Start-ups Reach For the Stars in Cologne

20 June 2017


  • All those interested in space and mobility are invited to spend a whole weekend in Cologne networking with experts and corporations
  • Common goal: To devise new business ideas at the interface between space, automotive and logistics
  • Professional support with the business models generated to develop them into sustainable start-ups


Cologne, 20 June 2017 – Viable business models at the interface between space, logistics and automotive: This is what the 1stINNOspace Weekend stands for, taking place from 15 to 17 September 2017 in Cologne. Students, young professionals and people interested in space and mobility are cordially invited to come to the Solution Space in Cologne city centre to devise viable and innovative business ideas in interdisciplinary and international teams. In particular, people with no space background are welcome to come and network directly and on location with participants and mentors from the worldwide space and mobility community.

At the end of the event, an expert jury will decide which start-up ideas, products and business models have the most promising prospects. These experienced experts, managers and consultants from the sectors of space, automotive and logistics shall then award prizes for the best draft proposals. “The INNOspace Weekend brings together pioneering spirit and technical expertise with the aim of providing up and coming companies with all the tools they need to generate new start-up ideas and to develop these further after the weekend is over”, states Dr. Franziska Zeitler, head of the “Innovation & New Markets” department at DLR Space Administration.



In a series of lectures by pioneers in the field, participants learn of the opportunities and challenges facing start-ups in the space and mobility sectors. The aim is to communicate core competences as well as contacts for the development of innovative business models, or to devise concepts for personal start-ups. “With logistics and automotive, we are focusing on two of the most significant cluster sectors for the Cologne region”, continues Zeitler. “Here, with reference to space, there is a great array of exciting avenues of enquiry for new business ideas that can arise through the interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and technology”.

Time and again, the space sector has brought out trailblazing innovations that have a genuine impact on our everyday lives. To achieve this, the weekend provides participants with a systematic focus on innovation, to identify problems associated with all three industries and to transform these insights into sustainable business ideas.



The participants at the INNOspace Weekend benefit from a large number of resources: Mentors, speakers and experts provide support with their extensive sector knowledge and a vast amount of expertise. In addition, participants have access to 3D printers, Arduino and sensor technology, Meccano Sets, a web designer and a graphics specialist.

With the help of this equipment, the young pioneers can concentrate on developing the content of their business ideas and their prototypes. In this way, with creativity and commitment, they can successfully venture onto new ground, and within the space of just 60 hours, can generate a start-up from a simple problem proposition. After this event, the finalists also have an opportunity to present their concepts and business ideas to cooperating companies with the aim of finding supporters or partners for the next stage of development.

Further information at:



The INNOspace Weekend provides a platform for developing innovative applications and start-up concepts in the space and mobility sector. DLR Space Administration plays the role of enabler here, facilitating access to expertise and to corporate networks in the space sector and in cooperating sectors. These networks should also make it easier to establish contacts with promotional and financing options to take those ideas to the next level.



The Space Administration division of the German Aerospace Center (DLR: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) launched the INNOspace® initiative in 2013.

INNOspace® is an initiative that forms part of the National Programme for Space and Innovation run by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Since 2014, it has been part of the new high-tech strategy of the German government and it comprises the following instruments:

  • Multi-disciplinary symposia to initiate cooperation projects
  • Expert and user workshops on ‘New Markets’ and networking sessions
  • Financial support for innovation and transfer projects through funding from Germany’s National Programme [Nationales Programm].
  • INNOspace Masters, an ideas-based competition in cooperation with the German ESA BICs and Airbus Defence and Space
  • The mobile INNOspaceEXPO “ALL.täglich!” [SPACE.daily], an effective PR platform that present everyday space applications.
  • Website


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Design & Data GmbH
René Bernard
Hohenzollernring 56
50672 Cologne, Germany
Tel. +49 (0)221 569 657 925

DLR Space Administration
Andreas Kriechbaumer
Königswinterer Strasse 522-524
53227 Bonn, Germany
Tel. +49 (0)228 447 264