Starting-up with Sport Sciences

Your start-up idea takes center stage

The StarS Kader is the university's own accelerator Programme, which accompanies potential founders with sports-related ideas on their way to independence. Within the framework of several workshops, the teams are both further qualified and individually coached, as well as supported in applying for funding or follow-up financing.

The StarS Kader starts once a year and is divided into two phases. It is possible to participate in the phases independently.


The StarS-Kader has 3 goals:

  1. Empowerment
    The StarS-Kader is intended to further qualify the participants along all relevant contents of a business plan and to enable them to put their start-up idea into practice.
  2. Implementation support
    Of course, the start-up teams will not have to go the whole way from the idea to the foundation alone: Qualified coaches and mentors are on hand to support the teams at all times.
  3. Creating a transfer culture
    The StarS-Kader is intended to facilitate exchange and networking with the Cologne start-up scene for those interested in founding a company.

Phase 1: Basecamp

The first phase of the StarS-Kader provides you with initial knowledge relevant to founding a company. Previous knowledge of business management topics is not required.

In our Basecamp, you will deepen your foundation-specific knowledge together with other foundation teams at DSHS and apply it to your individual idea. You will formulate and sharpen your mission statement and complete the Business Model Canvas for your project. The content is taught and applied through self-study units as well as workshops. At the end you will present your idea at a final event where you will have the chance to get feedback from GSU-external experts. All dates can be found on this website.

Phase two can be completed additionally. Participants from phase 1 automatically qualify for phase 2.

Mandatory dates 2023: 10. March (2pm-6pm), 24. March (2pm-6pm), 25. March (9am-6pm), 04. April (2pm-6pm)

Phase 2: Journey Mapping

Phase 2 is about developing your idea to start-up maturity and applying for funding. In further workshops you will learn more about product, pricing and your target group. We will go "into the field" with ideas for the first time to validate and further develop them. With the help of tools from project management and market research, you can sharpen your idea in this phase and develop a market entry strategy. At the end of the phase you will attend our big pitch event "Ready, steady - PITCH!", where you will present your idea in front of a jury of experts and the audience.

Phase 2 is scheduled to take place from mid-May to the end of June. You can apply independently of phase 1. Simply send us a completed Business Model Canvas by March 31, 2023.

Mandatory dates 2023: 11. May  12. May (2pm-8pm), 13. May (starting 9am), 16. June (2pm-6pm), 17. June (9am-6pm), 22. June (2pm-6pm), 23. June (starting 4pm)


You are a student, scientist or graduate of the DSHS OR you are a student, scientist or graduate of a Cologne university and have a start-up idea with a sports connection?

Are you interested in Phase 1? Then apply with a short idea sketch by email to starskader@­ (next application phase in fall 2023). You can apply alone or in a team. We have provided you with a checklist as a guide. Or take part in the DSHS Ideathlon (January 2023) and receive an application waiver for phase 1. In addition, we invite all applicants to a short personal interview.

Ready for Phase 2? You can apply independently of phase 1. Simply send us a completed Business Model Canvas by email to starskader@­ by 31 March 2023.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.


The StarS-Kader 2023 is currently in progress:

Would you like to get to know the teams and ideas? Then come to the final pitch of the StarS on 23.06. in Hörsaal 1!

Register here!

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