The scaling up programme helps fast-growing start-ups address the particular requirements for rapid and international scaling.

Through the scaling up programme, the state government helps fast-growing start-ups from NRW with scaling and expansion into international markets in line with their needs.

The programme is targeted at founders and their management teams who are already in, or about to enter, a phase of rapid growth. To qualify for the programme the following criteria therefore apply: 

  • a marketable product exists, 

  • an initial customer base has been created, 

  • all core competencies are present within the team, and 

  • the company can demonstrate its growth capital basis. 

Typical challenges for these fast-growing start-ups include: 

  • scaling up their business model internationally, 

  • expanding the management team, 

  • implementing far-reaching organisational change, and significantly increasing financing requirements. 

The programme addresses these challenges and helps participating start-ups to reach the scaling phase with the help of customised services. 

Programme components

  • Top mentoring: 1-to-1 mentoring through individual Lead Mentors, plus support from industry and sector experts. 
  • Peer-to-peer learning: Founders share experiences with one another on strategies and methods for tackling similar challenges to growth. 

  • International soft landing pads: Support with accessing relevant international target markets 

  • Investor events: Networking opportunities with appropriate investors 

  • Scale-up.NRW events: Presentation and marketing of the start-up cohorts to a relevant audience 

  • Workshops: Themed workshops for targeted knowledge

The first cohort participated in the 18-month programme from March 2022, the second cohort from March 2023. The third cohort is scheduled to start the programme in spring 2024. More about the third cohort (content only available in German)

Start-ups interested in taking part can register their interest now with the programme team. You will find everything you need to know about Scale-up.NRW by visiting the website