MUT – DER GRÜNDUNGSPREIS NRW is one of Germany's most lucrative competitions for young companies and freelance professionals in the fields of trade, industry and services. The application deadline has expired.

Because it takes courage to start a business, the award has a new name starting this year:


The total prize money is 60,000 euros. Not only digital IT start-ups could apply, but simply all companies from North Rhine-Westphalia. Regardless of whether they are in the social sector, trade or crafts.

Conditions of participation:

Your company

  1. has its headquarters in North-Rhine Westphalia,
  2. was founded between 2018 and 2021,
  3. is economically successful and has a viable business model.

You are

  • founder (that means: the company is not a subsidiary or spin-off and has not been created by an acquisition or a change in the field of activity of a company that is more than five years old) or
  • successor to a company and has taken over a small or medium-sized enterprise or
  • a freelance professional.

You could also apply if you founded the company while unemployed or if it is a sideline enterprise.

A panel of experts are looking at your application now. In addition to the economic success and the number of jobs created, the business idea is also evaluated. In this respect, questions about technological innovation, new processes, products or services as well as creative potential play a role. Likewise, criteria such as the compatibility of family life and career, environmentally conscious action or social commitment are also taken into consideration.

If you have any questions, contact or call 0049 (0) 201 – 43 77 234.

Details on the conditions of participation (in German)

Information on the GRÜNDUNGSPREIS website (in German)