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HHU Ideas Competition

The HHU Ideas Competition at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf raises awareness of the career options of self-employment and business startups and arouses curiosity about exciting alternatives to the typical working biography. The competition supports the goal of creating a creative startup culture and awakening and supporting entrepreneurial thinking and action among everyone at HHU at an early stage.

The ideas competition will take place for the thirteenth time in the summer semester of 2024.

University teams awarded for innovative startup ideas

The HHU Ideas Competition 2023 is over and great weeks are behind us - with exciting ideas and committed teams!

Many thanks to everyone who participated and submitted their idea sketches! Many thanks to the jury, who read all the ideas and evaluated them to the best of their knowledge and belief, and many thanks to our presenters Isabell Nethke and Julia Riensche, who made the award ceremony a very special highlight!

What you could win!

We awarded prizes in two categories: Students and Researchers. And three prizes* were awarded in each of the two categories:

*PLEASE NOTE: unfortunately we can not pay cash, but you submit us an invoice, we can settle it.

As every year, a competent jury selected the best submissions based primarily on the following criteria:

From the jury's point of view, how likely is it that the idea can be realised in principle? Your personal connection to the idea and corresponding expertise in the field can be helpful here. Also of interest are legal circumstances that support or oppose the project.

There should be a certain level of innovation. Accordingly, it is beneficial if the jury members have perhaps not yet heard of the submitted solution. Or it may be an existing solution that has been rethought and perhaps placed in a different context.

How big or severe is the identified problem actually? How many people or companies does this problem affect and how often do they face this problem. What difference does the submitted idea make?

Sustainability Special Award (HCSD)

For the first time this year, the Heine-Center for Sustainable Development (HCSD) awarded a Sustainability Special Award among the submissions. As an institutional unit of the university, the HCSD is responsible for the development of sustainable development goals in the areas of diversity, environment and health through to their implementation.

The prize was participation in the annual conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development in Berlin (incl. train journey and overnight stay) for two people.



Photo of
Claudia Bethke


Individuals or teams may participate. However, at least one person must be a member of HHU. HHU members include students, scientists, employees and alumni.

Sure, that's possible. Just fill out the form (link). We'll take care of the rest behind the scenes and sort your submission into the appropriate category based on the idea and your background.

The ideas submitted will not be passed on to third parties. During the evaluation by external jurors, all jurors agree to sign a confidentiality agreement. After the end of the ideas competition, all submitted ideas will be deleted. If you are considering patenting your idea, please contact us directly!

If at least one team member belongs to HHU or UKD, the (entire) team may participate in the competition.

Unfortunately not, because at the time of the idea submission the idea may not yet be commercially exploited. However, please contact us in this case and we will see what interesting opportunities or competitions there are for you outside of the ideas competition.

No, there are no costs associated with participating in the HHU Ideas Competition.

If your idea is among the TOP 3, you will be part of the award ceremony with your submission and present your idea to the audience. Maybe you can even secure the audience award with your pitch. But don't worry: On July 7th, there will be a free pitch training session especially for this purpose.

Yes, this page (and the forms) are even available in English.

Unfortunately, we can't just transfer it to you. But we can pay you the bill. E.g. for an IPad, consulting services etc. Just talk to us about it!

Photo gallery

Winning teams from 2023

Category Students

  • 1st place: FastFungiFinder
  • 2nd place: Fungilyzer
  • 3rd place: MyFilm

The Fungilyzer team also received the prize from the Heine-Center for Sustainable Development for the most sustainable idea and thus participation in the annual conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development in Berlin (including rail travel and accommodation) for two people.

Researchers category

  • 1st place: AneurysmAid
  • 1st place: MONTI - the monitoring system
  • 3rd place: Cytokimera

MONTI also won the audience award and can also look forward to a 100 € canteen voucher.

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