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Start-up consulting

You have a business idea and would like to get feedback on it? Or are you currently founding a start-up, a social business or planning to become self-employed? Do you need support and assistance here and there? Perfect! You have come to the right place.

You don't need a fully developed business plan to start with us. Nor do you already have to know how you want to finance your business. We consult you all the way from initial idea to success. If your project is already more advanced, we will gladly support you as well!

Gateway ESC

Start-up consulting with professionals

Our coaches are start-up experts. Working together with you, we find the best way to push your business idea forward. Our coaches will also support you in writing grant applications and much more.

Access to a vibrant start-up network

Thanks to the Gateway ESC's long history and close ties with the University of Cologne, we've established a large network of national and international business contacts in the start-up world. Our start-up service will provide you with access to these contacts.

Co-Working Spaces

You can use the co-working spaces at Gateway ESC for free as part of the accelerator and incubator programs! You will work alongside other young start-ups in the Innodom, a modern building close to campus.

Who is eligible for our consulting services?

We offer support to students, scientists, alumni (up to 5 years) and employees of the University of Cologne.

We consult students, scientists, alumni (up to 5 years) and employees of the University of Cologne. We also advise students and members of the Cologne universities of the Gateway network (TH Köln, Sporthochschule, Rheinische Fachhochschule).

Please understand that you can only use our services if at least one of your team members meets this criterion.

Are there any specific times during which I can book an appointment?

No. We are happy to offer you our services at any time - regardless of i.e. what current period in the semester it is.

How long is a consulting session?

It depends. As a rule, the primary consulting session lasts about 60 minutes. We will arrange the following appointments together with you, depending on your needs and availability.

Where and how do the consulting session/s take place?

We can meet online, by phone or on site, at the Innodom very close to the University of Cologne campus.

How much does the start-up consulting cost?

Nothing. It's free of charge. 

Can you provide consulting in other languages than German?

We can consult you in English, German, Dutch, Spanish and French. 🇩🇪🇬🇧🇳🇱🇪🇸🇫🇷

How to get started with us

1. Fill out the consultation form

Fill out our consulting form so that we can get an idea of your project right from the start.

2. Make an appointment

Shortly after, one of our start-up coaches will contact you to schedule your first consulting session.

3. Get ready for the meeting.

Our start-up coaches will prepare for the session based on the information you provide. You should also plan which questions you would like to address during the session/s.

4. The consultation

During the session you will discuss your business idea with one of our start-up coaches and get valuable feedback. This is also your chance to get all your questions answered.

5. After the consultation

Of course, we are always there for you after your session! Our coaches are on hand at all times to provide you with advice and support.

Additionally, you can benefit from the many other services offered by Gateway ESC. For example, our co-working spaces and access to a large network of contacts. We also host workshops with various start-up topics featuring experts on the job.

Dies ist ein Test

Got more questions?

What does the initial consulting consist of?

At the initial consulting session, you'll talk to one of our start-up coaches about your idea, get feedback on it, and have the opportunity to ask away any questions you may have.

You will also get practical help for your next steps. To work out the value proposition canvas and/or to get feedback on the idea from your planned target group, for example.

How to get a consulting appointment?

Please fill out the consultation form at the bottom of our page. One of our start-up coaches will get in touch with you soon. 

How well developed should my idea be?

Let's first talk you through your idea. We'll be happy to show you how you can develop it further, e.g. using design thinking methods, without you having to create a business plan for it immediately.

What happens after the consulting session/s?

We will of course continue to support you and help you find your way in the start-up world! This includes all kinds of assistance. For instance, we can support you in writing grant applications. Or we can provide you with access to our large start-up network and a free spot in our co-working spaces. 

We also host workshops for our start-ups on a regular basis with different start-up related topics, featuring experts from the field. 

I would like to start-up, but I have no idea.

No worries, we have various events that allow you to either get in touch with others who already have an idea, or you can join idea-finding workshops, for instance. Take a look at our events!

Our start-up coaches

Frederik Lindner, Dipl.-Geogr.

Head of Start-ups & Acceleration 🇩🇪🇬🇧

Evelyn Berresheim-Christ, Dipl.-Kff.

Start-up Coach 🇩🇪🇬🇧

Madeleine Krenzlin, Dipl. Kulturw.

Start-up Coach 🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇫🇷

Simon Graw

Start-up Coach 🇩🇪🇬🇧

Dr. Sebastian Sydlik (in parental leave)

Start-up Coach 🇩🇪🇬🇧🇳🇱