaging at RWTH Aachen University and won several prizes, including the Stage Two Innovation Award.